Akron Sends Message at Randall Hess

Akron left Johnstown Saturday afternoon with a meet title and a new meet record in the 4x400. Photo by Alan Versaw.


The girls teams assembled at Saturday's Randall Hess Invitational at Roosevelt High School were treated to a show of power. For those who figured that show of power was coming from Berthoud, The Classical Academy, or Lyons, there was a surprise coming. The show of power came from the Akron girls team.


From start (800 Sprint Medley, 1:53.23) to finish (4x400, 4:09.65), Akron left everyone else with a lot to think about. And they left nobody with more to think about than Lyons and West Grand, who must face Akron again in the 2A state meet in May.


It's not that Lyons was far in arrears. In fact, Lyons was only two points behind Akron (97-95) in the final standings. It's that the strength of the Akron squad was just a bit unexpected.


We knew about Sidney Merrill, Sydney Clarkson, Shelby Guy, Ella Saunders, and a few others, but maybe we didn't know about freshman Ivanna Vance. Maybe we didn't expect quite the spark on the sprint relays that we witnessed.


And if anyone doubts that the Akron girls have the undivided support of their home community, the honking of the bus horn when the team results were announced put those questions to rest as well. Most bus drivers are in, "Please, get me out of here!" mode by the time Saturday track meets come to an end. This bus driver was a committed member of the cheering section. There should be more schools like this.


In any case, nobody had any answers when Akron pummeled the field in the 4x400 to finish off the meet. Going in, Lyons and Akron were tied at the top of the meet standings. Akron left with a two-point margin of victory, a margin earned by squeezing out a solid Lyons 4x4 entry. If you're not looking forward to this rematch at state, you have no sense of the dramatic.


On the boys' side, it was simply a case of Longmont overpowering the assembled competition. As per usual, it was done largely by a tour de force of the field events and hurdles. Josh Cogdill won the 110 hurdles (15.58, +0.0). Cogdill (40.95) ran away from everyone but teammate Braden Hitchcock (40.24) in the 300 hurdles. Hitchcock also won the triple jump (42-2.5, 0.90) and claimed second in the long jump (21-5.5, -1.3). Derek Wing pushed the state's season-best pole vault mark up to 14-7. Justin Reedy-Hanson, Marcus Johnson, and Matthew Cirbo went 1-2-3 in the shot put. Justin Traxinger, Miles Bergner, and Reedy-Hanson went 2-4-6 in the discus. The Trojans continue to impress.


Mountain View High School out of Loveland was a distant second in the boys' standings.


The Classical Academy and Berthoud showed flashes of what might turn out to be a big 3A girls showdown later in the season, but both teams had too many important pieces away on spring break to leave much in the way of lasting impressions.


Results, Photos, and Video