In one of the few sprint and jump events Fountain-Fort Carson didn't win, Tevin Donnell and Solyde Bankston gave Kalen Ballage all he could handle in the 100. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Memo to the Rest of 5A: Fountain-Fort Carson is serious about bringing the boys state track title back to Fountain.
This team took a while to come together, but it has come together in a serious way. And, it's going to take a lot of firepower to take down the monster. Generally speaking, the Trojans are a relay, sprint, hurdle, and jumps team, but there may not be anything left to matter when it comes to throws, distance, and pole vault. F-FC is deep beyond comprehension in their areas of specialization.
Those who came to the Doherty Spartan Invitational at Garry Berry Stadium saw that on Saturday. And, they saw it over, and over, and over again.
Whether it was a 2-3 finish in the 100 by Solyde Bankston and Tevin Donnell, or a 1-2 finish in the 200 by Jai'Shawn Thompson and Drue Harris, a 2-4 finish in the 400 by Duane McClurklin and Jordan Smith, a likely 1-3 finish in the 110s by Dakota Leazer and Zachary Joseph messed up by Leazer taking a fall over an early hurdle, a 1-4 finish in the 300 hurdles by Leazer and (37.86) and Justice Littrell, a 1-3 finish in the 4x100 (yes, F-FC entered two teams at this meet), a 1-4 finish in the 4x200, second-place finishes in the 4x400 and 4x800, or Duane McClurklin winning the high jump at 6-7, the familiar blue-and-red of Fountain-Fort Carson was showing up everywhere, but mostly on top.
This is a program loaded and spilling over with top-end talent. Make that top-end that has been spending a lot of time in the weight room. If you haven't seen it, you don't yet believe it.
The Fountain-Fort Carson girls had more than their share of moments in the spotlight as well. There was Rajon O'Quinn running away from Rosa Hardarson in the 400, 57.05 to 58.15. O'Quinn also won the high jump at 5-6. There were the 49.07 and 1:45.11 marks posted in the 4x100 and 4x200. And the 1:46.94 in the SMR8.
Both team titles were locked up long before the meet's afternoon session reached its midway point. Yes, indeed, there was a message or two sent. It was almost enough to make you think that the entire meet highlight reel wore blue and red.
Almost, but not quite.
South Park's Kacey Buttrick put in an improbable 2A appearance as the 100 meter hurdles winner. Air Academy freshman phenom Katie Rainsberger barely broke a sweat, winning the 800 in 2:11.93. Coronado's Sylvia Hayes and Lauren Akers were a convincing 1-2 in the 1600. Palmer's Marlee Brown figured out the 300 hurdles in a fashion fitting with her considerable hurdling talent. Doherty's Christina Burkholder (photo, left) broke the meet pole vault record at 10-6. Ellicott's Ashley Lenz (photo, right) doubled up the long and triple jump titles. TCA's Hannah Carr doubled up the shot put and discus titles.
For the boys, additional highlights included Falcon's Kalen Ballage winning the 100 in 10.92. There was Coronado's John Michael Booton shedding some anonymity among a deep collection of Coronado distance talent and running away from everyone in the 1600. Travis Gordon of Palmer seized on the opportunity and won the boys 110 hurdles final. DJ Hanes of Wasson went airborne for a wind legal 23-8 to claim top position on the 2013 state leaderboard. Ellicott's Alex Hill sent the implements flying for wins in both of the thowing events.
All day long, it was difficult to find a dull moment.