Brant lets go on the throw that put him atop the 2015 discus rankings. Photo by Alan Versaw.
With the Cheyenne Mountain meet opening doors right across town, the Coronado Cougar Classic dropped a few teams from its usual numbers. But, the tradeoff was that the teams at the Cougar Classic got to bump their entries up to three from the usual two. For teams trying to work a few athletes in for some late-season action, that was a nice bonus.
The breezes and chill air, however, were not as much of a bonus, with--perhaps--a few exceptions.
One who may have benefitted from the wind out of the west was Canon City thrower Austin Brant. Brant had a very nice series of discus marks, topped by a 164-11 that pushed him to the head of the state discus rankings. Brant fouled on another throw that was a little beyond the mark of record.
Kevin Lopez-Tapia of Brighton also worked the breezes nicely to his favor, pushing his season-best mark out to 156-4.
Although probably not as much on account of the breezes as on account of the cool air, the distance runners also found some help coming their way. Aubrey Till punished the girls 1600 field with a 5:13.02. Dom Carrese overcame an early challenge from Taylor Stack and eventually opened a large gap on the boys 1600 field, taking the win in 4:23.66. Stack would come back later in the evening and post a 9:57.13, breaking the resistance of Zack Retzlaff along the way.
Salida put together their first strong showing in the girls 4x800 of the season. A 10:14.08 takes them from 3A afterthought to essentially assured of a position at state. TCA also improved their odds of advancing to state in 4A with a winning time of 9:57.36.
Mesa Ridge's Karlos Logan did the best job of adapting to conditions among the sprint group. Logan ran his way to an 11.15/22.56 sweep of the springs. Logan's prelims time of 11.05, however, will be the mark felt by the 4A 100 meter rankings.
After the winds had died down a little in the evening, Sam Hopfe of Woodland Park pushed his 300 hurdles time below 40 seconds, joining a substantial, and growing, number of hurdlers in that company.
Rising small-school star Brittany Fuchs of Calhan matched Logan's feat with a sweep of the girls sprint titles. Like Logan, Fuchs had a faster 100 time (12.69) in prelims, but took a 200 finals time of 26.15 to the bank.
Kiana Gomez blasted through the 100 hurdles prelims, but left the premises after winning the triple jump at 34-7. Taylor Finn said, "Thank you," and promptly cleaned up on the 100 hurdles finals.
Air Academy's Allyson Stanley got a 5-3 in the high jump, which should secure a trip to Lakewood in the middle of March. The mark betters her previous season best jump by two full inches.
A highlight of the evening was the middle school miles. Lisa Rainsberger's Kokopelli Running Team took top honors twice with Chantae Steele pulling away from the girls field in 5:23.25 and Calvin Banta taking over late from Adam Maal to win the boys race in 5:13.63.
To help you with discerning the meaning of those times, Steele should be wearing TCA colors in the fall, Banta Air Academy colors, and Maal St. Mary's colors.
The Coronado meet administration plans to bring the middle school mile (and it was a full mile) back for future editions of the Coronado Cougar Classic.