Assemble eight strong 4A teams, put
them in a conference championship, and let them beat each other up over a two
day meet and, poof, I give you the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference (PPAC)
For the second year in a row, Vista
Ridge head coach Jay Peltier and his team have hosted an outstanding meet at
their school and created a high quality atmosphere where perennial 4A power
houses can stand toe-to-toe and duke it out.
course, being a conference championship, the title can easily be won by sheer
numbers, but for Kelly Christensen, Amanda Tivnan, and the Bears of Palmer Ridge it
is a pride factor to hoist the trophy that they have had a commanding dominance
over the past three years. Of the six total PPAC titles, three boys and three
girls, only Vista Ridge boys have been able to dethrone the Bears back in 2013.
The Bears bring every heavy hitter they have to PPAC and it was apparent they
were there to send a message this year. If anyone has any doubt that they are
not as good as last year, then you better take notice and fast because they are
Though hosted at a notoriously windy venue, the PPAC meet only
lost a handful of results to the wind, plus one to a timing malfunction.
Wednesday got things rolling quickly as Discovery Canyon jumper Jenny Hall
found some new territory in the triple jump just north of 36-8. Hall now owns the #2 triple jump in 4A, only
an inch and a half back from the leader. Vista Ridge sophomore jumper Brianne
Watkins wasn't going to let Hall have all the fun to herself as she popped the
#19 mark of 34-1. The wind claimed it's first casualty as Cheyenne Mountain
jumper Ashlynn Smith lost a big PR of 33-11.5 to the wind gauge.
the track, Disco tabbed another victory as Canadian phenom Lauren Gale brought
the Thunder SMR8 through the line at 1:48.59.
the boys it shook out that if your shirt did not read Wolves, Thunder, or Bears, you were not going home with a 1st place finish. The boys scoring
got kicked off with an 8:32.09 4x800 by the Bears with Falcon following behind to a
nice time of 8:38.67.
The 400m dash brought more of
the same as we have seen all season as Gale took home her second title in the
same number of events with a time of 55.24, pursued by PR's Sam Rippley and
Sand Creek's Dejah Glover who both crossed the line sub 60.
you were hopping that Caleb Ojennes suddenly forgot about the 400 you would be
pleasantly mistaken. Instead, he brought friends with Garrett Obermeyer in tow.
Both came through sub 50 for their efforts.
Capek of PR walked away with the victory in the mile at 5:22.44. Liam Cox led a
Monument overhaul of the 1600 with the top five spots going to D-38 runners.
All five runners were under 4:47 with Cox taking the tape at 4:37.34.
end the first day a pole vault relay was held as eight runners from each school
spread out for the 4x1 style race where teams of two carry the pole and
exchange however they could to get it around the fastest. The best race on the
track would come on day two however.
Mountain's Mary McCowen was not going to wait to heat up the track Thursday as
she dropped a speedy wind-legal 15.21 in the 100h final pursued by PR's Rylee
Ries and Disco's Nyalah Johnson. That mark places her #3 in 4A so far this
year. Disco's Micah Hickerson broke up the PR and VR title party as he ran a
season and personal best time of 15.13 in the 110h final, the time was lost, however, to a 3.0 wind.
and Ojennes took home both the 100m and 200m titles, with Gale's time coming as
the only casualty due to a timing system malfunction. Rumor has it the wind was
not wind legal for that 200 however, but with a hand time around 25, I don't
think that she is sweating it too much.
Kyle Rex got back to the swing, or rather vault, of things as he took home both
the pole vault and high jump titles with clearances of 14-1 and 6-1, respectively.
Mr. Versatile Anthony Peters took home three titles of his own in long, triple, an
300h. None of the three produced season-best marks though.
girls had a nice little 50.34 for themselves in the 4x1 to crack the top ten
rankings for the year and the PR boys followed suit with a 44.02. (The boys
mark is not a season best, but suspicions are running high that it might not have been the fully-stacked
4x1 we should expect to see at state)
best race of the day got onto the track after the 4x400s. Coaches
from all eight schools toes the line for a crowd favorite coaches 4x1 relay.
Last year Sand Creek took home the title and this year they repeated as
champions. If you have never seen coaches running a relay you have sorely
the end of the day the Bears easily prevailed for both team titles over 100
points better than second place in both cases. Many of the league teams move on to the Doherty
Spartan Invite and then St. Vrain next Friday.