Griffin Hay celebrates a stunning come-from-behind victory in the 5A 3200. Photo by David Pressgrove.
DENVER – Fort Collins’ boys team started the Colorado State High School 2012 Class 5A State Championship meet as the favorites to win. They only helped themselves on Thursday to accomplish that goal.
It started in the 3200 with Griffin Hay and Jefferson Abbey, who came into the race seeded third and eighth, respectively. The teammates started to move together on the final lap. Race favorite and leader, Dakota Ridge’s Danny Carney, started to fade on the final turn. Hay and Abbey seized on the opportunity and overtook him to finish first and second in 9:30.61 and 9:33.30. Carney held on for third in 9:33.99.
The closest finish of the 4A/5A portion of Thursday happened about 15 minutes before Fort Collin’s one-two finish. In the girls’ 5A 3200 there were still 13 girls within two seconds on the gun lap. Pomona’s Alaina Anderson led the large pack most of the race and she did all she could to hang on in the last lap. Dakota Ridge’s McKenna Spillar overtook Anderson with 150 meters left and held it down the homestretch. But Anderson wasn’t ready to relinquish the lead. She came back the last five steps and leaned for a photo finish. The final results gave Spillar the win by the closest of possible margin – 11:00.85 to 11:00.86.
Close finishes were not in the works in the boys 4x800 relays. The Cherry Creek and Moffat County boys dominated their respective races races. Cherry Creek raced against the clock in an effort to set the all-class state record. Creek led most of the race and just missed the state record by two seconds with a time of 7:47.12, almost 10 seconds ahead of Class 5A runner up, Fairview.
In 4A, Moffat County opened up a 30-meter lead after the second leg. The Bulldogs finished in a time of 7:53.86. Glenwood finished second in 8:00.62 just in front of D’Evelyn.
In the field event finals, Class 5A Lakewood had the surprise point collection in the pole vault. Tigers Lauren Santi, Lauren Brunsdale, and Makeala Lodl swept the medals, giving the team the rare 25-point tally at state. Santi’s clearance of 11-06 was a five-inch personal best and earned her gold. Lakewood also tallied points from Valleria Miranda’s fifth-place finish in the discus and Haley Brogan’s second in the long jump.
While Lakewood scored well on the first day, the girls 5A favorite is another “L” team, as in Loveland. The team came into the meet with a chance to win every relay either seeded first or second. The 4x800 team had the chance to start off the meet well and through two laps it impressed with a lead of up to 12 seconds. With two legs remaining, however, Ralston Valley, Cherry Creek, and Monarch started to close the gap. By the third handoff Loveland had dropped to third. Cherry Creek overtook Ralston Valley in the final 10 feet for the win, 9:06.28. Unfortunately for Ralston Valley, the team was disqualified for baton issues after the race. Loveland finished fourth.
Although the 4x800 wasn’t necessarily the desired finish for Loveland, the team effort was helped out by Sydnie Spencer’s second-place and Anna Gerhard’s fourth-place finish in the discus, offsetting any points lost in the relay.
The Thompson Valley girls 4x800 team stayed true to its top seed in Class 4A with a win in similar fashion to the two boys races. They finished in 9:20.69 almost seven seconds ahead of second-place Durango.
Other highlights from the 10 field event finals in 4A and 5A today included the largest jump from seed to finish in the 4A boys discus. Denver South’s Samuel Mabany was seeded 10th going into the meet. He improved by a foot in his second throw to 51-04. He finished second among a field that struggled to perform up to personal bests on Thursday. Eleven throwers came in at better than 50 feet and only Mabany and the eventual champion, Skyline’s Richard Feltenberger, 54-7.5, managed to throw past 50.
George Washington’s Chyna Reis helped her team’s chances for a high finish with a 19-05 long jump, which was more than a foot better than second place finisher, Lakewood’s Brogan. Reis also qualified for the finals of the 100 and 200 for Saturday.
In the 4A boys’ triple jump, Widefield’s Tony Carodine had the crowd involved in his triple jump efforts and he gave them plenty to cheer for. He jumped a meet record 49-08.75, canceling Elizabeth’s Scott Carter’s chances for a quadruple-championship weekend. Carter’s jump of 48-6 would have been good enough to win in almost any other year.
Bear Creek racked up some points on the first day behind Nick Dalton’s impressive win in the pole vault at 15-09 as well as a fourth and fifth place finish in the 3,200 by Brandon Williams and Stefan Lowe, respectively.
The Loveland ladies set themselves up well in the two sprint relays. They finished the day with the top qualifying times in the sprint medley relay and the 4x200 relay.
In the sprinting prelims Fort Collins’ Raymond Bozmans made it look easy in the 100, 200 and 400. Bozmans’ performances alone will be worth the cost of admittance on Saturday.
In 4A boys Vista Ridge missed having four sprinters in the 200 final by less than .2 of a second. They have three finalists in both the 100 and 200 and had the top qualifying time in the 4x200.
Valor Christian’s MaryBeth Sant solidified herself as the favorite for a double-sprints win. She cruised to the top times in the 100 and 200 prelims in the 4A girls.