Holyoke's Alex Quintana and Matt Radich of Lyons kept it close at the front of the 2A 110 hurdles final. Photo by Alan Versaw.
It's a mark of a great team to find a way to win when they're supposed to win. It's a mark of an even greater team to also find ways to win when they're not supposed to win.
Mark Lyons down as a great team in the annals of small school track and field in Colorado. This weekend they did both.
The boys were supposed to win. They didn't have a monopoly on 2A star power. In fact, as you go up and down their roster, there are no lights-out kind of stars. The Lions simply had more guys who could score state points than anyone else. And, they each chipped in.
Matt Radich and Justin Boldt did their parts in the hurdles. Forrest Donnell did his part in the sprints. Ryan Boucher delivered in the 400. Distance, uncharacteristically, struggled a little, but Marcel Such added two points in the 3200. Marcos Rodriguez did his part in the shot put. Donnell and Boldt came up big in the long jump. James Hinker pitched in in the pole vault. And, perhaps most importantly of all, the relays took wins at 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400.
Besides relays, Lyons had individual event winners in Matt Radich (110 hurdles, 15.30, +1.7) and Forrest Donnell (long jump, 21-11.75, +1.5).
A tornado hitting the team bus might have stopped the Lyons boys this weekend, but nothing short of that was going to keep them from getting it done. And, as bad as the weather was on Saturday, there were no tornadoes anywhere close to Jeffco Stadium. Neither were there any teams close to Lyons in the final tally.
Second place went to a fine team from Telluride. TNT, as they refer to their team, posted 64 points (52 of those in events 800 meters and up, including the 4x800), but never really got within shouting distance of Lyons on Saturday, who ended with a tally of 101.5.
If the Lyons boys suffered any ill effects from the expectations of winning, it didn't show. The girls, however, didn't come with the burden of the same set of expectations. For the Lyons girls, the expectations were merely to place or show.
Apparently, that wasn't good enough for these girls.
As happens to any team at the state meet, the Lyons girls leaked a point here and there, but they also found ways to pick up points they weren't supposed to. In the end, the Lions had outpointed a very good Telluride team 86.5 to 76. Akron was a close third at 73.
Nola Basey did her part, winning the high jump at 5-6, second in the triple jump (35-7.75, -1.0), third in the long jump (17-2, +1.6), and she may have been running on fumes when she finished ninth in the 200 at 27.87. But, Basey was supposed to do all that.
It was the contributions of the other girls the pushed Lyons past a couple of solid teams from Telluride and Akron. It was Miriam Roberts grabbing a fifth in the 1600 and a fourth in the 3200, Victoria Arling taking a third in the pole vault, and Michelle Hickey taking an unexpected win in the shot put. It was a constant trickle of points from relays and people like Samantha Bashor, Olivia Raspotnik, Amber Boyington, and Kelsey Miner. In the end, each of those points counted, and the team title was the sum total of each contribution from a set of girls who apparently didn't realize they weren't supposed to win.
It took each of those contributions because Telluride got monster contributions from Josephine Bush (26 points in the 200, 400, and 800) and Lindsey Stindt (28 points in the 110H, 300H, and LJ) and Akron relentlessly accumulated relay points according to their custom. Paonia also appears to have signed onto the Akron strategy of going all-out for relays.
While the team titles garnered their share of the attention in 2A, there were individual performances to go around as well. Daniel Weirich (photo, left) dominated the throws in with marks of 58-3 in the shot put and 171-0 in this discus.
There was Tyler Cappellucci of Hoehne tying the 2A 100 meter record under chilly conditions with a 10.96 (+1.3), and coming back later in the day on Saturday to complete the short sprint sweep with a 22.45 (+0.0) in the 200.
There was Ty Williams battling through illness for a win in the 3200 on Friday, then coming back looking much stronger on Saturday for a big win with a 4:27.92 in the 1600.
There was Holyoke's Alex Quintana who may have had the toughest weekend of any boy in the 2A state meet, winning the 300 hurdles (39.83), finishing second in the 800 (1:59.06) and 110H (15.49, +1.7), and finishing third in the 400 at 50.42. I trust young Mr. Quintana sleeps well the remainder of the weekend; he's earned it.
For the girls, there was the surprising performance of Sangre de Cristo junior Kathryn New who won a soggy 100 in 12.90 (+1.4) and finished third in the 400 at 59.54.
There was West Grand's Tabor Scholl winning the 800 in 2:16.17, and coming back with a vengeance in Saturday's 1600 to win in 5:02.91 after succumbing to Nederland's Kelley Robinson in the 3200 on Friday. Scholl figures to provide all of us with a few highlight reel moments over the next three years.
And, speaking of long, illustrious high school careers, we can now close the book on the high school version of Kathryn Doll's story. The Meeker senior closed out her high school career in a grand way, winning the long jump at 17-10.75 (+0.0) and the triple jump at 37-1.25 (+0.8). Competing against the likes of girls like Sierra Geroux and Nola Basey, these two wins were no small feats, but we've come to expect this sort of thing from Doll.
On a final note, Sargent's boys uniforms require some comment. On the one hand, it's a good thing that Sargent's colors are black and gold. The lightning bolt thing just wouldn't work as well with, say, blue and green. On the other hand, I'm not sure I'd want to wear a speed suit that provided a constant suggestion of sciatica.
Actually, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to wear a speed suit of any stripe or color, but that's probably more a token of my age and of being a distance guy at heart.
2A State Meet Highlights Video