Cerake Geberkidane continued his rise to prominence on the Colorado distance scene by winning the 3000 in 9:21.67, narrowly holding off a late surge from Dominic Compoz. Photo by Michele Bisbee.
While the Fort Collins and Colorado Springs areas were battling blazes on Saturday, there was some fire of a different kind on the track at All-City Stadium in Denver. The club track contingent was on the track, battling for local supremacy and a trip to El Paso to run in the Region X Junior Olympic Championships next month.
Wherever you looked, it wasn't difficult to find great performances. The girls 200s may have been the best example of this. Although the performances were mitigated by the absence of a wind reading, it's difficult not to notice the 23.93 posted by Chyna Ries to win the intermediate girls 200 and the 24.07 posted by MaryBeth Sant to win the young women's 200. Payton Miller's 55.20 in the IG 400 didn't need a wind reading and signals a new level of performance for the Wheat Ridge standout. The 21.53/21.55 showdown between Enyinna Isiguzo and Alex Mead in the 200 meters proved that the guys enjoyed a few outstanding marks as well.
Since they so rarely get to go head-to-head in the CHSAA-sanctioned season, it was interesting to see Tabor Scholl and Jordyn Colter toeing the line together in the IG 1500 and 3000. Colter got the better of both matchups, taking the 1500 in 4:42.73 and the 3000 in 10:25.95. For good measure, Colter also added a win in the 800, but didn't have the extra motivational push from Scholl nipping at her heels in that one. For what it's worth, Scholl--as is her custom--handicapped herself a little by running in the 1600 at the Boulder Road Runners summer all-comers series on Thursday evening. Younger brother Tyler Scholl won the midget boys 1500 in 4:43.48 and 3000 in 10:01.81. As you can see, racing is something that the Scholl family does very well.
Mackenzie Howie impressed with a 1:03.84 to win the IG 400 hurdles.
A pair of the most noteworthy IG performances came from two girls who have recently begun their high school careers, but not in Colorado. That wouldn't mean, though, that you won't recognize their names. Only Sand Creek's Mariah Walker kept Matia and Rebecca Finley from sweeping the top two places in both throwing events. Rebecca had second in the shot at 35-10.75 and first in the discus at 130-7. Matia came in right behind her sister in both events, registering marks of 34-8.25 and 120-5. That would shake up the order of things a little in 3A throws next spring except for the fact that they've already joined brother Mason in Kansas and matriculated at Lawrence High School nearby to KU. Perhaps Colorado is still a summer home?
And, if all that isn't memorable enough, spend a little time pondering the 131-4 hammer throw from Haley Showalter. There was some excellent throwing going on Saturday!
In intermediate boys, many of the athletes who impressed this spring seem to have lost a step, but not so much so Daniel Book. The Cherry Creek sophomore-to-be won the 800 all alone in 1:58.82 and the 1500 in 4:06.46. The 1500 effort prevented Cerake Geberkidane from doubling up the 1500 and 3000. Early in the day, Geberkidane took the 3000 in 9:21.67. Each of these winning times were easily better than their counterparts in the young men's division.
Perhaps the most surprising outcome in the young men's division was Caleb Seeton taking the 110 hurdles in 15.13, ahead of Tyler Zito, Aaron Paden, and Charles Rappe'. That's one Seeton needs to stick in his memory bank and take with him into next spring's outdoor season.
The young women's heptathlon highlighted a nice little showdown between Andrea Tuck and Alexa Chacon. Tuck and Chacon battled several times in the hurdles during the CHSAA season, but this time the contest covered six more events as well. Tuck narrowly won the title, largely on the strength of a 197-point advantage in the shot put. Chacon, meanwhile, claimed the 100 hurdles, high jump, and 200 elements of the competition.
Finally, I'm probably not the only one who had no clue who the Garrison LeRock is who won the young men's high jump, but a 6-8 mark does have a way of getting your attention. A quick search of the MileSplit database shows a Garrison LeRock competing for Andale High School in Kansas, not far from Wichita, this spring. With that question answered, I have no idea how winning a Colorado state JO title impacts your qualification for a USATF-JO regional meet outside of Colorado's region. Or, perhaps Mr. LeRock has moved to Colorado since the Kansas outdoor season and will spend his senior year at a Colorado high school?
Or, maybe, Kansas doesn't have state JO meet?