LAKEWOOD — In the midst of the up-and-down state track meet Alexis Carroll was having this weekend, she welcomed a little boost of energy and confidence from her friends and teammates.
Carroll just wasn't expecting it when it happened.
Trying to shrug off a disappointing time in the 100 hurdles on Saturday and having just fouled on her first jump, Carroll was prepping for her second jump in the Class 4A girls triple jump finals when she caught the finish of the 4A girls 400-meter dash. In that race, Cougars teammates Mary Gillett and Makenzie Fidelak placed first and third, respectively.
Seeing her teammates shine gave Carroll the extra juice she needed and on her ensuing jump she popped an outdoor personal-best mark of 37 feet, 2.25 inches to win the state title.
"That's not typically how it happens, but right before I jumped my teammates Makenzie and Mary went one and three in the 400 and I was so, so excited," Carroll said. "I think that's what it was. I had a lot of adrenaline and a lot of enthusiasm. I was really pumped, so that really helped me get a little extra. I love them so much."
Earlier that day, Carroll placed sixth in the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.46 seconds, running one of her slowest times as a senior despite entering the state finals with the second-fastest seed time. But even with a slip-up in one of her top events, Carroll still won two gold medals in her final season at Niwot before going off to run track for the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs next season.
"Overall this weekend, I've had some big hits and some pretty big misses," Carroll said. "My 100 hurdles race was my worst race of the season and the 4x200 wasn't really what we wanted either. But I was able to shrug that off and my long jump and triple jump were great. Niwot needed to have a few more ups than downs today because that's what was required to win the team title, but it was still a great weekend."
To go along with Carroll's title in the triple jump, Gillett won the 400 with a time of 55.12 while Fidelak's third-place time was 56.23. Leading the way for the Cougars and placing second in the 100 on Sunday morning, Gillett left the 2017 state meet with two gold medals and two silver medals, accounting for 36 of the Cougars' 83 team points.
With a valiant effort, the Cougars finished runners-up in the 2017 team scoring to Air Academy's 92 points. The Cougars girls team won three straight team titles from 2013 to 2015 and has not finished lower than third in any of the past five seasons.