LAKEWOOD - Motivated by a former teammate and the potential to win a team championship, Monarch junior Cole Rowan had the vault of his life on Sunday.
Rowan cleared 16 feet in the Class 5A boys pole vault to win an individual title and help the Coyotes to a second-place finish in the team standings at Jefferson County Stadium.
It was part of a banner day for the Coyotes, who got two more titles from senior Isaac Green and came up just shy of their first-ever team title. Fountain-Fort Carson edged Monarch for first place, 106-101.
"We all wish we could have won, but you can't put it on any specific person or anybody," Rowan said. "We all did the best we could out here and you can't ask for any more from anybody else. We did really good."
In addition to Rowan and Green, freshman Mia Manson won the state title in the girls pole vault.
The performance of the day belonged to Rowan, however. Fourth place a year ago, he beat his personal record by four inches to edge teammate Max Manson, a sophomore who was runner-up for the second year in a row.
"I'm thrilled. It's so fun," Rowan said. "One of my good friends from here, who literally got me into pole vault, Andrew Barlow, he jumped 16 feet and won it as a junior (in 2014), too, so I tried to match him.
"It was a lot of fun being out here with Max and getting 1-2 to really try to contribute to the team and help win the state championship."
The 1-2 finish by the boys fired up Mia Manson, who was the favorite going in. Her vault of 12-6 gave her a state championship on her 15th birthday.
"I'm so excited," she said. "I was totally looking forward to state and I was just hoping I would do well. I'm super excited that I won."
Barlow won titles in 2014 and 2015, meaning Monarch has now won the event in three of the past four years. Throw in the runner-up finishes from Max Manson and now Mia Manson's first title (and a fourth-place finish from Heidi Liles), and it's quite the collection of pole vault medals for the Coyotes.
"It's awesome," Rowan said. "We always say we're building a dynasty, kind of as a joke, but it's cool to be a part of such a good program with such a good coach."
Green had his own little dynasty going this weekend. After winning the 3,200 meters and the 3,200-meter relay on Saturday, he added titles in the 800 and 1,600 on Sunday to cap a four-for-four weekend.
"It was really exciting," he said. "It was something that was really cool, especially coming off last year. Having a rough season (in 2016) and then being able to come back and do that, it was fun. All credit to the other guys in the races for sure. It was just a great day and weekend."
Green got a bit lucky in the 800, however.
Denver East's Hayelom Fitsum had a huge lead on Green during the final lap, and although Green was closing fast down the stretch, he wasn't going to catch Fitsum. With about 10 meters to go, however, Fitsum fell. That allowed Green to win, and Fitsum finished sixth.
"I don't know what happened," Green said. "I'll have to watch the video. All of a sudden he was down, and I was like, 'What the heck?' He had me beat. At the end of the day, it was a great race for him and a good race for me and it's just the nature of the sport, I guess."
Later in the day, Monarch went 1-2-3 in the 1,600, with Charlie Perry and Zach Litoff finishing second and third, respectively. It was the same order for Monarch's 1-2-3 finish in the 3,200 on Saturday. Litoff added a fifth-place finish in the 800, and Nico Heineke gave Monarch a shot at the team title with an impressive fourth-place finish in the discus.
Despite coming up short of the team title, Green said the Coyotes should enjoy the best finish ever for Monarch.
"We wish we could have got first, but we're not blind to the fact that we were able to pull something off that was pretty special," he said.
For the Monarch girls, Holy Bent was fifth and Audrey Lookner eighth in the 1,600 meters; Mia Manson was eighth in the 100; and the Coyotes were eighth in the 400 relay. The Coyotes finished eighth in the team standings.