Emma Schaefer, of Shining Mountain, wins the 1A 1600 meters during the Colorado State Track and Field Championships on Saturday in Lakewood.
Emma Schaefer, of Shining Mountain, wins the 1A 1600 meters during the Colorado State Track and Field Championships on Saturday in Lakewood. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

LAKEWOOD — Shining Mountain senior Emma Schaefer finished her outstanding prep career on a high note Saturday and in doing so helped guide the Lions girls to a Class 1A track and field state championship.

After winning the 1A girls 3,200 title on Friday, Schaefer won a soggy 1,600-meter race during Saturday's final day of the state championships with a time of 5 minutes, 29.48 seconds. In both events, she defended her titles from 2017 and Schaefer will leave Shining Mountain with four career championships.

On the strength of a solid team effort throughout the three-day state meet, Schaefer will also graduate having won a team title.

"I'm really excited with how the 1,600 turned out," Schaefer said. "I just went into the race feeling really excited and I loved the rain. That really helped me because I love running in the cold and the rain just made it even more memorable and I just wanted to run by feel. The whole time, I felt like I was just enjoying it."

In the same 1,600 finals on Saturday, Shining Mountain junior Abby Leuchten placed fourth with a time of 5:48.04 and freshman Olivia Jabari placed fifth with a time of 5:48.56. Placing multiple girls on the podium in each of the distance events was a theme for the Lions all weekend, and that scoring depth was the primary reason they were able to lock up the team title with several events yet to be completed.


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Once the team points became official after all 19 events had concluded, the Lions finished with 94 points, 29 points ahead of runner-up Springfield. It was the Shining Mountain girls' first state championship since the Lions won back-to-back team titles in 2013 and 2014.

"All of my teammates did such a good job executing their plan and scoring points," Schaefer said. "It's been a goal of ours throughout the season and it's extra special for me as a senior. It's a great showcase of how hard everyone has worked this season and how amazing our team is because we don't just focus on racing. We support each other and it's more about creating a place where everyone can feel like they belong and not just focusing on going out and getting this time or that place. It's about so much more than running and jumping."

Also on Saturday, Shining Mountain freshman Tess Leuchten placed fourth in the 1A girls 100-meter dash with a time of 13.30 seconds and fourth in the 200 with a time of 27.25. The Lions 1,600-meter relay team - Frances Hillard, Grace Remmert, Tess Leuchten and Bodhi Mills - placed seventh with a time of 4:36.01.

Peak to Peak’s Quinn McConnell, right, hugs teammate Tiana Bradfield after finishing the CHSAA State Track and Field Championships on Saturday at
Peak to Peak's Quinn McConnell, right, hugs teammate Tiana Bradfield after finishing the CHSAA State Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

On the boys side, Lions sophomore Ethan Pineda placed fifth in the pole vault, clearing 10 feet, 9 inches.

Lyons boys, girls place second

As usual, Lyons made a run at the Class 2A team titles, but the Lions came up a bit short, finishing second in both the boys and girls standings.

The boys tied for second with Cedaredge, with 58 points. They finished just five points behind Resurrection Christian.

A pair of disappointments in relays - a dropped baton that led to a disqualification in the prelims of the 400 relay and a 10th-place finish in the 1,600 relay that kept them out of finals - will haunt the Lions going forward. Lyons was seeded top three in both relays coming into state.

Despite that, the Lions battled on Saturday, led by third-place finishes from Nate Christy in the 110 hurdles, Ethan Burton in the 400 and Isaac Roberts in the 1,600. Field Soosloff added a ninth-place finish in the 1,600.

Roberts called it a "so-so" meet for himself and the Lions, but said, "We'll come back next year and try to win."

The girls finished with 64 points, 11.5 behind champion Highland.

On Saturday, sophomore Charlotte Rogers placed eighth in the 300 hurdles, ninth in the 100 hurdles and helped the Lions to a third-place finish in the 1,600-meter relay.

Senior Bianca Mesagno added a sixth-place finish in the triple jump, while senior Ixchel Leeuwenburgh was seventh in the discus. The Lions also had a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter relay.

No individual titles, but Peak to Peak girls show well in distance events

In each of the past two seasons, the Peak to Peak girls have had at least one individual state champion in the 3A distance events at the Colorado track and field state championships.

The Pumas didn't win any individual titles in 2018. But they did, as usual, flood the podium.

In the 1,600 on Saturday, the Pumas' dominant trio of juniors Tiana Bradfield, Anna Shults and Quinn McConnell finished second, third and fourth, respectively. Bradfield recorded a time of 5:07.67, Shults finished in 5:07.72 and McConnell crossed the finish line in 5:09.11.

Later that day in one of the final events of the meet, the Pumas took ninth in the 1,600-meter relay. The Pumas defended their state title in the 3,200-meter relay on Friday.

Big crossover day for Jefferson Academy ends on track podium

On the final day of the track and field state championships, the Jefferson Academy girls soccer team defeated Aspen by a score of 1-0 to advance to the 3A state title game on Tuesday.

Two players who played in that game - Mira Houck and Lily Thimsen - had to rush across Denver to compete in the 3A girls 1,600-meter finals. Teaming with Kaitlyn Thimsen and Rebecka Ballard, the Jaguars placed seventh with a time of 52.23 seconds. Also on Saturday, Ballard solidified herself as the best female sprinter in the school's short history by placing fifth in the 3A girls 100-meter dash with a time of 12.63 seconds.

For the Jefferson Academy boys, senior Ryan Lehmuth placed seventh in the 1,600 with a time of 4:29.68.

Gallagher one of many Holy Family athletes to medal

On the final day of her prep career, Holy Family senior Jody Gallagher placed sixth in the 3A girls shot put. Her best mark of the day was 34 feet, 3 inches. Teammate and fellow senior Sydney Pittenger place seventh with a throw of 34-2.25.

For the Holy Family boys, the 1,600-meter relay team - Elijah Amundsen, Braden Bartlett, Paxton Dalton and Rasce Engelhardt - left Jefferson County Stadium with fifth-place medals after running a time of 3:28.10.

Nederland's dynamic duo finishes strong

Nederland sophomore Helen Cross and senior Sarah Davidson placed first and third, respectively, at the 2A cross country state championships in the fall and spent the 2018 track and field state championships finishing similarly close to one another in the 1A girls distance events all weekend.

In the 1,600 on Saturday, Davidson placed fifth with a time of 5:33.00 and Cross finished sixth in 5:33.88.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi