Niwot’s Cruz Culpepper, right, was the favorite to win the 1,600 on Saturday, but finished in third place.
Niwot's Cruz Culpepper, right, was the favorite to win the 1,600 on Saturday, but finished in third place. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

LAKEWOOD — Abbey Glynn didn't necessarily coming into the state track and field meet looking for titles.

The Mead junior had her eye on one particular opponent: Niwot's Mary Gillett.

"My goal is always to beat Mary," Glynn said of the Niwot senior that has set the standard in St. Vrain Valley track and field in recent years. "I did it this time and it feels amazing. She's a good friend, but it still feels good to beat her."

Glynn capped an impressive performance at the Class 4A state meet on Saturday at Jefferson County Stadium with second-place finishes in the 400 meters and 300-meter hurdles. She beat Gillett in both races.

Glynn also helped the Mavericks win the 800-meter sprint medley on Friday and led them to a fifth-place finish in the 1,600-meter relay on Saturday.

With a year to go, Glynn has already won 10 medals (top nine) at state, including six in individual events.

"It gives me a lot of confidence," she said. "Especially each year moving up on the podium, it's nice. Hopefully next year I can move up, too."

On the boys side for Mead, Hunter Payne placed fourth in the 400 meters, and Justin McDaniel was seventh in the 1,600 meters.

Better days ahead for Culpepper

Niwot sophomore Cruz Culpepper burst onto the scene this year and got a big win in the 1,600 meters at the Arcadia Invitational in Los Angeles in April.

Given his results late this season, Culpepper had a disappointing state meet. One of the favorites in Friday's Class 4A boys 800, he fell during the race and finished last. He was the favorite to win the 1,600 on Saturday, but finished third, in 4:20.18.


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"I was disappointed after the 800 and I didn't have a great day today, but it was solid," he said. "I just didn't have the closing speed I normally do. I know everyone had to deal with the cold, but immediately after the first lap, I just felt tightening up. You can't control that, though."

Better days are surely ahead for Culpepper, however, and he said he'll use this weekend as a learning experience.

"I think it was a good first real state experience, since I'm doing open events this year," he said. "I'm super excited (for the future) because I'm really not training that hard (now), and I have so much room for improvement."

In addition to Culpepper, the Niwot boys won two other medals on Saturday. In the 400 meters, Emrik Wells placed seventh. Later in the day, the Cougars posted a fourth-place finish in the 1,600 relay.

Promising warm-up doesn't transfer to finals for Carlson

While warming up for the 4A boys discus in less-than-ideal conditions, Skyline senior Henry Carlson felt pretty good about where his throws were heading into finals. But once the finals started, the throws just weren't there.

Despite entering the event seeded third, Carlson ended up in ninth place with a mark of 142 feet, 10 inches.

"It went kind of poorly for me," Carlson said. "I was throwing better in warm-ups than I did in the actual competition. I was throwing like 150s in warm-ups but then I threw only 140 when it counted."

Notable

Centaurus junior Charley Sagrillo finished sixth in the 4A boys 110-meter hurdles, with a season-best time of 15.03 seconds. ... Longmont took home a pair of medals on Saturday, as the boys were seventh in the 4A 1,600-meter relay, and the girls placed eighth in the 400-meter relay. ... Erie junior Nicole Schubert placed sixth in the 4A girls pole vault, with a jump of 10 feet.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33