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Cochi: Niwot’s Manzanares among area’s top track athletes

Niwot’s Dillon Manzanares took second in the pole vault at last year’s 4A state track meet. At Saturday’s RE-1J track meet, he got a good look at who he’ll have to beat to get first.

Manzanares didn’t do his best in the pole vault on Saturday, jumping 14 feet, which is a foot under is personal best. He finished third behind Longmont’s Steven Wacker, whose 15-foot, 7-inch jump set new meet and Everly-Montgomery Field records.

Longmont’s Derek Wing also went higher than Manzanares, jumping 14-6.

As eye-opening the season opener was in the pole vault, his best event, Manzanares did some eye-opening of his own in the sprints.

The Cougars senior finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.26. His time would have broken the meet record had defnding 3A state champ Alex Mead not beaten him with an 11.12.

“Alex Mead is a really good competitor,” Manzanares said. “To be right there with him in the 100 was really nice. It felt good to be up there.”

Manzanares’ 23.09-second run also took third in the 200-meter dash behind Mead and Skyline’s Trey Harrison. With his season goals set — 16-6 in the pole vault, 10.7 in the 100 and somewhere around 22 seconds in the the 200 — Manzanares is proving early that he could compete with the state’s best in several events this season.

“We haven’t really done any sprint work so far, we’ve just been building endurance,” Manzanares said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to pass people like Alex Mead, or Trey Harrison in the 200. It’s lining up to be a pretty good season.”