Track & field: Broomfield’s Penrose shatters BoCo 300-meter hurdles meet record

Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Silver Creek’s Abigail Gray clears the bar in the pole vault on Thursday.

LONGMONT — Broomfield junior Johnathan Penrose knew he had the potential to be standing atop the podium at the 2015 Boulder County Track Championships. He did not, however, let himself believe his name would follow the words “new meet record” on Tuesday.

But the unexpected happened.

At Longmont High School’s Everly-Montgomery Field, Penrose won the 300-meter hurdles race in 38.48 seconds, barely breaking Longmont High graduate Braden Hitchcock’s record of 38.49 set in 2012. 

“I’m in disbelief, actually,” Penrose said. “I’ve just been working really hard. I knew I had it in me and I just wanted to do my best. It’s a huge PR so I’m really happy about that.”

Hitchcock’s younger brother Ethan Hitchcock placed second behind Penrose on Tuesday.

Penrose’s previous personal record in the 300 hurdles was 39.11 seconds, which he set at the Broomfield Shootout two weeks prior to the Boulder County Track Championships. Tuesday didn’t feel like a personal-best kind of day for Penrose after he fell hard in the 100-meter hurdles earlier in the day.

“Mentally, I just had to overcome that,” Penrose said. “I wasn’t going to let it affect me. We had a great four-by-one today that I was lucky enough to be a part of and I just stayed loose and went out and had a great 300-meter hurdles race.”

Also for Broomfield, which finished second to Longmont in the boys team scoring, junior sprinter and statewide 200-meter dash runner-up Jordan Xiong won the 200-meter dash in 22.33 seconds. Eamon White won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.99 seconds and the Eagles’ 400-meter relay team (White, Penrose, Xiong and Dalton Ill) won with a time of 42.92 seconds.

What’s in a name?

Despite having a ridiculous name for a pole vaulter, especially a good one, Monarch’s Andrew Barlow is one of the best in the nation. Even when he’s not having his best day and conditions aren’t ideal, both of which were true on Tuesday, Barlow is still bound to make something exciting happen.

At the Boulder County Track Championships, Barlow set a meet record by clearing 15 feet, 9 inches. While that’s well short of the state-leading 16-6.5 he cleared at the Longmont Invitational on March 28, Barlow was still happy to have the record, which has stood since Longmont’s Jeremy Guck cleared 15-7.75 in 1991.

“I’m very happy I got the meet record,” said Barlow, who recently signed to compete at Cornell next season. “I got on a bigger pole, too, so I was happy about that. I wanted to jump a little bit higher today but it’ll come next week so I’m not that worried.”

Nerves not a problem for Newman

Running open 100-meter dashes is a relatively new responsibility for Erie’s Kyleen Newman, who was a staple on the Tigers’ relays last season. She gets nervous out there on the track by herself.

Getting as nervous as she was before the 100-meter dash at the 2015 Boulder County Track Championships may have actually helped Newman win the race with a time of 12.37 seconds.

“I was really nervous before so I think the adrenaline helped a lot,” Newman said. “I always get nervous before races, so I guess it’s my thing.”

Silver Creek’s high-flying freshmen

Freshmen Rylee Anderson and Abigail Gray are right at home flying through the air, contorting their bodies to avoid obstacles.

On Tuesday, Anderson cleared 5 feet, 5 inches to win the high jump and Gray cleared 10 feet, 9 inches to win the pole vault. Gray, whose latest mark puts her 11th in the state, nearly set a Silver Creek High School record but narrowly missed clearing 11 feet, 1 inch.

“I was so close to 11,” Gray said. “My PR was 10-07 so I really just wanted to hit that extra few inches. I wish I got the school record but I’m really happy with that jump.”

What a difference a year makes

The first 400-meter dash Fairview’s Calvin Munson ever ran was at the 2014 Boulder County Track Championships, almost exactly one year ago.

One year later, Munson returned to win the even in 50.16 seconds.

“This was a fun meet for me because at this meet last year, I ran my first open 400,” Munson said. “So, it’s fun to see how far I’ve come in a year.”

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