LONGMONT — The two-time defending 4A state champion Niwot girls track and field team is taking a different approach in its quest for a third straight 4A team title in 2015.
Knowing the team likely won’t get a 30-plus-point scoring efforts from any one individual this season, the Cougars have spent the season practicing how to scratch and claw for every point they can up and down their deep lineup.
With its ability to spread the scoring around on full display Tuesday, the Niwot girls track and field team scratched out an overall team championship at the Boulder County Track Championships. The Cougars’ depth of talent most evident during the 100-meter hurdles, an event in which sophomore Alexis Carroll, freshman Mackenzie Fidelak and junior Kela Fetters placed first, second and third, respectively.
“We gained some really good freshmen and a lot of people have improved a lot from last year to this year,” Carroll said. “So we’re really confident. It’s a big competition right now between us and Thompson Valley and Mountain View, who are really good and they’re out to beat us. We’re all just going to have to push hard.”
Carroll finished the 100-meter hurdles race in 15.60 seconds, Fidelak finished 15.70 seconds and Fetters, who also won the 300 hurdles in 45.03 seconds, finished in 16.11 seconds.
Only a partial member of the varsity team in 2014, Carroll was proud to have helped the Niwot girls win their sixth consecutive Boulder County team title with 155 team points in 2015.
“I’ve been working really hard and my biggest thing was to beat my other two teammates, who are very, very good,” Carroll said. “The main reason I was able to win is because they push me. Last year as a freshman, I didn’t get to do the BoCo, I just did a couple varsity meet. So I feel like I’ve really improved a lot.”
Rounding out the event was a surprise placement from Niwot freshman Sophia Grant, who placed eighth in 17.46 seconds to score one team point for her squad.
“That was kind of awesome,” Niwot head coach Maurice Henriques said. “I wasn’t even expecting that. She came out of the slower heat, too, so that was huge.”
Niwot’s Rachel Sharpe, who took first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.26 seconds, won the girls Most Valuable Athlete award for being the highest point-scoring female athlete at the Boulder County Invitational.
Finishing in second with 104 team points, the Longmont girls received a huge boost from sophomore Shiloh Berger, who won the triple jump with a mark of 36 feet, 4.25 inches.
“We’ve been working on my second phase and that worked well for me today,” Berger said. “I’ve never jumped in the 35s and my first jump was 36-4.25, so that was great. That’s a two-foot PR.”
Longmont’s Keely Parish, who is ranked top 10 nationally in the discus, won both the discus (139-10) and the shot put (37-03). Longmont (Kayla Waterman, Keturah Jones, Mallory Page and Leah Foster) also won the girls 800-meter relay in 1:47.36
Led by boys Most Valuable Athlete Conlan Berger, the Longmont boys won the team title for the first time since 2011 with a total of 128.5 points. Berger won both the long jump (21-03.5) and the triple jump (43-05). Longmont’s Sean Glenn won the shot put (43.02) and the Trojans’ 800-meter relay team (Ethan Gabrielle, Logan Goodner, David Speidel and Trevor Cook) won with a time of 1:30.59.
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