LAKEWOOD — Moving up a classification was tough on the Holy Family High School track and field program this year.
While in Class 3A last year, Holy Family took a bus load of athletes to the track and field state championships. This year, having moved up to Class 4A for the first year, the team qualified just two individuals.
Those two individuals — senior Ryan Younggreen and freshman Payton Corah — had mixed experiences at the new level. Younggreen, a two-time 110-meter hurdles champion in 3A, settled for a runner-up finish in the 4A 110-meter hurdles and a sixth-place finish in the 300 hurdles.
“Thursday and Friday’s prelims were good,” Younggreen said. “I got a little beat up in the 110s this morning and I should have been smarter in the 300. I came out running a 13-step pace when I normally do 15. I got caught at 14 and destroyed one of the hurdles. Not the best way to end my high school career but I’ll be much better at Wyoming, I promise that.”
Younggreen finished the 110-meter race in 14.47 seconds and crossed the finish line in 39.14 seconds during the 300-meter race.
“He was a state champion two years in a row and moving up a classification, we knew things were going to be harder,” Holy Family head coach Steve Blair said. “But second place moving up a classification is really awesome. I understand his frustration but he still did a great job.”
Also surprisingly, but in the most positive of ways, freshman Payton Corah made her way to the podium in her state championship debut.
In the same 400-meter race in which Lewis-Palmer’s Nicole Montgomery set a new state meet record, Corah placed ninth with a time of 58.18 seconds. Though she had been dropping time dramatically all season, Corah still ended the season teetering on the state cut line. She ended up making it in and she made it count.
“We were ecstatic that she made the state meet at all,” Blair said. “She was sitting at 21st and some people didn’t sign up for the 400 or whatever happened. Then, we were really ecstatic when she made the finals, running 58.18 in the prelims. She also broke our school record this season. No one had ever gone under 60 before. I won’t say we weren’t expecting it because we saw how much she improved. We’re just really excited.”
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