LAKEWOOD — Despite his misleading surname, Monarch High School’s Andrew Barlow doesn’t ever set the bar low when it comes to the pole vault. On Saturday’s final day of the state tournament, he nearly set a new standard for Colorado prep track and field.
Much like he did as a junior last season, Barlow locked up the Class 5A boys pole vault title quickly and convincingly and went on to stage his own personal challenge against the bar at Jefferson County Stadium. This year, a jump of 16 feet, 8.5 inches won Barlow the state title by over a foot. This year, it was the 29-year old state meet record he went after as a bonus.
Barlow didn’t quite get the record as a senior. But he’s not the type to be overly disappointed in falling short of such a monumental achievement. Headed to Cornell next year, Barlow set out to enjoy his senior season at Monarch as much as possible while repeating as state champion.
“Senior year it’s about jumping high, but you’re also just trying to have some fun before you go off to college,” Barlow said. “I got to jump with my friends and have lots of support to get PRs so it was a fun season. It’s about taking it seriously but not letting it get you angry if you have a bad day. You just have to get it next time.”
Barlow won the state title and cleared 16 feet as a junior in 2014. Saturday’s jump of 16-8.5 was a personal best height and once again vaulted him into rare air among the best all-time in the state of Colorado. Aurora Central alumnus Pat Manson set both the Colorado prep record (17-7.5) and the state meet record (17-3) in 1986, long before Barlow was born.
“It’s always a good day when you get a PR,” Barlow said. “Seeing the bar that high is definitely a bit nerve-wracking but I got on some bigger poles today so that made me pretty confident that I could have made it and that it’ll come in the future.”
While Barlow wrapped up his prep track career, sophomore teammate Isaac Green may have kicked off what could be the start of a dynastic several years to come.
A day after taking second in the 800-meter run, Green won the 1,600-meter title with at time of 4 minutes, 19.56 seconds. Green ran a strategic race, kicking in the final lap to pass Chaparral’s Dominic Compoz for the lead and his first state title.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet but I’m just so happy,” Green said. “It’s really humbling because I’m running against such good guys. Athletically, they’re amazing, and they’re even better guys. To be able to like everybody you’re running against and to be able to win on top of that, it’s just amazing.”
Led by Barlow and Green, the Monarch boys placed ninth in the 5A team scoring. The Monarch girls team placed fifth.
In the final 5A event of the three-day meet, Monarch’s Chloe Bernard, Karina Mann, Paige Overcash and Elissa Mann took sixth in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 3:55.79.
“We put our hearts out there because it was our last time racing with this team together,” Elissa Mann said. “Also, we had huge aspirations. We came a little short of that in finals but I couldn’t be more proud of our team.”
Elissa Mann, a senior, and her twin sister Karina Mann, both of whom will run for the University of Colorado next year, ran the 1,600 just 45 minutes prior to the final relay. Elissa Mann placed sixth in 5:09.69 and Karina Mann placed 16th in 5:20.87. Teammate Holly Bent placed seventh in 5:09.70.
Monarch junior Georgia Reis cleared 9-06 in the 5A girls pole vault to finish in a tie for 12th place.
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