Girls track and field: Niwot’s Mary Gillett repeats as Athlete of the Year

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Niwot's Mary Gillett competes in the 400 during the state meet on May 19.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Niwot's Mary Gillett races to the finish of the 100 meter dash during the state meet on May 19.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Mary Gillett, right, and her sister Elise at the state track meet on May 18.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Niwot's Mary Gillett wins the 300 hurdles prelims at state track on May 18.



NIWOT – The Niwot girls track and field team amassed one of the highest point totals ever for a runner-up team at this year’s state championships largely due to the dynamic efforts of senior Mary Gillett.

On the final day of the state meet, Gillett placed top four in the 100, 200, 400 and 300-meter hurdles races at Jefferson County Stadium, and did it all in the span of three and a half hours. She leveraged her chances of defending her Class 4A state titles in the 200 and 400 to score 28 of her team’s 114 total points.

Before she heads off to continue her career at Stanford University, Gillett repeated as Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year for the 2018 season.

“Looking back, it was so hard but I’m glad that I did it and that I stepped up for my team,” Gillett said her epic final day of prep track. “I think that was our best shot at a team title and I’m happy that I was able to score some points. It was honestly a great season. I didn’t really reach all of my personal time goals in all of my events but it was a great season for the team so it was good.”

Gillett placed second in the 100 with a time of 12.21 seconds, third in the 400 with a time of 56.53, third in the 200 with a time of 25.18 and second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 44.97. Even with Gillett leading the Cougars to a 114-point scoring output, which would have been enough to win the team title at any of the past 20 state meets, Niwot still finished second to Valor Christian’s incredible 151.5.

“At the end of the day, we didn’t have as many potential points as Valor did but I think we maximized our potential,” Gillett said. “We just have to take our hats off to them and our girls will try to get it next year.”

At Stanford, Gillett will follow in the footsteps of former Niwot great Elise Cranny, who still holds the 4A state meet records in both the 800 and 3,200. Gillett plans to focus on the 200 and 400 to start her collegiate career.

Wherever the next phases of her track career take her, Gillett certainly left a lasting impression on Niwot head coach Maurice Henriques, who is no stranger to coaching incredibly talented athletes.

“With Mary, it was always about the team,” Henriques said. “She’s a kiddo that didn’t start off great and she just stayed humble. She’s now great at track but she’s still just a great person. We had a conversation that she would have to give up something in her events, being the defending state champ in the 200 and 400, if we were going to score as many points as we could. She’s one of the girls that I’ll always miss and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye because of what she’s meant to this team.

“We’ve had some great girls come through here and she’ll go down as one of the best we’ve ever had. She’s the total package.”

Brad Cochi: or