LAKEWOOD – Few athletes in Colorado track and field history have elevated their abilities to the point where winning state titles is nearly a formality and that milestone has been replaced by the pursuit of long-standing records.
That’s the type of rarified air Monarch pole vaulter Max Manson has reached.
The Coyotes senior entered the 2019 track and field state championships at Jefferson County Stadium already as the state meet record-holder. He earned that distinction when he cleared 17 feet, 3.5 inches to snatch the record from where it had rested in his father Pat Manson’s hands since 1986. Max Manson’s goal in his final state meet was to relieve his father of the Colorado prep record, which the Aurora Central alumnus also set back in ‘86.
Max Manson couldn’t quite claim the second of his father’s records by the end of the Class 5A boys pole vault on Saturday. He instead settled for a mark of 16 feet, 8 inches and his second state championship, which is kind of a funny thing to say. Above all else, and given the astronomical expectations Max’s talent has set for him, he made sure to take time to enjoy the moment.
“You know, I was hoping to get the bar up a little higher and take a couple shots at the record but it just wasn’t there today,” Manson said. “I had a couple unlucky jumps and some tough luck with the wind. But it was still fun. It was a great day and it’s always a good time to come down here and vault.”
Also in the 5A boys pole vault, Boulder’s Dylan Rodgers, who placed seventh as a junior last spring, cleared 14-6 to finish runner-up to Manson. Broomfield senior Samuel Godwin, who was fourth in 2018, tied for third after clearing 14 feet. Monarch’s Matthew Chen cleared 13-6 to place ninth. Fairview’s Will Chiang (13-6) and Leo Sundstrom (13-0) placed 12th and 13th, respectively.
In the 5A girls pole vault, two-time defending champion Mia Manson won her third straight title by clearing 12 feet. Though the winning height was well off her personal best, the Coyotes junior said she was reinvigorated by the fact that she did not enter the event as the top overall seed.
“It’s been kind of a tough season for me because I’ve been working through some stuff,” Mia said. “Going into state today, I had a couple girls who were close to my height so I knew it was going to be a good competition. I just came in with an open mind and ready to jump, excited to jump. It turned out to be a great day.”
Monarch junior Melanie Roberts cleared 9-3 to place 14th.