Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
LONGMONT — It’s no secret that Niwot track and field is the team to beat in Colorado, both in Class 4A and during the regular-season meets. It’s been like that for quite some time now.
On Saturday at the St. Vrain RE-1J District meet at Longmont High School, the Cougars proved that point once again as they earned top-three finishes in all but seven boys and girls events. Niwot’s boys easily ran away with the competition with 230 points as Erie (150) and Mead (95.5) followed right behind.
The Cougars girls scored 276, once again ahead of Erie (171) and Mead (96).
Among all of Niwot’s all-stars, Nick Stade stood out. The junior utility man won the 110-meter hurdles (16.46 seconds), the 300 hurdles (41.73), the long jump (19 feet, 0.75 inches) and claimed silver in the triple jump (38-4).
“My favorite (event) would probably have to be the 300 hurdles right now,” Stade said. “It’s a little bit more frantic than the 110s, but I think it does complement everything else like long jump and triple jump because you have to gauge how many steps you have before the next hurdle and you have to run into it well and keep your hips up, do the hurdles well.”
The girls relay teams also ran away with the gold in every single event. Kimora Northrup leapt her way to two victories as she cleaned up the 100 hurdles (14.67) and the 300 hurdles (44.04) with relative ease. Taylor James, generally a distance runner, showcased her versatility on the track with first-place marks in both the 200 (25.53) and the 400 (56.90).
Stade said he believes the girls team is the best Niwot has ever seen. That’s saying something.
Even with 4A Colorado’s best team on the track and in the field events, Erie and Mead still held their own quite well.
Erie enjoyed a large number of top-three finishers from its athletes, including a good amount of outright wins from Lily Meskers (100, 12.98), Mason Cowgill (discus, 118-9), Marco Martinez (high jump, 5-7), Heidi Warlock (pole vault, 8-9), John Pastore (shot put, 44-9.50) and Evan Kraus (3,200-meter run, 9:50.41).
Meskers, a junior, also demonstrated her quick legs in the 200 (second, 26.10) and the 400 (second, 59.44). Though the 2021 season is still young — especially in light of the canceled 2020 season — she believes Erie has the skills it needs to go the distance and reach new heights.
At top speed, of course.
“I think we’re going to hold our own pretty well,” Meskers said. “We have a strong team. As long as our mindset and our hearts are there, the natural talent is going to be there. I think we stack up pretty well and I think we’re going to have a pretty good shot at state this year.”
Mead, likewise, brought out some of its best athletes to take on the tough competition, even though the Mavericks had competed in a different meet just a day earlier. Junior Quin Dukes came tantalizingly close to break his personal record en route to winning pole vault, and a few of the ladies did break their own records.
“I was happy with my performance,” Dukes said. “I cleared my starting height and the height after, then we put the bar up to 13-7, which would be a PR by an inch. Unfortunately, I was unable to clear the new height. This performance doesn’t compare to the rest of the season. I am hoping to jump much higher in the coming meets. Hopefully, I can jump my goal of 14 feet before the end of my junior year.”
Mead also saw gold-standard finishes from the boys 3,200 relay (8:33.06), Frances Hudson (girls 800, 2:31.17) and Addison Babcock (girls high jump, 4-11).
Other notable performances:
Frederick: boys 800-meter relay (second, 1:35.25), girls 400-meter relay (third, 55.44), Gracie Wilts (high jump, third, 4-03.00), boys 1,600-meter relay (third, 3:37.75), girls 800-meter sprint medley relay (third, 2:07.48).
Longmont: Bodhi Governson (pole vault, third, 8-10.00), Lydia Nichols (shot put, first, 33-07), boys 400-meter relay (third, 48.33), girls 1,600-meter relay (third, 4:42.75).
Lyons: boys 400-meter relay (first, 47.15), Josie Gaines (long jump, first,15-09.00; 100, third, 13.15; pole vault, third, 7-09.00), Camden Adams (pole vault, second, 11-04.00), Gemma Powell (discus, first, 33-07; shot put, second, 30-09.00), boys 3,200-meter relay (third, 9:17.26), Miles Dumbauld (110 hurdles, third, 19.15).
Skyline: Andrew Muncy (100, first, 11.37), boys 800-meter relay (first, 1:34.28), Soren Gulsrud (400, first, 51.39), boys 1,600-meter relay (second, 3:30.91).
Twin Peaks: Giorgio Spensieri (400, second, 51.79; 200, second, 23.38).