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Track and field: Longmont’s Eddie Kurjak crushes Class 4A high jump

Senior achieves season goal, clears 7 feet

  • Longmont's Eddie Kurjak wins the 4A high jump with a height of 7-feet during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont's Eddie Kurjak celebrates the 4A record high jump with a height of 7-feet during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont's Eddie Kurjak wins the 4A high jump with a height of 7-feet during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Longmont's Eddie Kurjak celebrates the 4A record high jump with a height of 7-feet during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021.

  • Niwot's Margaret Gillett, left, runs to hug teammate, Kimora Northrup, after the Cougars set the 4A record in the 4 X 200 meter relay during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot's Margaret Gillett, left, runs to hug teammate, Kimora Northrup, after the Cougars set the 4A record in the 4 X 200 meter relay during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021.

  • Niwot's Margaret Gillett, left, hugs teammate, Kimora Northrup, after the Cougars set the 4A record in the 4 X 200 meter relay during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Taylor James pulls away as her team wins the 4 X 200 meter relay in record time during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Taylor James looks at the record setting time on the scoreboard as her team wins the 4 X 200 meter relay during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont's Sally Marshall runs in the 4A 4 X 200 relay during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Stella Vieth finishes her team's win in the 800 meter medley relay during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Peak to Peak's Allison Beasley wins the 3A 3200 meter run during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021.

  • Longmont's Eddie Kurjak celebrates the 4A record high jump with a height of 7-feet during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont's Eddie Kurjak hugs his mother, Amanda Kurjak, after winning the 4A state high jump during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Erie's Quentin Hartel finishes his team's 4 X 200 meter relay win during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Katie Carroll, right, takes off after the exchange with Kimora Northrup in the 4 X 200 during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Katie Carroll, right, takes off after the exchange with Kimora Northrup in the 4 X 200 relay during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont, left, finished second, and Niwot, first, in the 800 meter medley relay during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Jefferson Academy's Aaliyah Robinson wins the 3A long jump during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Jefferson Academy's Aaliyah Robinson wins the 3A long jump during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021.

  • Fairview's Aidan Christiansen in the 5A long jump during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Fairview's Aidan Christiansen in the 5A long jump during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Preston Fagerlin, of Resurrection Christian runs in the 800 meters during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Zane Bergen wins the 4A 800 meters during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Zane Bergen wins the 4A 800 meters during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Madison Shults (1) wins the 4A 800 meters during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot's Madison Shults (1) wins the 4A 800 meters during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 25, 2021.

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LAKEWOOD — Eddie Kurjak raised his hands above his head to lead thousands of state track and field fans in a slow clap.

The Longmont senior had already broken the Class 4A state meet record in the high jump with an incredible 7-foot leap, and he drew from the Jeffco Stadium crowd’s energy as he powered up for three more attempts at 7 feet, 2 inches.

He hit the bar on each of those tries, but he still knocked off the former mark to beat — a 6-11 leap by Colt Sessions in 2013 — en route to winning the gold. It was the first time he’s ever cleared 7 feet.

This go-round, the timing was just right.

“It is unreal,” Kurjak said. “When just all around you, 360 (degrees), everyone’s watching, everyone’s clapping, that’s one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever felt. It was awesome.”

Now, as he moves forward from his high school career and into college, he’ll look to achieve the height he couldn’t on Friday.

“I think I’ve attempted (7 feet) probably five times this season and I’ve been pretty close, so I knew I had it in me,” he said. “It’s the most relieving thing to finally have an attempt at 7-foot and just not touch it. … A lot of the jump is timing, so I’m glad I could put it all together.”

He wasn’t the only Longmont High athlete to make his school proud during the second day of the state track and field championships.

Junior Connor McCormick wasn’t prepared to place fourth in the 800-meter run. He knew he still had some juice in him.

He closed part of the large gap behind frontrunner Zane Bergen of Niwot before crossing the finish line.

“Coming around the corner, with about 150 (meters) left, I was like, ‘I have some left in the tank. I could definitely try to come up and pass these two guys,’” McCormick said. “When I came around the corner, I was just like, ‘Give it all you got. You have nothing to save for. It’s time to go.’ And I just started sprinting.”

First, he passed up George Washington’s Charley Welch, then Niwot’s Grayden Rauba. He crossed the line for a photo-finish at second place to defeat those two by 0.08 seconds and 0.2 seconds, respectively. He took home his silver with a time of 1:53.32.

“Second sounds a lot better than fourth,” he said.

The Longmont girls 800 sprint medley team, likewise, put on a show for runner-up accolades. The compilation of Sally Marshall, Megan Leick, Christine D’Epagnier and Ella Pears tracked just three seconds behind Niwot’s star-studded squad but beat out Palmer Ridge by just 0.51 seconds. They finished at 1:49.31.

“We were super excited about the medley, of course,” senior Marshall said. “We wanted to win and I think Niwot switched out a few girls. I mean, what can you say, but we got second and I was really excited. Our 400 leg runner came out really hard and she passed all five (competitors), but the Niwot runners, they know what they’re doing, so (Niwot’s Stella Vieth) came back with it. It was a close race, it was really exciting and it was fun to run.”

Longmont also saw podium finishes from the boys 800 relay (seventh place, 1:32.61) and the girls 800 relay (eighth-place, 1:49.72) to cap off the Trojans’ banner day.