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Track and field: Broomfield’s Lilly Nichols claims 5A pole vault title

Fariview’s Sophie Pierce and Olivia Kosanovich finish second and third

  • Niwot's Taylor James wins the 4A 200 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Taylor James wins the 4A 400 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Lilly Nichols wins the 5A pole vault during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Peak to Peak's Aidan Graziano, right, wins the 3A 110 meter hurdles during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Peak to Peak's Aidan Graziano, right, wins the 3A 110 meter hurdles during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)

  • Peak to Peak's Aidan Graziano wins the 3A 110 meter hurdles during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Rain during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Fairview's Sophie Pierce in the 5A pole vault during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Holy Family's Skylar Hawk wins the 3A300 meter hurdles during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Taylor James wins the 4A 200 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Rain was the name of the game during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot's Taylor James closes out another relay win during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021.

  • Fairview's Olivia Kosanovich in the 5A pole vault during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Frederick's Ryan Chacon wins the 3A 400 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021.

  • Longmont's Eddie Kurjak wins the 4A triple jump during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Margaret Gillett, right, hugs Taylor James after setting a relay record in the 4 X 100 during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Margaret Gillett, right, hugs Taylor James after the team set a relay record in the 4 X 100 during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Julia Rudolph, left, hugs her teammate, Taylor James, after the 400 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Katie Carroll jumps in the 4A triple jump during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont's Eddie Kurjak wins the 4A triple jump during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Fairview's Will Chiang in the 5A pole vault during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Fairview's Leo Sundstrom in the 5A pole vault during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont's Sally Marshall competes in the triple jump during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Monarch's Timo Heine competes in the pole vault during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Taylor James wins the 4A 400 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Holy Family's Skylar Hawk runs in the 3A 400 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021.

  • Niwot's Kimora Northrup competes in the 100 meter hurdles during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Hallie Williams, of Jefferson Academy, in the 100 meter hurdles during the second day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Fairview's Sophie Pierce in the 5A pole vault during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont's Eddie Kurjak wins the 4A triple jump during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Lilly Nichols wins the 5A pole vault during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Fairview's Olivia Kosanovich in the 5A pole vault during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Niwot's Zane Bergen (2) wins the 4A 1600 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Niwot's Zane Bergen (2) wins the 4A 1600 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021.

  • Niwot's Lucca Fulkerson, left, finished second to Michalak, of Air Force, in the 1600 meters during the third day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 26, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

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LAKEWOOD – Between wind and rain that caused some delays in competition, Saturday wasn’t an ideal day to be a pole vaulter.

It didn’t, however, stop Broomfield’s Lilly Nichols from doing what she needed to secure a state championship.

The Eagles freshman battled the elements and her competition to claim the Class 5A state title at Jefferson County Stadium.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “It kind of makes me want to cry. It’s awesome.

“The conditions were very hard, so I’m really proud of myself. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it over 12 (feet) in the rain.”

Nichols had a season-best of 13 feet, 3.5 inches coming in and didn’t get anywhere near that, but cleared 12 feet to win what must have felt somewhat like a local meet.

Fairview sophomores Sophie Pierce and Olivia Kosanovich finished second and third, respectively. Boulder senior Alyssa Lee was eighth, while freshman teammate Amy Perkins got on the podium with a ninth-place finish.

“That’s a lot of fun,” Nichols said of competing against familiar faces. “I know almost everybody I jumped with today and it was really cool congratulating them and seeing them jump because I haven’t seen some of them in a long time.”

The competition was delayed at one point because of wind and rain, but continued with rain pouring down.

“The rain was awful,” Nichols said. “It was super hard, because rain got in your eyes and then when you landed on the pit, it was so wet. Then your pole, it was really hard to grab onto it and you slipped and it was not good.”

Pierce said she and the rest of the field simply had to battle through the elements.

“Pole vault is a very mental sport, so every little thing definitely gets in your head,” Pierce said. “Wind is one thing; that’s just not fun to deal with. With rain and having it being such a big meet, it was definitely a lot mentally, but I just learned to block out the nerves, convert it more into excitement and then just vault how I normally do at practices.”

Pierce posted a personal-best vault of 11 feet, 9 inches to finish as runner-up.

With Nichols having three more years of high school competition and the Fairview duo having two, Pierce said the next few years ought to be fun.

“It’s so exciting,” she said. “It’ll be a fun couple of years.”

In the Class 5A boys pole vault, Monarch senior Timo Heine placed second, with a vault of 14-6, just three inches behind Horizon’s Garrett Searls (14-9. Fairview senior Leo Sundstrom finished fourth (14-0), while Knights teammate Will Chiang, also a senior, was sixth (14-0).

It was a great day for Monarch junior Julia Pattison, who took home three medals on Saturday. Individually, Pattison placed seventh in the 400 meters (58.11 seconds) and ninth in the 200 (25.80). She also helped the  Coyotes to a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter relay (50.16).

Aside from Nichols, Broomfield had four other medals on Saturday. Dayne Ortega (400) and James Ortega (1,600) were ninth for the boys, while Maelynn Higgins had a fourth-place finish in the girls 1,600 and the Eagles were ninth in the girls 1,600 relay.

In the boys 1,600-meter run, Legacy’s Ryan Montera was fourth, while Boulder’s Lukas Haug was seventh. Boulder’s Luke Werner also added a fourth-place finish in the 100 meters.