From the moment Holy Family’s Jessica Mason surged to an 8-stroke lead during the first round of the Class 4A state girls golf championships last Monday, to the final 1,600 relay on the track at Jefferson County Stadium on Saturday afternoon in Lakewood, area teams unleashed a flurry of championship activity unlike anything seen since the inception of BoCoPreps.com.
Perhaps even longer.
After a school year that began in the summer of 2020 with fears of there being no high school athletics at all, the final six days of preps — in the last full week of June, no less — was welcomed. There were no masks covering title-winning smiles, no one forced to watch from home as relatives gained individual or team notoriety, and while postseason events were still somewhat reduced in terms of qualification, there were no flukes when it came to the end of Season D.
Perhaps the accomplishments of the area were magnified because nearly all the spring sports’ championships were crunched into one week. The truncated schedules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic dictated that, but for all the hassle it brought local news outlets in trying to figure out a way to cover it all, the end result was simply incredible.
On Friday and Saturday alone, six local teams garnered state championship trophies — five came on Saturday with three girls soccer teams capturing title-game victories and two track teams outscoring their foes in event points to land hardware. While the Broomfield and Dawson soccer teams and Niwot track teams have been in the mix for championships seemingly every year of late, a run by No. 12 soccer seed Holy Family in 4A was especially notable and a Silver Creek boys swimming team championship in Class 4A on Friday was, well, unexpected to say the least.
“It was totally unexpected for me,” Silver Creek head coach Debbie Stewart said after Friday’s meet was over. “My comment to the boys earlier in the week was we just wanted to bring home some medals. I was hoping for second. First, you can’t top it any more.”
Added HFHS soccer coach Michelle Griego after the Tigers stunned No. 2 seeded Evergreen (and who had topped No. 1 Northridge in the semifinals): “For these girls, they knew they were good. With COVID, you don’t get to see them play last year. This year is a modified season, so it definitely changes the complexion of the ranking. I think they’re better than the 12th seed for sure. We took it as a sign of disrespect, I’m not going to lie, and they did too. They wanted to prove to everybody that we’re not a 12 seed.”
Truly, in this past year, it was proven to expect the unexpected. But there was also some familiarity and some knowledge that star individuals were going to have their say.
Mason did. She ended up winning the 4A golf title by 10 strokes, one of the largest margins in recent memory.
Niwot’s Taylor James and Zane Bergen did. Longmont’s Eddie Kurjak sure did. Broomfield’s Lilly Nichols, Silver Creek’s Megan Kelleghan, Peak to Peak’s Aidan Graziano … the list continued to grow day by day.
A thrilling week to cap off what was an often frustrating year.
Next year, it can be said with certainty that the hope for all is a normal high school campaign with fall sports, winter sports and spring sports all getting their normal seasons, normal playoff brackets and normal crowds. And there will be some unforgettable moments, no doubt.
This past week, however, will have its place in BoCoPreps history.
A WEEK OF CHAMPIONS
A quick summary of all that occurred among local teams during the final week of Season D, wrapping up 2020-21 in preps:
Silver Creek boys swimming (Friday night, Class 4A state meet in Thornton)
Dawson girls soccer (Saturday, Class 2A state championship in Colorado Springs)
Holy Family girls soccer (Saturday, Class 4A state championship in Colorado Springs)
Broomfield girls soccer (Saturday, Class 5A state championship in Colorado Springs)
Niwot girls track and field (Saturday, Class 4A team championship at Colorado state meet in Lakewood)
Niwot boys track and field (Saturday, Class 4A team championship at Colorado state meet in Lakewood)
Allison Beasley, Peak to Peak (Class 3A girls 3,200-meter run)
Zane Bergen, Niwot (Class 4A boys 800-meter run)
Zane Bergen, Niwot (Class 4A boys 1,600-meter run)
Zane Bergen, Niwot (Class 4A boys 3,200-meter run)
Aubri Braecklein, Jefferson Academy (Class 3A girls golf)
Ryan Chacon, Frederick (Class 4A boys 200-meter dash)
Lucca Fulkerson, Niwot (Class 4A girls 3,200-meter run)
Aidan Graziano, Peak to Peak (Class 3A boys 110-meter hurdles)
Sierra Haberman, Jefferson Academy (Class 3A girls high jump)
Skyler Hawk, Holy Family (Class 3A girls 300-meter hurdles)
Taylor James, Niwot (Class 4A girls 200-meter dash)
Taylor James, Niwot (Class 4A girls 400-meter dash)
Megan Kelleghan, Silver Creek (Class 4A girls pole vault)
Chrisly Kelly-Cannon, Jefferson Academy (Class 3A boys long jump)
Eddie Kurjak, Longmont (Class 4A boys high jump)
Eddie Kurjak, Longmont (Class 4A boys triple jump)
Jessica Mason, Holy Family (Class 4A girls golf)
Lilly Nichols, Broomfield (Class 5A girls pole vault)
Kimora Northrup, Niwot (Class 4A girls 300-meter hurdles)
Aaliyah Robinson, Jefferson Academy (Class 3A girls long jump)
Madison Shults, Niwot (Class 4A girls 800-meter run)
Brody Welch, Holy Family (Class 3A boys shot put)
Erie boys 800 relay team
Frederick boys 1,600 relay team
Niwot boys 3,200 relay team
Niwot girls 400 relay team
Niwot girls 800 relay team
Niwot girls 1,600 relay team
Niwot girls 3,200 relay team
Niwot girls 800 sprint medley relay team