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Track and field: BoCo athletes show up strong at FRL championships


FORT COLLINS — Keiran Singh didn’t want to miss out on achieving the goal he set out for himself as a freshman track runner. No, he was determined to break the Monarch 100-meter dash record by the time he last set foot in those school halls.

On Thursday at the Front Range League Championships at French Field, he beat the Coyotes’ former best mark by about 0.2 seconds with a time of 10.81 seconds in the preliminary round. The senior ran his finals race a bit slower at 10.90, but it was still good enough to hand him the FRL league title in the event.

“The 100-meter record at our school has been there for 22 years, so I’ve been looking at it since freshman year,” Singh, a decorated football player, said. “It’s definitely one of the biggest things I was looking forward to achieving during my high school career and I’m just so happy I did it.”

He achieved a similar feat on Friday after competing in three consecutive races. First, he ran the 100. Then, he took part in the 800 relay. After a short break, he and his boys ran the 400 relay and knocked that school record down with a new time of 43.25 seconds, even though Poudre beat them out for a photo finish at 43.14 seconds. The previous-best Monarch mark sat at 43.46.

Once football season ended, Singh dropped 20 pounds to help get himself into top shape for his final track season. He did so by cutting back his food intake significantly.

“Definitely don’t recommend it,” he said, laughing, but his determination paid off. “I think the biggest difference I saw was my explosiveness off the blocks. I kept the same strength and I lost the weight, so it helped me push out of the blocks faster and keep a better drive phase.”

Leaping straight to state

When Broomfield senior hurdler Josh Dunn hit 15.06 seconds at the Stutler Twilight Invitational last weekend to place himself at No. 7 in Class 5A’s 110-meter event, he knew he could do even better in what little time he had left of his high school career.

On Thursday during the prelims, he proved it when he crossed the finish line at 14.91 seconds. Much like Singh, he ran a bit slower in the finals on Friday, but that 15.26 was still good enough to earn him the gold in the end.

“That kind of just got my mindset going like, ‘Hey, if I can get past 15.5, I can get down below that.’ It’s just a roadblock that I got out of the way,” Dunn said. “I was talking with (Broomfield coach Justin Hazzard) a couple of weeks ago. I’m the fifth person in Broomfield history — that was according to MileSplit — to go sub-15, so that was a pretty special race yesterday.”

Dunn attributed his late-season success to staying dedicated to his process as well as a bit of friendly competition from someone close to his heart and close to his home. His teammate, Diego Estebanes, clocked in just behind him at 15.60 to just barely beat out Legacy’s Duncan Pearson by 0.05 seconds.

“He’s my teammate, my neighbor, all that fun stuff,” Dunn said. “It’s great having a partner that I can train with, someone that’s going to push me every day if I start to slack off.”

Qualifying just in the nick of time

This past year hasn’t been kind to Eric Sankey.

The Fairview senior, who doubles as a cross country runner in the fall, has had to battle through a series of stress fractures during both of his high school seasons in his hips and femur. Up until a few weeks ago, he hadn’t even had the chance to compete on the track.

This past Monday, at the Foothills League Invite, he qualified for the state meet in the 3,200. On Friday, thanks to a strong sprint in the final 100 meters, he achieved the same feat in the 1,600 to claim the silver at 4:24.42.

The rehab he put in between seasons helped him stay fit for his return to the track, and it paid dividends when he competed in his first “real race” of the season on Monday.

“It feels really good. I had confidence in myself that I’d be able to do it,” Sankey said. “I had faith in all the work I put in this winter. I was definitely in the best shape I was ever in before I ended up getting injured. I just kept telling myself through all the cross-training that all the hard work will pay off.”

Even when his body told him he needed to slow down for a bit, Sankey never doubted he would make it back to Jeffco Stadium. He had an Olympian’s (Elise Cranny) dad, his physical therapist, to thank for that.

“One thing Mr. (Bob) Cranny was saying was that fitness comes and goes, but talent never leaves,” Sankey said. “That was something that he kept telling me that stuck in my head.”

Keeping the local talent elevated

For the past few years, the Boulder County and Broomfield County schools have dominated in the girls pole vault. Legacy’s Victoria Spitzley added her name to the mix this season, and she’s just a freshman.

Coming into the FRL meet, she ranked third among all Class 5A competitors with a season-best vault of 11 feet, 8 inches. She beat that PR during her competition on Friday when she cleared 11–9 for second place behind Broomfield’s Lilly Nichols.

She never would have gotten there if not for the pandemic.

“It was my idea,” Spitzley said. “(My sister and I) used to watch American Ninja Warrior and the girls in there who were really good always vaulted. I’m like, ‘Hey, I want to try that.’ So my mom took me and Fiona to a club (Above the Bar) and we’ve just been vaulting together for three years now.”

Their mother learned everything she could about the sport after COVID-19 first hit the U.S. and has been helping coach her daughters ever since. While Fiona graduated from Legacy last year after wrapping up her pole vaulting career, Victoria seems to be doing just fine in making a name for herself early on in hers. It’s her time to shine now.

“I used to go to all of her meets. Now, to get to vault by myself, it’s unbelievable,” Victoria said. “I always looked up to my sister, so to be able to come out here and do what she did, I can’t even explain how much I love pole vault.”

Surprising the competition

Embla Weibring didn’t expect to win her 300 hurdles race at her league championships. After all, the Boulder sophomore admittedly hasn’t had the best season.

In the past week, however, everything’s started to click as she’s dropped an astonishing three seconds in just a short time period. When she crossed the finish line at 47.36 seconds on Friday, she couldn’t believe it.

It just helped her move closer to her end goal. Now, she said, she needs to work on toning down her nerves whenever she heads to the start line.

“I really want to go to state and this is kind of what I needed,” Weibring said. “I still probably need to push to actually make it. I didn’t think I would get this far so it’s really exciting to see that on the horizon.”

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