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Track and field: Niwot girls en route to third straight team title

NHS boys sat around third late Saturday, Longmont first

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Connor McCormick, of Longmont ...

    Connor McCormick, of Longmont High School, turns on the jets to win the 4A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Zane Bergen, left, of ...

    Zane Bergen, left, of Niwot High School, and Connor McCormick, of Longmont High School, start the 4A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Kimora Northrup, of Niwot ...

    Kimora Northrup, of Niwot High School, finishes the 800m medley relay, a win for the Cougars, during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Tyler Ball, of Lyons ...

    Tyler Ball, of Lyons High School, wins the 2A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Caleb Johnson, second from ...

    Caleb Johnson, second from the left, of Longmont High School, won the 4A long jump during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Eva Klingbeil, of Niwot ...

    Eva Klingbeil, of Niwot High School, cruises to victory in the 4A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Kimora Northrup, of Niwot ...

    Kimora Northrup, of Niwot High School, finishes the 800m medley relay, a win for the Cougars, during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Connor McCormick, of Longmont High School, ...

    Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Connor McCormick, of Longmont High School, turns on the jets to win the 4A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022.

  • Eliana Henriques, of Niwot High School ...

    Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Eliana Henriques, of Niwot High School starts the 800m medley relay, a win for the Cougars, during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022.

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Eva Klingbeil, of Niwot ...

    Eva Klingbeil, of Niwot High School, cruises to victory in the 4A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Quin Gregg, of Lyons ...

    Quin Gregg, of Lyons High School, competes in the 2A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Connor McCormick, of Longmont ...

    Connor McCormick, of Longmont High School, turns on the jets to win the 4A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Zane Bergen, right, of ...

    Zane Bergen, right, of Niwot High School, runs in the 4A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD, CO-May 21:Zane Bergen, left, of ...

    Zane Bergen, left, of Niwot High School, and Connor McCormick, of Longmont High School at the start of the 4A 3200 meters during day 2 of the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships on May 21, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

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LAKEWOOD — There were so many Niwot girls lined up in the Class 4A 800-meter run at the state track and field meet, that the Cougars — in a bit of tongue and cheek — said it almost had the feel of a team time trial.

Not that they raced like it.

Instead, making up half the field in the two-lap event, this was another example of how the sheer number of green and white jerseys routinely stood out among the thousands of onlookers who traipsed to Jefferson County Stadium Saturday after a snowstorm. The podium, most often on this day, had become their personal photo shoot.

“It was almost like a time trial, but no, it really was a race,” assured Niwot’s 800 winner Madison Shults, who was followed in by three teammates and was one of six from her school in the top 10. “I just love having so many people to rely on.”

Shults hollered out encouragement to her seven other teammates on the 800 line, then went on to win in 2 minutes, 8.33 seconds. Stella Vieth followed in second (2:11.40), Bella Nelson third (2:13.53), and Eva Klingbeil fourth (2:15.09).

It marked the fourth gold for Niwot’s girls team through the first two days of the meet, which will finish Sunday.

Following Friday’s postponement, Klingbeil took gold in the opening race of the day, clocking her 3,200 in 10:29.62. The Cougars also claimed victory in the 800 sprint medley, and their 3,200 relay won on Thursday.

“We’re running for something bigger than just ourselves,” said Klingbeil, who was followed in the two-mile by Sarah Perkins in fifth (11:08.23), Olivia Alessandrini sixth (11:09.32) and Tessa Everett 11th (11:16.93). “We all want each other to be better. We’re channeling each other’s energy to be the best we can be.”

The Cougars likely had their third straight girls team title locked up by late Saturday. As of press time, they were nearly 60 points ahead of second-place Mullen.

The Niwot boys, meanwhile, sat in the top three behind Cheyenne Mountain and leader Longmont. Zane Bergen, who was upset with his fourth-place finish in the 3,200, responded hours later with a runaway win in the 800 (1:52.07). It was the Cougars’ first gold on the boys team.

“You have to be on your A-game at all times,” Bergen said. “I didn’t bring it in the two-mile but knew what I needed to do in the 800. Can’t give up on the team, and I cost them four points (earlier).”

The meet will continue Sunday, starting at 9:15 a.m.

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