LAKEWOOD – A roundup of local highlights from the final day of the state track and field championships on Saturday at Jefferson County Stadium.
• After pulling off a surprise win in the long jump on Friday, Erie junior Myla Wilkes did it again Saturday, winning the girls 200 meters in 24.18 seconds. She was also third in the 100 (12.13). Both were personal-best times. “These times I’m throwing, like 24.1, I’m not expecting that when I’m getting in the blocks,” she said. “I’m just out there to race for myself, but it’s been amazing seeing myself make it to finals and place in finals.” Wilkes said she fed off the energy of being at the state meet. “I think so,” she said. “There’s such a huge crowd and I feel like I’m pushing myself even more because I want to impress everyone.” Wilkes also helped Erie to a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter relay (49.82).
• The Erie boys team asserted itself well in its first season in 5A, as the Tigers tied for third in the team standings, with 51 points. Cherokee Trail won the title, with 74 points. On Saturday, the Tigers took home seven medals, led by Blake Barnett placing third in the 100 (10.76) and fifth in the 200 (21.99). Three Tigers earned seventh-place medals: Jackson Cowgill (discus, 146 feet, 8 inches), Evan Kraus (1,600 meters, 4:16.66) and Aston Whisler (400, 48.13). Erie also placed fifth in the 1,600 relay (3:19.62) and ninth in the 400 relay (42.81).
• Broomfield’s Diego Estebanes hurdled his way to sixth place in the 110-meter event (14.81 seconds) and ninth-place in the 300 hurdles (40.40). The Eagles’ Maelynn Higgins ended Broomfield’s day on the track with sixth place in the 1,600 (4:56.06).
• Legacy earned a pair of medals, with Annalina Torres placing fifth in the girls 400 (58.18) and the Lightning boys placing ninth in the 1,600 relay (3:24.92).
• Monarch earned seventh place in the boys 400 relay (42.33).
• Since finishing as state runner-up in the Class 4A girls triple jump in 2022, Longmont junior Ella Pears has been laser-focused on avenging that result. On Saturday afternoon, from the very beginning of her event to the end, she left no doubt she would win the state crown. She started with a leap of 37 feet, 1 inch before working her way up to 37-3.5 on her final jump. She credited her step forward to watching film of elite jumpers in the offseason and practicing more visualization. That led her to state championship realization. “I think just over the season, I kind of had a natural progression,” Pears said. “Every meet, I was kind of getting better, getting towards where I wanted to be at the end. I think just seeing that progress over the season really just made me confident coming in here, knowing that I’d be able to keep it up and stay consistent.”
• Outside of Pears, Longmont raked in top-nine marks from the girls 1,600 relay (third, 3:57.41) and Terra Brubaker in the 300 hurdles (ninth, 54.28).
• Silver Creek’s Grace Moroney nearly pulled out a win in the girls 1,600 but had to settle for second instead (4:55.15). Teammate Cloe Ruth reached the podium in the 400 (fifth, 58.34), while the Raptors girls placed in the 400 relay (eighth, 50.16) and the 1,600 relay (fifth, 4:03.08).
• Holy Family junior Julia Hodell completed a 4-for-4 weekend, including a pair of individual titles. Hodell won the girls 100 (12.12 seconds) and 200 (24.56). “I’m really happy,” she said. “I was a little bit scared going in, but it feels good to go cross the line first.” She also helped the Tigers to a victory in the 400 relay, as they set a 3A meet record in 47.72 seconds. On Friday, Hodell was a part of Holy Family’s win in the 800 relay. “They’re equally exciting, because the individuals, I just worked so hard to win that,” she said, “but in the relay, all your teammates get to win it together and we just build each other up about it and it’s really fun.”
• Jefferson Academy’s Chrisly Kelly-Cannon put aside some earlier disappointment to win the boys 100. It was a photo finish, as Kelly-Cannon finished in 10.604 seconds, while Montezuma-Cortez’s Zander Cruzan finished in 10.605. Both technically tied the 3A state meet record of 10.61. “I’m very pleased,” Kelly-Cannon said. “I think today was a great day, just to show myself that I was able to do it.” Kelly-Cannon also finished second to Cruzan in the 200, 21.47 to 21.65. Aiming for four state titles, Kelly-Cannon finished third in the long jump on Thursday and sixth in the triple jump on Friday. “To come out here and be able to win a state championship and come up second in the 200, I think it shows a lot of improvement from the beginning of the season, so I’m very happy,” he said.
• As a team, the Holy Family girls placed fourth overall with 65.2 points. Locally, Peak to Peak and Jefferson Academy tied for sixth with 41 points each. Alamosa won the title with 98.2 points. In addition to Hodell’s great day, the Tigers got three medals from Alexis Mendlik (third in the 400, sixth in the 200 and eighth in 100), one from Claire Tannehill (eighth in the 200) and the girls 1,600 relay team finish eighth.
• Holy Family’s boys team collected podium finishes from Michael Dooley in the 110 hurdles (third, 15.30) and Griffin Eastman in the 100 (ninth, 11.27). The 400 relay team finished in fourth place (43.49).
• Jefferson Academy enjoyed a few podium finishes from the ladies’ side of things. Jessica Schaffer collected second-place medals in the 100 hurdles (15.60) and the 300 hurdles (46.30), while Emilee Harding added her own flair in the 100 hurdles with fifth place (15.81). Sierra Buzick placed ninth in the 100 (13.01) and the girls 400 relay placed second (50.14).
• After winning the state titles in pole vault and long jump on Friday, Peak to Peak’s Kourtney Rathke missed out on another state crown Saturday, but placed second in the triple jump (37-0.75) and fourth in 100 hurdles (15.71). Meanwhile, the Pumas’ boys 1,600 relay was seventh (3:28.19).
• Prospect Ridge ended its state meet effort with podium-worthy performances from Avery Marr in the girls 1,600 (fifth, 5:02.04), Logan Goodman in the boys 1,600 (ninth, 4:24.85) and the boys 400 relay (ninth, 44.11).
• When Yannis Diby heard a pop in his hamstring during a short workout, it added stress to an already stressful state track and field week. The Twin Peaks junior was only days away from competing in the state championships, but he didn’t act like it fazed him on Saturday morning. To prepare for his high jump, he skipped the rest of his events to nurture the strain. In doing so, he managed to not only go for the gold — winning with a clearance of six feet, six inches — but he set the school record, beating the old one by 1.5 inches. “It didn’t really change much of (my approach). I just was trying to jump high enough where I could just clear the bar without hurting it even more,” Diby said. “I feel very special and really accomplished as well. I’ve been waiting for this day for like a whole entire year. Last year, I took only second.” Next year, he hopes to beat his own record when he hits the state meet again.
• TPCA added a few more impressive finishes thanks to Joshua Bishop in the 300 hurdles (second, 40.76) and Giorgio Spensieri in the 400 (fourth, 50.29).
• Lyons found its way onto the podium in both the track and field events. On the boys side, Nathan Richardson went for the bronze in the high jump (6-3) and Cole Thomas earned seventh in the 1,600 (4:34.36), while the 1,600 relay team was eighth (3:38.09). For the girls, Josie Gaines placed sixth in the long jump (15-7.75) and ninth in the 100 (13.03), while Gemma Powell claimed eighth in discus (33-3.5).