LAKEWOOD - A little internal competition isn’t a bad thing for the
boys track team.
As Colorado’s three-day state high school track meet began Thursday morning at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, many expected Fort Collins senior Raymond Bozmans
to steal the show from start to finish. Bozmans broke the state record in the 100 meters earlier this year with a time of 10.32 seconds, but he will have to come from behind to beat out some of his teammates when it comes to gathering team points.
Fort Collins’ distance tandem of seniors Griffin Hay
and Jefferson Abbey
turned heads early Thursday. The Lambkins duo finished 1-2 in the Class 5A boys 3,200 final, just after Bozmans coasted to the top preliminary time (10.67) in the 100.
“We have a little competition between Raymond and the rest of the team,” said Hay, who won the 3,200 in a time of 9 minute, 30.61 seconds. “We think the distance guys can beat him out on points. It’s a good start so far.”
Dakota Ridge (Littleton)
senior Danny Carney
led the majority of the 3,200 until the final backstretch. Hay and Abbey passed Carney, who had the best qualifying time coming into the race.
Carney was also the favorite in the 5A state cross country final last fall, but collapsed a few hundred yards from the finish line to eventually take 44th. Carney took third, but was being attended to in the medical tent during the award ceremony.
“It’s an awful thing to have that happen,” Hay said of Carney. “I really thought he had me beat. I know if he was at his best he would have done everything to beat me because he is a great competitor.”
Bozmans will have his chance at catching his teammates when he racks up points in the 100, 200 and 400 event finals, which all scheduled for Saturday. He also anchored the Lambkins’ 4x200 relay team that had the quickest time in the preliminaries Thursday.
However, Bozmans reportedly will not have the opportunity to run in the relay final. Fort Collins coaches pulled Bozmans from that team for taunting a Fountain-Fort Carson runner during the relay. Bozmans admitted to sticking out his tongue at his opponent as he passed him near the end of the race. The first event final on the track
couldn’t have had a closer ending. Dakota Ridge junior McKenna Spillar
— in her first race at a state meet — edged Pomona (Arvada)
sophomore Alaina Anderson
by .01 seconds in the 5A girls 3,200 meters.
Anderson literally dove on her final stride in attempt to nip Spillar, who finished in a time of 11:00.85. Anderson clocked in at 11:00.86 and wasn’t injured despite her spill at the finish line.
“I honest thought I had it (won),” Spillar said. “When I saw Alaina to my right I wasn’t upset. She gave it her all with a dive at the finish. I won by a little.”
Spillar gave a lot of credit to Dakota Ridge coach Mike Callor for getting her ready for her first state meet.
“I was just going to be prepared for anything. Anything could happen,” Spillar said. “My focus was to stay with the lead pack for at least the first six laps. I wanted to run my own race. That is when I do my best.”
Unfortunately, false starts on a handful of morning races were an ongoing theme. A pair of false starts in the 5A boys 110 hurdles preliminary actually helped Bear Creek (Lakewood)
senior Nick Dalton
The two-sport (football and track) athlete had just finished wrapping up first place in the 5A boys pole vault event when he had to race over to qualify for the 110 hurdles final. Dalton said getting out of the blocks three times loosened him up and got the nerves out.
Dalton pushed to the finish line to win his heat and grab the quickest preliminary time of 14.82.
“The pole vault definitely took a toll on me, but it’s just the prelims,” Dalton said. “I should be good by Saturday.”
The University of Northern Colorado-bound Dalton set a personal record of 15 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault. He beat the rest of the field by more than a foot.
Dalton took third at state last year in the pole vault. He joins former teammate Vinnie Delmonico as a state champion in the event. Delmonico was victorious as a senior in 2010.
There were four 4x800 relay teams crowned to end the morning session on the track. Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village) boys
won the 5A titles in the event. Moffat County (Craig)
won the 4A boys version, while Thompson Valley (Loveland)
got off to a good start in its chase for a team title with a win on the girls’ side in the relay.George Washington (Denver)
sophomore Chyna Ries
successfully defended her 5A girls long jump title with a mark of 19-5. Ries also had the second-best time in the 100 and fourth-best time in the 200 preliminaries. The afternoon session, when the 3A, 2A and 1A teams descended on Jeffco Stadium,
was highlighted by The Classical Academy (Colorado Springs)
girls breaking the 3A state meet record in the 4x800 relay with a time of 9:24.95.
TCA seniors Shelby Stableford
and Regan Mullen
also finished 1-2 in the 3A girls 3,200. The victories gave the Titans a solid lead in the team standings. TCA finished second to Berthoud last year.
The Faith Christian (Arvada)
boys had similar success, with senior Derek McCartney
winning the 3A discus with a personal best throw of 154-11. He edged junior teammate Grayson Bundick
, who finished second.
The last running event final of the 10-hour day brought home another state title for Faith Christian. Senior Evan Fortney
took the 3A boys 3,200 with a wire-to-wire victory in a time of 9:48.43. The rest of the field was a good 100 meters behind him when he crossed the finish line.
The race had a rough start, though, as Estes Park sophomore Jeff Switzer, the third seed in the race, fell on the opening curve. The race had to be restarted, and a left leg injury forced Switzer to withdraw.
“You never know what is going to happen. You always have to be ready for that sort of thing,” said Fortney, who won the 3A cross country title last fall. “I feel awful for him (Switzer).”
Fortney was the top seed in the 3,200. He will be the favorite in the 3A boys 800 (Friday) and 1,600 (Saturday). The schedule worked out well for the Eagles standout to soar to a possible trio of state titles.
“I love it when there is just one race each day,” Fortney said. “You have time to recover. It’s really nice.”