Lutheran sprinted off with the boys Class 2A state track championship.
The Lions, bolstered by dominating performances in the 100- and 200-meter races and a state record-setting 4 x 400 relay team, garnered 80 points to capture the state team title at the Colorado State Track and Field Championships, which were held May 15-17 at Jeffco Stadium.
“We had a feeling we could win because we go to so many big meets,” said Lutheran head coach Darwin Horan. “We don't compete with our classification very often. We've been super competitive at the bigger meets, especially with our relay teams and sprinters.
“We figured that when we got to the state meet we could have a pretty good chance. We kind of specialized in the sprints. We try to work with the kids year round and not just during the track season. We were super happy. Our kids are hard workers. They are super dedicated.”
Lutheran garnered 23 points in the 100-meter dash and 25 points in the 200 meters.
Sophomore Chris Youngs won both events. His winning time in the 100 was 11.03 and he ran a 22.42 to capture the 200 meters.
Kent Harris was third in the 100 while Darian Perez fifth and Josh Clausen ninth.
In the 200 meters, Harris was third, Clausen sixth, Perez seventh and Ryan Lee ninth.
“It feels real good to be a double winner,” Youngs said. “It's a real big accomplishment for me. Last year I didn't even make it out of the prelims in both events. I felt like I performed really well. Yeah, it surprised me a little bit. I exceeded my expectations.”
Youngs claims year round work and competitive practices with other sprinters on the team has led to Lutheran's success.
“It's really just about running in practice,” he pointed out. “It's very competitive. We're comparing times all the time. We compete against each other.”
Lutheran's title run was capped when Lee, Perez, Hunter Arnell and Kent Harris set a new state meet record of 3:23.30 in the 4x400 relay.
Next season Lutheran will move up to Class 3A but with a young team Horan believes the Lions will be competitive. Youngs, Clausen and Harris are among the underclassmen who will return next season.
Chaparral's boys Class 5A 4x800 meter relay team was also aiming at a Colorado state meet record. However, the Wolverines had to settle for winning the state championship, which is a satisfying consolation prize.
Travis Anderson, Landon Lundell, Dominic Compoz and Devin Reasoner won the 4x800 relay in 7:51.32 which was well off the meet mark of 7:47.10.
“One of goals today was getting the state record,” said Anderson. “We were a little off. We were really hoping for the win but we really wanted to get that state record also. I'll take the state championship.”
Chaparral's Nolan Harris was the runner-up in pole vault at 15-feet.
“When we started warm ups it was a little interesting,” explained Harris.
“It wasn't how I wanted it, everything was kind of going downhill. Coach pulled me aside and said you know what to do. I went off and figured it out, collected myself. I came in at 14 feet and got a good warm up there. From there we just kept positive, kept the energy high, jumped and had fun. So it was good.”
Besides Youngs and the two relay teams, other south metro-area state champions were Cherry Creek's boys 4x400 relay team and the Bruins' Jordyn Colter, who won the girls Class 5A 800 and 1600 runs for the second consecutive season. Creek's girls team, the defending state champions, wound up in third place.
Douglas County's Trey Smith was the Class 5A 100 meters champion, Highlands Ranch's Connor Turnage captured his third straight triple jump title and teammate Ben Morgan won the long jump.
Valor Christian had two individual Class 4A champions. Senior Zac Petrie was the 400-meter titlist and junior Haley Showalter captured the discus championship.