F-FC boys ride big jumps, relay victories to dominating win at Panther Invitational

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Photo - Fountain-Fort Carson's Jequan Hogan (center) runs the boys 110 Meter Hurdles at the 2017 Harrison Panther Invitational on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at War Memorial Stadium. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing
Fountain-Fort Carson's Jequan Hogan (center) runs the boys 110 Meter Hurdles at the 2017 Harrison Panther Invitational on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at War Memorial Stadium. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

For most programs, second in the state isn't a bad place to be.

Unless that program is the boys' track and field team at Fountain-Fort Carson.

In 2016, the Trojans placed second in the final team standings at the state meet following back-to-back 5A titles and crowns in 2010-11. Overall, F-FC has 17 boys' state titles, only three behind Fort Collins for the most.

And after Saturday's performance at the Harrison Panther Invitational at Memorial Stadium, the Trojans served notice that their hiatus might be a short one.

Junior Jequan Hogan won the triple jump and high jump with state-best marks and also took first in the 110-meter hurdles, Donovan Williams claimed the title in the 200, and the Trojans swept all four relays in a dominating performance in racking up 141 points, nearly double that of the 74 points scored by runner-up Lutheran.

"There's always that motivation to be right up there, fighting for the top spot," Trojans coach Ben Montoya said. "We had a good day today, but we have to keep working hard and not get a big head. There's a long way to go. This is just the beginning of the season."

Hogan recorded a high jump of 6 feet, 8 inches and improved on his top mark in the triple jump by nearly leaping 48 feet.

Last year, he finished tied for 10th in the state in the high jump, clearing just 6-0, and also placed 10th in the triple jump, leaping a mere 42-10¾.

"I wasn't expecting to do that well in the high jump," said Hogan, a junior. "In the triple, I wish I could have gotten that extra quarter of an inch for a 48, but I have plenty of time to improve on that. The difference for me has been weight training, really working hard in the summer to get to this point."

If not for the performances of Hogan and Williams, Jalen Lyon might have walked away with two individual titles.

Instead, the junior - who was a member of the state-winning 800 relay with older brother Christian - had to settle for third in the high jump (6-6, a personal best) and second in the 200.

But that's not a bad thing, either.

"We're always pushing each other," Lyon said. "We're very close, and we like to joke around, but we know when it's time to work. We make everyone better."

And for the next two seasons, Jalen will be the last of the Lyon family to leave his legacy at Fountain-Fort Carson. Last spring, then-senior Christian won 5A state titles in the 100 and 200 and took part in two state-winning relays.

"I think he's destined to blaze his own trail," Montoya said. "He's different than Christian. He acts a little bit differently, he's bigger, and I think he's doing what he wants to do. That's perfectly fine with me. He's doing an amazing job right now."