Long distance boys' trio leave their mark at state, head to Big 12 schools

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Photo - TCA' Tanner Norman begins to break away from the pack after the first lap to win the 3A Boys 1600 meter race Sunday, May 21, 2017, during the Colorado High School State Track and Field Championships at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, Colo. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
TCA' Tanner Norman begins to break away from the pack after the first lap to win the 3A Boys 1600 meter race Sunday, May 21, 2017, during the Colorado High School State Track and Field Championships at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, Colo. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

LAKEWOOD - The Classical Academy's Tanner Norman, Palmer Ridge's Jeremy Meadows and Air Academy's Ethan Powell left the track at Jeffco Stadium for the final time in their high school careers Sunday.

The message to each other: See you soon.

With the end of the state track and field meet the three distance doyens turn their attention to the Big 12 schools they'll run for next season. Norman will head to Iowa State, Meadows goes to Baylor and Powell to Kansas State.

The conference's track and field championships took place last week in Lawrence, Kan. The three area runners hope maybe one day they'll reunite there for another battle on the course.

"We've just kind of joked about it, like 'maybe I'll see you again in three years,'" Powell said. "It's really cool that I'll be able to keep up some of the friendships and competition we've had for a couple years."

Norman won his second gold of the meet in the 3A 1,600 (4:16.85) after winning the 3,200 (9:14.45) the day before, and Meadows won his first individual track title in the 4A 1,600 (4:15.67).

Norman went first, beating an overpowered 3A field by more than five seconds in a wire-to-wire win. It capped off a year where the TCA senior won his second straight cross country title in the fall and then posted the fastest 3,200 time ever run by a high schooler in Colorado earlier this month (9:04.97).

"I just wanted to finish on a high note," said Norman, who admitted to feeling nerves Sunday. "I wanted to finish it strong."

Twenty minutes later, Meadows pulled away from the pack with a big kick on the final lap of the 4A race. Montrose's Ian Meek finished second (4:18.78), followed by Silver Creek's James Lee (4:19.19) and Powell (4:20.32).

"I thought I was about to die on the backstretch with 250 to go," Meadows said. "I had my team lining the side and I heard them. I knew it was my one shot. It was now or never."

Meadows' time in the 1,600 was the fastest among all classifications, while Norman's win in the 3,200 in 9:14.45 Saturday was also the best among the classes.

Powell came up short of adding another title after he won the 4A cross country title in the fall.

The three will head to their respective college orientations this summer. Each plans on running cross country and track.

"We've all kind of been talking about it, like 'see you next year at conference,'" Meadows said. "We've all grown a lot as runners and people, too. I think it will be cool to see each other."