Fountain-Fort Carson and Vista Ridge take lead after Day 1
Fountain-Fort Carson’s Donovan Williams tracked down Hinkley’s Darrien Wells in the 800 relay to force a photo finish.
The Trojans (1:27.43), who settled for second by .18 seconds, know every point is going to matter in the race for the 5A title.
“We were supposed to take fifth,” said Williams, who later won the 200 in 21.63. “I’ll take second over fifth any day.”
Fountain-Fort Carson leads 5A with 48 points, while Monarch is second at 35. The Trojans will try to wrap up their fifth state title in eight years on Sunday.
“We’re calculating the points in our heads,” junior Jalen Lyon cracked.
Vista Ridge leads in the 4A standings with 52.5 points. Montrose is second with 27.
The Wolves are 39.5 points ahead of Palmer Ridge, which beat in the Wolves in the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference meet last month.
“I think being the underdog helps us want to push even harder to be higher up there (in the standings),” said Anthony Bellot, who anchored the 800 relay to a win in 1:29.14. “That way people see Vista Ridge, we mean business.”
Harrison and TCA win girls’ 800 relay
Freshman anchor Adriana Vasquez propelled the Panther’s relay to a win in 1:43.62 in the 4A race. Junior Claudia Valenzuela did the same for the Titans (1:44.69) in 3A
Vasquez stood on the podium with confidence far past her years. An ill Valenzuela could barely make her way to it.
“I always feel really sick after it,” Valenzuela said. “This time it just feels 20 times worse.”
Well, whatever works.
Valenzuela held onto the lead as the Titans improved upon their second-best seed time.
Two events later, Vasquez rallied her team from fourth to first with an explosive kick.
“I just couldn’t afford to let anybody down,” she said.
Wolves’ Dubiel saves best for last in discus
Vista Ridge senior Alexis Dubiel never finished worse than second in a meet this year in discus, but her personal best of 126 feet – set May 1 at the Wolves’ home meet – was more than six feet off the lead going into state.
Then, with adverse weather pushing back the state meet, it was a lot of hurry up and wait.
“I didn’t want to throw too much and wear myself out,” Dubiel said. “So I stretched out, took it easy on myself, drank a butt ton of water.”
Her hydration process may have been vague, but on Saturday morning, her throws were precise. Dubiel blew away her personal best, landing a final throw of 133-4 and a state championship.
“I was trying to get into gold elite 130s, and that’s what I did,” Dubiel said. “I had to come out big for my last throw of senior year. I’m just so, so blessed to have this opportunity.”
Vista Ridge girls’ relay gets time to shine
The weighty moment called for an epic comment.
“Guys, I can’t believe we’re state champions,” Jewel Inlow gasped after lying on the grass for a few minutes.
“I’m gonna cry,” fellow senior Tinasha Mushonga said.
Along with juniors Karla Delgadillo and Kaylin King, Vista Ridge pulled off a surprise win in the girls’ 4A 800 sprint medley. They finished in 1:48.39, 0.26 seconds ahead of second-place Discovery Canyon’s Ayannah Lang, Jenny Hall, Lianna Ubungen and Lauren Gale.
The Wolves said it was the first time in at least four years that a girls’ relay had placed, and they went straight to the top.
“This is big for the girls’ side,” Inlow said.
Here’s who won from the region on Day 1
4A sprint medley -- Vista Ridge 1:48.39
3A boys’ 3,200 – TCA’s Tanner Norman 9:14.45
3A girls’ 800 relay -- TCA 1:44.69
4A girls’ 800 relay -- Harrison 1:43.62
4A boys’ 800 relay -- Vista Ridge 1:29.14
4A girls’ 3,200 – Air Academy’s Maria Mettler 10:47.25
5A boys’ 200 – Fountain-Fort Carson’s Donovan Williams 21.63
4A boys’ 200 – Air Academy’s Nik Chappee 21.65
2A boys’ pole vault – Calhan’s Mikie Mikita 13-3
5A boys’ triple jump – Fountain-Fort Carson’s Jequan Hogan 50-7.25
4A girls’ discus – Vista Ridge’s Alexis Dubiel 133-4