LAKEWOOD — Discovery Canyon star Lauren Gale is going to need to make room for all her medals.
Saturday at JeffCo Stadium in the CHSAA state track and field championships, Gale added her seventh — count 'em, seven — state gold with a triumph in the Class 4A girls 400 meters. Her time was 54.23 — nearly two seconds clear of second place and a significant performance, considering the sideways rain that soaked competitors and fans alike.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be,” said Gale, who stores her clothes "up top" in her closet, her medals "down below."
Gale also won the 200-meter final on Saturday afternoon.
Air Academy’s Josiah Molascon entered the Class 4A boys’ pole vault seeded seventh with a season-best vault of 13-9.
But Molascon needed more to claim the state title.
And he went above and beyond it.
Molascon won the state championship with a vault of 14-6, and five of his six heights on the first try.
With the second place vaulter dropping out at 13-9, Molascon could have claimed the title much earlier, but he decided to keep going, clearing two more heights before scratching on all three attempts at 14-9.
Pine Creek boys’ tripped up on road to state title
Heading into the final event of Class 4A, the boys’ 4x400 relay, Pine Creek was in fourth place, just 3.5 points back from Silver Creek, which was in first by .5 points.
Pueblo South and Valor Christian, teams sitting in second and third at the time, respectively, did not have any 4x400 qualifiers - leaving the door open for Pine Creek and Silver Creek in the race for a 4A championship.
All Pine Creek had to do was finish at least four places higher than Silver Creek.
The Pine Creek anchor rounding the final corner looked to be in prime position for not only helping the Eagles to a team title, but also a 4x400 gold, outkicking Mullen in the final 100.
But he got tripped up.
Toppled end over end, dropped his baton, and saw Silver Creek and a host of other teams pass him by.
With significant road rash on his back, he got up and finished the race, placing eighth. But the team title was now well out of reach.
Gold just what Doctor ordered
Liberty senior Andrew Doctor was happy to see Brighton’s Cameron Harris in the Class 5A 110 hurdles finals.
Harris provides Doctor a real-time gauge in an event that doesn’t allow for much peeking at other competitors.
“We love racing each other because we’re always right here with here with each other,” Doctor said while motioning that they run almost in lockstep. “We can always see each other in the peripheral to push each other the whole time.”
Saturday, it was Doctor, who had the edge as he won his first state championship, breaking the line in 14.35 seconds.
“It feels really good,” Doctor said. “It feels like four years just paid off.”
Terrors finish 1-2-3 in unified 100
Palmer finished with the top three times in the morning’s Special Olympics 100-meter dash.
Senior Adrian Lukens, who is battling leukemia and uses hearing aids, finished first in 14.41. Teammates Jared Stalker (15.07) and Braxton Morgan-Miranda (15.49) were second and third, respectively.
“All three of them are just a pleasure to be around, man,” Palmer coach and North Middle School paraeducator Gerald Freeman said. “I said ‘There’s nothing like them.’ They all come to practice, work hard.”
Lukens also ran a 5K cross country race in the fall, but he’s got a good reason for preferring the 100.
“Because it’s shorter,” Lukens said, as his interpreter signed questions and answers.
Saturday proved to be a nice finish to his high school career for Lukens.
“I feel proud of myself,” he said.
Lukens, Stalker and Morgan-Miranda all have reason to hold their head high after going 1-2-3 in the Special Olympics race.
“They just do an awesome job,” Freeman said. “I’m glad they get the opportunity to showcase their talent here at the state track meet as well.”
Discovery Canyon’s Ricca rises to the occasion
Looking at seeding, Discovery Canyon junior Liberty Ricca had little business setting her sights on a win in Class 4A girls’ 1,600 on Saturday.
After helping the Thunder 4x800 team place third Thursday and winning the 3,200 on Friday, Ricca entered the 1,600 seeded eighth.
She finished third in 5 minutes, 8 seconds, less that two seconds off the victorious Joslin Blair of Eagle Valley.
“I’m excited,” the junior said. “I wish I could’ve won, but I’m happy with my meet overall.”
She credited her coach for helping her begin to understand racing strategy, as Ricca just concluded her second year of track. While she wasn’t crazy about the cool, damp conditions, her medal collection is something to smile about.
“I’m very happy because last year I came in, barely getting in by the skin of my teeth," Ricca said. "Then coming here, and winning and (making the) podium in all of my events, I’m really happy.
Pikes Peak Christian goes 1-2 in boys pole vault
Tommy Harmon admits it’s an unusual spirit animal for a guy who competes in track and field.
“I’m just kinda slow. I’m not real fast,” the Pikes Peak Christian junior said Saturday.
Hey, whatever works. And Harmon unofficially won the fashion statement of the state track and field championships when he rocked sloth socks en route to the 1A boys pole vault title. With sloths emblazoned up and down each sock, a gift from his aunt, Penny Harmon, Tommy cleared 12-3 to give him the gold medal over teammate Sam Smith, who leapt 11-3 for the silver.
“I guess the credit goes to Aunt Penny,” Tommy Harmon said.
After coming in ninth in the 4A 100 final, and struggling in his best event, the 400, in which he paced fifth, Harrison’s Tyrese VanHorne was determined to come away with a gold medal in his final event.
VanHorne, a sophomore, leaped over the finish line in the 200 to beat his opponents.
“It feels great because it shows that it doesn’t matter where you come from you can still perform to the best of your ability,” VanHorne said. “Once you take what you do in practice and put it out there on the field you put out the best work.”
Coronado thrower rebounds after two fouls in finals
Second-ranked 5A shot putter Charles Broomfield of Coronado had a tough start to his flight Saturday.
Back-to-back uncharacteristic fouls in his flight was enough to make any athlete uneasy going against a stacked field of the state’s best throwers.
But with a spot in the finals on the line Broomfield heaved the shot 48-11, enough to make it into the finals.
“It was definitely a really scary experience,” Broomfield said. “I knew I had to get into the finals on my third throw and after that just give it everything I have.”
In his final flight he worked his way up to his last throw which flew 51-7 to put him in second.
“It was definitely a relief, I felt like I was kind of building up to that all day and it put me into second place by just a few inches.
Hogan a marked man
Hey, they don’t target the guy at the end of the bench. They want to beat Kobe, LeBron, Jordan.
In the sand pit, Fountain Fort-Carson star Jequan Hogan falls into the latter category. And it was clear after the 5A boys triple jump that he had been competing in this state meet with a bright red target on his back.
“Feels that way,” Hogan said after he finished second in a triple jump event in which he was favored. “Guess that’s how it goes.”
Hogan’s 48-1.5 trailed Fort Collins junior Allam Bushara, who had a massive leap of 49-9.25. Props to Bushara. He had reason to jump over the fence to hug his coach.
But it was a sour result for Hogan, a senior and one of the best jumpers the Pikes Peak region has produced, whose weekend haul featured a first place (high jump), second (triple jump) and third (long jump). Hogan said he scratched on a jump that would have crossed the 50-foot threshold.
“And the last one I probably tried to put a little too much into it,” Hogan said.