Seven athletes from La Plata County were named to the Colorado High School Activities Association’s all-state track and field team last week after plenty of good performances at the State Track and Field Championships in Lakewood.
Durango High School paced the county with five athletes to make the first-team all-state ballot and Bayfield High School had two. Ignacio did not have any but had a number of good showings.
Here’s a closer look at the first-team all-state qualifiers:
Durango High SchoolThe Demons had a record-breaking state track and field performance across the board and were rewarded with five all-state selections for the Class 4A teams. On the boys side, all four members of the winning 4x800-meter dash relay team were named to the team, which included Noah Bodewes, Aidan Fitzgerald, Marcus Flint and Luke Tichi. The senior-led and appropriately nicknamed “fab four” set a Class 4A state meet record when they ran a 7-minute, 48.60 second relay time, which stood at the time as the sixth-fastest relay time in the country.
While the four were named for the 4x800, they each put together strong performances in their other races. Fitzgerald just missed out on another first-place finish but took second in the 800-meter run and was edged by Niwot runner Cruz Culpepper. In the 1,600, Fitzgerald ran a 4:23.26 with a seventh-place finish. In that race, the Demons had more competitors than in any one event in the Class 4A field with four. Tichi finished right behind Fitzgerald when he finished in eighth, Bodewes took 13th and Flint was 15th.
Two all-state members also competed in the 4x400 relay, Flint and Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald’s dive at the finish line was not enough to grab a second gold medal of the weekend, but they still had a strong second-place finish. The Demons finished tied for sixth-place in the overall team standings along with Silver Creek. Both topped out the state meet with 44 points.
The four will also try their hand at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Championships June 13-16 in North Carolina.
DHS also had one member qualify to the all-state squad from the girls team. It was junior Madeleine Burns, who also was named The Durango Herald’s Breakthrough Girls Athlete of the Year on Friday. She had another grade-A performance when she won the Class 4A girls 3,200-meter run. In one season, she went from a 12th-place finish in the 3,200 and had a fifth-place finish in the 1,600, but this was the year she broke through. Her winning time in the 3,200 of 10:53.63 seconds was just enough to edge Niwot’s Samrawit Dishon, who took second by just .13 seconds in 10:53.76.
Burns also had a strong performance in her other events at state, which included a third-place finish in the 1,600-meter run on the last day of the competition.
The 5A/4A Southwestern League does not name an all-league track and field team.
Bayfield High SchoolJordan Lanning was named the top competitor in her classification after she won three state championships, the high jump, long jump and 100-meter hurdles. As a result of her remarkable weekend in Lakewood, she was awarded with the highest honor in Class 3A when she was named CHSAA’s Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. She was named the Herald’s Girls Athlete of the Year on Saturday.
The Colorado State University commit finished with four state titles, including going back to back in the high jump. She set her own state meet record when she jumped 5-feet, 8-inches en route to her repeat as champion.
It wasn’t just the state meet at which she dominated. She had a stellar buildup to Lakewood. She was named the Class 3A Intermountain League Spring Athlete of the Year.
Lanning is representing the state of Colorado next week at the Great Southwest Classic in which she will be competing in her first-ever heptathlon.
The final recognition went to David Hawkins, Bayfield’s star thrower, who was also named to the first team after he won the 3A shot put with a throw of 51-feet, which blew away second-place finisher Henry Fritzler of Eaton, who threw a 48-2.75. Hawkins received league recognition, as well, when he was named the IML Field Athlete of the Year. Hawkins is set to play football at Monterey Peninsula College in California.
Rounding out the IML all-conference list for the Wolverines included five others. Dawson French in the pole vault was honored with All-League status, as were Josh Kaufmann in the discus throw, Zeb Shields in the 800-meter run and senior Hannah Whitmer in the high jump.
At press time, Ignacio High School’s list of all-conference athletes was not made available.