The Durango Demons leaped onto the podium Thursday during Day 1 of the State Track and Field Championships at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.
Tasha Fitts of Durango jumped to a third-place finish in the Class 5A girls long jump with a leap of 17 feet even. Teammate Chrissy Slanger finished ninth, jumping 16-3¾.
Brittney Lewis of Overland won the event (18-0). Rachel Bollinger of Horizon was second at 17-1¼, just 1¼ inches past Fitts.
Fitts and Slanger combined to give the DHS girls eight points on opening day, good for 11th place in team scoring. Littleton led with 26 points. The Rocky Mountain girls were second with 23 points.
The Durango boys 3,200-meter relay team also hit the podium Thursday. The Demons finished ninth in 8:05.65 behind runners Ty Otteson, Matt Welbourn, Ian Cross and Nick Gates.
Chaparral won the relay in 7:53.72. Fountain-Fort Carson was second in 7:55.46.
The DHS boys 1,600-meter relay team also qualified for the finals with the ninth-best preliminary time Thursday afternoon. The Demons ran 3:26.37 with a lineup including replacement runners Jordy King and Kaelen Waters.
The team will race in the 1,600-meter relay finals Saturday afternoon.
"That was very sweet for us," DHS track coach Mark Dutro said. "Jordy and Kaelen stepped in, and they ran very well. They got us into the finals."
He said the DHS 3,200-relay team ran very well in spite of nagging illnesses on the part of two runners.
"They ran well considering," Dutro said.
"Matt (Welbourn) ran a really good leg. He ran really well," Dutro said.
He said the Demons were all proud of the two placers in the girls long jump.
"The girls weren't jumping huge out there (Thursday). But she (Tasha) popped one out there," Dutro said of Fitts, a junior.
Slanger, a senior, wrapped up her prep career with a state placing - and the school record.
"It was her last hurrah," Dutro said. "But she still leaves with the school record (17-3).
Only a handful of finals were staged in Class 5A on Thursday. Most running events served as qualifiers for the finals today and Saturday, although the 3,200 finals were staged Thursday.
Defending state champion Evan Appel of Dakota Ridge won the boys 3,200 meters in 9:18.40.
Kelsey Lakowske of Boulder won the girls race in 10:49.18.
Other Class 5A highlights Thursday included Chase Cooper's win in the pole vault for Smoky Hill (17-0). Jenna Adams of Littleton won the girls pole vault at 11-6.
Defending champion Arapahoe led the boys team competition with 21 points. Smoky Hill was second with 20 points.