The Demons will be in a familiar place with familiar friends this week.
The Durango High School track and field team will return to Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood to kick off the 2012 CHSAA Track and Field State Championships on Thursday.
The multiclassification meet will continue through Saturday.
This year will mark the fourth consecutive trip to state for a pair of Demons: hurdler Jared Blake and middle distance runner Karlie Foreman.
I think, to some extent, theyre familiar with what to expect (at state), DHS head coach Mark Dutro said earlier this week.
Theres still a little bit of angst, nervousness on their part. Everything theyve done to this point is to get ready for this weekend, Dutro said as the Demons will represent the Class 4A field.
Blake, who was a state runner-up last year in the 110-meter high hurdles, will chase more state honors this year, where hes the No. 5 qualifier (14.91) in the 110 and the No. 8 qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles.
Blake also will run on Durangos 4x400 relay team in the state meet. Hell be joined by Shane Bisogno, Joe Maloney and Devin Lewis.
Trent Andrews will serve as the alternate, according to Dutro.
And even with our younger kids, Im not worried about them on the big stage, Dutro said. Theyve been there in other sports. Theyve all had that experience.
For example, he said freshman Shannon Maloney already has competed in the CHSAA Class 4A Cross Country State Championships. Plus, shes competed against the states best at the annual Liberty Bell Invitational.
And McKenna (Franzen) ... shes been to state in volleyball, Dutro said.
Lewis, Dutro said, has been to state in soccer for DHS.
Mackenzie (Sill) ... shes been there in softball. And shes a figure skater ... shes used to being out there by herself in front of a crowd, Dutro said.
We dont have kids who will be intimidated, he said of the 14 Demons who compete at Jeffco Stadium in west Denver.
In addition to the relay, Joe Maloney qualified for state in the 800 meters and the 1,600. He has the No. 4 time in the 1,600 (4:24.74). And hes the No. 17 qualifier in the 800 (2:00.00).
This will be the juniors third consecutive appearance at the state championships.
Austin Miles of the Demons is the other qualifier among the boys. Hell throw the shot in Lakewood. He enters No. 15 (48-7.5).
For the girls, Shannon Maloney qualified at No. 4 in the 1,600 meters (5:09.75).
Franzen qualified No. 12 in the shot put (36-4).
Sill qualified in the high jump after clearing 5-0 last weekend.
Foreman also will race in the open 800 meters. She entered the state field as the No. 18 qualifier (2:22.69).
Two DHS girls relay teams enter in the top six in their respective races.
The 4x800 team is ranked No. 3 entering the state finals (9:36.28). That team will feature Madeigh Winsor, Dominique Ward, Foreman and Shannon Maloney. Katerina Seibert is the alternate.
The 4x400 team will include Hannah Hwang, Foreman, Ward and Shannon Maloney. Winsor is the alternate.
The Wolverines qualified a dozen athletes for the CHSAA Class 3A Track and Field State Championships.
They are led, as usual, by a cadre of pole vaulters.
The Wolverines qualified no fewer than four vaulters, led by senior Steele Allred, who was third at the state meet last year when teammate Travis Stuever won the state title.
Allred already cleared 13 feet this year, which matches the high in Class 3A. Samuel Bilderbeck of Alamosa is the only other 3A vaulter over 13 feet.
John Arnold of Bayfield is ranked No. 3 entering the state championships. Hes cleared 12-9.
Michael Voss (123-3) and Tyler Myers (10-0) also will vault for the Wolverines this afternoon.
Its a really nice place for them to vault at state, Bayfield head coach Sherri Kimball said. Its a place thats very conducive to good vaults.
Aaron Velasquez of the Wolverines will compete in his fourth consecutive state track meet. Hes qualified No. 4 in the discus (147-7).
Teammates Michael Hawkins and TJ Pazell will throw the shot at state. Hawkins is ranked No. 9 with a throw of 47-2. Pazell is 12th (46-4) in the rankings.
BHS also will send two boys relay teams to state: The 4x100 team features Velasquez, Keith Wickman, Zach Stone and Allec Rodriguez with Pazell and Allred as alternates; the 4x200 BHS team features Rodriguez, Wickman, Arnold and Joey Webb.
Senior Candace Shaw qualified in two events: Shell enter the state meet at the No. 6 position in the shot put (35-7.75); hes ranked No. 9 in the discus (119-5).
Teammate Haley Goddard also qualified for state in the discus in 10th position at 112-4.
Destini McGhehey and Jessie Roukema advanced in the 3A high jump (5-0).
Brittany Hunter (7-3) qualified in the pole vault.
Jessica Cusick of the Wolverines, a freshman, will compete in the 800 at state. Shes got the 18th-ranked time of 2:29.28.
One BHS girls relay team earned a trip to state: The girls 4x100 team of McGhehey, Ashlyn Schulder, Mikaela Knickerbocker and Amy Roach. Morgan Allred is the relay alternate.
Three-time state-qualifier Michelle Simmons will lead the contingent of seven Igancio Bobcats at the Class 2A state meet in Lakewood.
Simmons, a junior, qualified in three events this year. Shell compete in the high jump, where she is the No. 5 qualifier at 5-2. Shes seventh in the 200 meters (26.79), and shes 10th in the 100 meters (13.24) heading into the state championships.
Teammate Sky Cotton, a freshman, qualified in the long jump as the No. 14 jumper (15-6.75).
Shane Richmond qualified in the shot put and the discus for Ignacio. Hes ranked No. 5 in the shot at 44-8.5, and hes No. 14 in the 2A discus at 129-3.
Colton Wyatt, also a senior, is the No. 10 qualifier in the discus at 131-6.
Senior Dusty Mangus is the No. 2-ranked pole vaulter in 2A after clearing 13 feet earlier this season.
Teagan Overturf, another Ignacio senior, also qualified in the pole vault (11-6).
Adam Herrera of the Bobcats, coming off a leg injury, qualified in the 400 and the long jump. Herrera is ranked No. 6 in the 400 (51.91). Hes the 11th-ranked long jumper entering the 2A state field at 19-10.75.