LAKEWOOD The top finishers in the Class 3A boys shot put at the state meet waited patiently near the awards podium in the Friday morning sunshine at Jeffco Stadium.
About to accept their medals at the CHSAA Class 3A Track and Field State Championships, the hefty throwers turned to a favorite topic of conversation football.
Yeah, we were all talking about football, Bayfield junior Michael Hawkins said as he was about to accept his sixth-place medal, one shade brighter than last years seventh-place award.
Hawkins, on his next-to-last throw, heaved the shot 46 feet, 11 inches to make the podium alongside a handful of NCAA Division I and Division II football players like Holden Rexius of Eaton (who was fourth) and Derek McCartney of Faith Christian (fifth).
We talked about football last year, how we did. We talked about what it will be like next year, said Hawkins, an all-conference stalwart on the Bayfield football team that finished as the state runner-up last fall.
We all talked about new coaches, Hawkins said. While some talked of their new college coaches, Hawkins talked about a football coaching change at Bayfield High School. Longtime football coach Marshall Hahn recently announced he is taking a coaching/teaching position in Rogers, Ark.
Were excited to get back to work on football, said Hawkins, son of Cindy and Frank Hawkins.
BHS teammate TJ Pazell also qualified for state in the 3A shot but didnt qualify for the finals.
My form ... my spin was good, but I had no strength, said Pazell, a BHS junior whos also eagerly awaiting a new head football coach.
Two other BHS senior teammates also tossed their way onto the state podium Friday: Candace Shaw and Haley Goddard finished sixth and ninth, respectively, in the 3A girls discus.
Shaw threw 118-9.
That was a step up from last year, she said. Not quite a PR (personal record), but thats OK.
Shaw said it can be difficult to look back on given performances. I feel like ... it can always be better, said Shaw, daughter of Carla and John Shaw.
Shaw, who will compete in the 3A shot put today, is scheduled to sign a national letter of intent this week to play basketball at Adams State College in Alamosa next year.
For now, she said shell keep future track and field endeavors in the back of her mind.
It depends on how things work out next year, Shaw said.
Goddard certainly didnt expect to return to the podium in the discus this year after suffering a sprained ankle in Pagosa Springs two weeks ago.
This was my first time back at a meet. I just started throwing again three days ago, said Goddard, daughter of Jeff and Susan Goddard.
It was ... frustrating. I really wish I could have PRd. But I definitely feel blessed to make it this far. I made it on the podiium again this year.
She was just 5 inches short of a personal best, in spite of the balky ankle.
Thats incredible. Im very happy about that, said Goddard, who is hoping to walk on next year as a heptathlete at the University of Colorado, where shes already been accepted.
The honor student also is on the waiting list at Notre Dame.
The Wolverines also fielded 4x100 relay teams Friday, but both the boys and girls teams did not advance to todays final round.
The three-day CHSAA state championships will continue today in west Denver, with rain in the forecast.