For Montezuma-Cortez High School track athletes, this year’s Colorado High School State Track and Field Championships, which will take place in Lakewood, May 17-19, will serve as the culmination of a solid season.
Featuring solid sprinters on both the boys’ and girls’ sides, M-CHS will look to place well in short-distance events such as the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash, which historically have not been strong events.
Boarding a bus bound for Lakewood on May 16, M-CHS athletes appeared relaxed and excited as fellow students cheered for a group that will represent its school colors at Colorado’s most prestigious prep track and field event.
Below are some of the storylines that figure to dominate this year’s state meet.
Wright chases state titlesOver the course of the regular season, few athletes in Colorado were as successful as junior Aryelle Wright, whose speed and stamina consistently placed her at the top of the standings in sprint events.
Now set to compete in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and 400-meter dash, at the state competition, Wright will face tough competition from fellow Class 3A athletes in a race for the podium.
Entering the meet ranked second in the 200-meter dash at 25.38, Wright needs to run the race of her life to get past Lutheran High School superstar Maya Evans, who is ranked first with a time of 24.28.
Wright also will compete in the 400-meter dash, where she will enter the meet ranked sixth (58.84) and the 100-meter dash, where she is ranked ninth overall (12.71). Evans figures to set the pace in the 100 based on her regular season best time of 11.98 seconds.
Morgan Short set to soarMorgan Short’s excellence as a sprinter and long jumper were apparent all season.
After opening the state meet with the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, in which she is ranked 17th (13.03) and 16th (26.84), respectively, Short will take to the air in the long jump, where enters the meet ranked seventh (16 feet, 10 inches).
Short will be hard-pressed to fly farther than No. 1 Maya Evans of Lutheran High School, who set the state meet record last season and jumped 20 feet, 8½ inches this year.
Engel leads strong sprint groupThanks to a solid regular season during which he split time between the baseball diamond and the track, Jasen Engel will represent the M-CHS boys’ team in the 200-meter dash, ranked 18th.
Engel also will lead his team’s 4x100-meter relay, which is seeded 10th, and the 4x200-meter relay, which will enter the state meet seeded 11th. The boys’ 4x400-meter relay also qualified and currently sits sixth overall.
Rounding out M-CHS’ individual qualifiers will be senior hurdler Ashley Wood, who will enter the meet ranked 16th in the 300-meter hurdles (49.29) and 17th in the 100-meter hurdles (17.03). Wood will likely cherish the opportunity to hurdler against D’Evelyn High School’s Esther Diza-mbelolo, who is seeded first in the 100-meter hurdles (15.00) and 300-meter hurdles (45.54).
The M-CHS girls’ team will field a 4x100-meter relay, a 4x200-meter relay, and an 800-meter sprint medley, which is currently seeded 9th in the state with an entry time of 1:53.43.