Cedaredge headlines all-state track athletes

Cedaredge High School’s Jordan McMillan hands the baton off to anchor leg Brendon Klaseen during the 1,600-meter relay at the Class 2A state championships last month in Lakewood. The Bruins were second in the race but won two other relay titles, with McMillan and Klaseen earning all-state recognition from the Colorado High School Activities Assocition.

De Beque High School’s Jentry Largent celebrates after crossing the finish line first in the Class 1A 400-meter relay at the 1A state championships Sunday in Lakewood. The Dragons won the race in a meet-record time of 51.41 seconds, and Largent also won titles in the 100 and 200 meters.

Cedaredge High School’s boys track and field team only needed two first-place finishes to win the Class 2A team championship this past month. That, however, didn’t keep the Bruins from having more all-state athletes than anyone else in the classification.

Seven members of the team were recognized by the Colorado High School Activities Association this past week on the association’s all-state track and field team for the classification, with head coach Kirby Henderson receiving recognition as the 2A coach of the year.

Athletes were selected based on their performances at the state meet in Lakewood last month in a joint effort from CHSAA, ColoradoPreps.com and MaxPreps.

“Just wish it would say coaches of the year,” Henderson said of assistant coaches John Kuemmerlin, Ryan Hilbig, Mike Morgan, Derek Kehmeier and Chelsey Reed. “I’m dang lucky to have the coaches we have on staff. They are high quality.”

The Bruins only won the 800-meter and 3,200 relay state championships, but the team’s depth provided enough high-podium finishes for a convincing margin in the team standings. That along was enough to land all seven relay members — Wyatt Camp, Ty Grant, Ryan Imhoff, Brendon Klaseen, Drew Markley, Isaac Swoffer and Jordan McMillan — on the first team. Markley was a part of both winning relay teams.

It was the second consecutive team championship for the Bruins.

Montrose had four all-state athletes thanks to the Indians’ win in the Class 4A 3,200 relay with Evan Graff, Justin Hawkins, Ian Meek and Landon Ruiz-Diaz, with Meek also winning a state title in the 3,200.

Fruita Monument’s Gunner Rigsby won the 5A long jump title and Palisade’s Zaccre Kenward won the 4A triple jump to earn all-state accolades.

Kenward and Rigsby each set school records in the long and triple jumps this season.

Area girls competitors were no-less recognized.

Among them were the Meeker girls, who had five athletes with first-place finishes: Gracie Bradfield, Loran Casias, Tori Lasker, Madison Russell, Sierra Williams, with Bradfield and Russell each running a leg of the team’s winning 400, 1,600 and 800 medley relays.

De Beque, which finished second in the Class 1A team standings, had four all-state award winners in Jentry Largent, Ceiclia Landeros, Faith Novess and Nataly Castro.

The four teamed up to set a meet record in the 400 relay, and Largent was also a state champ in the 100 and 200.

Paonia coach Brian Mitchem, whose girls team won its fifth consecutive team state championship last month, was selected as the Class 2A girls coach of the year.

The Eagles had four all-state award winners in Sophia Anderson, Brianna Van Vleet, Lyla Haytuin and Emily Pieper. Anderson won the 200 and triple jump and was the runner-up in the 100, Van Vleet three-peated in the long jump, and the four also teamed up to set the 2A meet record in the 800 relay.

Also earning first-team all-state recognition was Hotchkiss sophomore Kaiya Firor, who won state titles in the 2A 400 and 300 hurdles.


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