Siblings shine on the first day of the state track and field championships

State track pole vault Max Manson Monarch

Monarch's Max Manson. (Ryan Casey/

LAKEWOOD — Long before siblings Max and Mia Manson swept the Class 5A pole vault competition at the 2018 state track and field championships, their father left his own mark on the event.

Pat Manson, a prep phenom at Aurora Central, flashed a brilliant smile as his son swiped one of his longstanding records on Thursday at Jeffco Stadium — the 5A state meet record.

Max’s chest just skimmed the top of the bar while attempting 17 feet, 3.5 inches, causing it to bounce slightly before falling back into place. The personal record vault topped his father's 17-3 from 1986, a 32-year old record. The mark also ranks eighth in the nation at the moment.

"I've always thought of it as a far-off goal," the younger Manson, yet another dynamic athlete for Monarch, said of the state meet best. "In the past couple years I knew it could be a reality. It was the most emotion I've ever felt after a vault. I was ecstatic."

And yet, the elder Manson still holds an edge to Max in high school bests with an all-classification state record of 17-7.5. That may not be true by the end of next season with the promise Max has shown throughout his career.

He was the runner-up at state as a freshman with a personal best of 15-7, then finished second behind teammate Cole Rowan (a Duke University recruit) last year. They switched positions this year as Rowan dealt with an injury, but still managed to claim 2nd (15-8).

One of Max's goals is to clear 18 feet as a senior, an extraordinary accomplishment for a high schooler.

About three decades after the birth of Pat's illustrious career, which included a trio of gold medals at the Pan American Games, a sixth place showing at the 1997 World Championships, and a personal best of 19-2.25, another Manson is cementing himself as a Colorado prep legend.

But, he's not the only one.

State track Mia Manson Monarch pole vault

Monarch's Mia Manson. (Ryan Casey/

Mia, a sophomore, has already won back-to-back state crowns after clearing 12-6 on Thursday. The former avid rock climber is a top-flight sprinter and jumper as well. Manson's rare mixture of speed and strength allowed her to shatter the freshmen national record in pole vault last year (13-4.25).

The underclassman was troubled with a foot injury down the stretch of this season, forced to scratch her other state qualifying events. Nonetheless, no one could match her Thursday as she bettered Rock Canyon senior Tameryn Coryell (12-3), the runner-up.

With a touch of rust though, Manson had to stay composed early.

"The first two bars I cleared on my third (and final) attempt, which is kind of stressful but after that the jumps kept getting better," she said.

Within Boulder County, athletic lineage in track and field has been a trend of late. This is the case at Broomfield perhaps more than any other school.

Joe, Jake, Katelyn, and Emily (4th in 3,200 Thursday) Mitchem have all been standouts in distance events for the Broomfield Eagles. Ethan and Ivy (6th in 3,200) Gonzales are in the same mold.

Broomfield senior Michael Mooney.
(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Now Michael and Madison Mooney, a pair of national caliber athletes themselves, are leaving their own footprint on Broomfield and the entire state.

Michael Mooney (9:12) fended off a last lap charge by Denver East's Harrison Scudamore (9:13) to claim his first 3,200 crown. Rock Canyon sophomore Easton Allred (9:15) was also in the thick of it until the very end.

"I tried to stay as close as I could to the lead," Mooney said of his strategy. "Once he passed me that last lap, I had to give it everything I had to finish that race out."

He was pleased to be the first state champion in his family as his other sister, Megan, a 2016 Horizon graduate, finished second in the 3,200 her senior year and now competes for Florida State University.

"I get to brag about this now," Michael said with a laugh. "I did it first."

Mooney also ran an 8:50 3,200 (No. 2 in nation) at the prestigious Arcadia Invite in California earlier in the spring. The Colorado State recruit has chosen to pursue cross country and track at the next level despite being named the 5A soccer player of the year and leading his team to another crown as a senior.

Later in the opening day of competition at Jeffco Stadium, Madison Mooney received the baton around 30 meters behind Mountain Vista in the 3,200 relay as the anchor leg. The Eagles rode the wings of Mooney to a state trophy, posting a time of 9:16. Mountain Vista was the runner-up in 9:23.

Madison, a future Wisconsin Badger, will be the No. 1 seed in the 800 (2:10.19) and the 1,600 (4:55.24) on Friday and Saturday. She has nabbed runner-up honors in each event before. Michael will be the No. 1 seed in the 1,600 with a time of 4:11.99, almost exactly one second off the Colorado record.

The state track and field meet will resume on Friday at 8:20 A.M. at Jeffco Stadium.

Class 5A notes

  • Denver East's Arria Minor set records in the 200 and 400, and now also holds the top time nationally in the 400.
  • Jequan Hogan (6’8) has now won back-to-back crowns in high jump for Fountain-Fort Carson. Teammate Jawuan Tate (158-9) was the discus champion, claiming 10 points for a Trojan dynasty (four crowns in past five seasons).
  • Fort Collins junior Micaylon Moore (22-10.25) leapt farther than anyone else in long jump, securing his first state title.
  • Mountain Vista (7:49) fought off Continental rival Legend (7:52) to win the boys 3,200 relay.
  • Gabriella McDonald of Rocky Mountain, a brilliant multi-sport athlete who signed with Colorado State for soccer and track and field, defended her discus crown (148-2). She'll be after her third consecutive shot put championship later in the weekend.
  • The Cherokee Trail tandem of Sydnee Larkin (18-11.25) and Chian Deloach (18-6.5) swept the top two places in long jump for a Cougar group hoping to secure a team title.
  • The girls 3,200 was a sophomore showdown between Mountain Vista's Jenna Fitzsimmons (cross country state champion) and Legacy's Brynn Siles. Fitzsimmons finished on top again, but both ran stellar times (10:35 and 10:39).

Class 4A notes

  • Pueblo East junior Kain Medrano (56-10.5) won shot put.
  • The Vista Ridge tandem of Raymon Harper (46-10) and Micah Hilts (46-1) conquered triple jump for a program that has excelled in the discipline in recent years.
  • Widefield junior Aaliyah Ricketts (36-6) claimed the triple jump crown.
  • Silver Creek senior Rylee Anderson, a Kansas University recruit, became a rare four-peat winner of high jump with a mark of 5-7.5. Vista Peak sophomore Raina Branch cleared the same height, but Anderson won on attempts. Niwot freshman Taylor James and Pueblo West freshman Shayla Padilla, third and fourth on Thursday, have bright futures themselves.
  • Roosevelt junior Logan Derock (40-0.75) was the only 40+ foot shot putter in the classification for girls.

Class 3A notes

  • Steamboat Springs junior Eric Casey (14-0) was first in pole vault.
  • Reece Davidson, a Faith Christian senior, launched a farther throw than anyone in discus (159-0).
  • Roaring Fork has quite the pair of senior triple jumpers in Justin Thompson (45-11.75) and Jasper Germain (45-4). They proved to be the class of the field this year.
  • The Classical Academy's Ryan Moen (9:38) and Mason Norman (9:41) swept the top two places in the 3,200. The Titans have flourished in distance events for years.
  • SkyView Academy (8:01) and Peak to Peak (9:20) ran away in the boys and girls 3,200 relays, although Frontier Academy (8:03) did pose a serious threat.
  • Frontier Academy senior Hannah Ellis (11:19) surged to a 3,200 title.
  • Bayfield junior Jordan Lanning (5-7.75) shattered the classification record in girls high jump, a record previously held by D'Evelyn's Sarah Cerrone (5-7.50 in 2017).

Class 2A notes

  • Resurrection Christian freshman Tanner Applebee announced himself as a force to be reckoned with for years to come by winning long jump (21-3.50).
  • Jacob Tu’ufuli of Ellicott, a senior, won shot put with a mark of 48-8.75.
  • Lyons (8:12, school record) and Paonia (9:57) claimed the boys and girls 3,200 relay victories. Each program has had substantial success in relay races.
  • Highland sophomore Remington Ross, the defending champion in the 100, announced herself as a threat to the classification record of 12.05 seconds with an eye-opening 12.09 (1st in prelims).
  • Dayspring Christian senior Katie Kurz claimed first in high jump (5-3).

Class 1A notes

  • Levi Kilian (10:04.98) and Seth Bruxvoort (10:12.26) both shattered the previous 1A state meet record of 10:14.46 by Bryce Grahn (South Baca) in 2014. They are teammates at Heritage Christian. Sophomore Jaden Johnson (20-7) also won long jump for the Eagles.
  • Shining Mountain had winners in the girls 3,200 (Emma Schaefer, 12:11) and girls pole vault (Marina Flandrick).
  • Otis junior Keylan Dracon won boys shot put with a mark of 42-9.50.
  • Eads senior Mariah Smith (133-8, new 1A record) did the same in girls discus. The previous record was held by Sangre de Cristo's Jenna McKinley (131-6, 2016).