LAKEWOOD — Soleil Gaylord is no stranger to piling up accolades. This last winter, she claimed the Wendy's High School Heisman in recognition of all that she had accomplished at that point in her academic and athletic career.
Friday, she got back to work doing the things that got her national recognition.
She claimed the Class 2A 3,200-meter run state championship with a time of 11 minutes, 16.52 seconds. It's the third win of her career in the event.
Gaylor followed up her win in the 3,200 with a fifth-place finish in the 800 at 2:22.97. She is set to run in the 1,600 finals on Saturday. She is the two-time defending champion in that event as well.
These feats were not lost on her or the crowd at Jefferson County Stadium as they were read off as she continued her pursuit of more gold medals.
"I love this meet and I love this venue," she said. "I think Colorado state has a magic to it and it brings out the best in people. It's cool to see all the inspirational stories and be amongst all these great athletes in Colorado."
On top of being a standout runner, she has given back to her community and serves as Telluride's student body president. It was her contributions on these fields that led to her selection as the High School Heisman winner.
The award itself is no stranger to Colorado athletes as Wiggins' Kyle Pollock won it back in 2009.
All around, Gaylord has become one of the most notable competitors to represent Colorado at the state meet and hopes to transition her feats when she attends college at Dartmouth
"It will all translate nicely," she said. "Dartmouth is pretty similar to home in terms of atmosphere. And it will be nice to have girls to run with. I've never really had a team and when I have, it's been really small. I'm excited to have girls to run with, I think that will push me."
Looking back at her time at the state track meet, it's been a tough week to reflect on her success while still going trying to add gold medals to her stack at home.
Overall, Gaylord has six wins and a second-place finish at state. She finished second in the state cross country meet in November. But any time she thinks about her high school career, she'll always look fondly at the state track meet as the true breeding ground of her accomplishments.
"It all comes down to what you can do at state," she said. "It's a long season and it's hard to keep yourself healthy. Everything comes down to a state race and that's what so cool about track."
Her athletic career will continue at Dartmouth, but given her body of work, athletically or otherwise, it's been her time in Colorado that has made her a special athlete and one that will be talked about at future state meets.