LAKEWOOD — Just two years ago, Yasin Sado was a soccer player with a hidden gift for running.
By the end of Friday’s state track and field competitions, plenty of spectators at Jeffco Stadium became well aware of that gift. After all, he did clinch the Class 3A 3,200 and 800 titles on the same day.
As someone who is still a newcomer to being part of a track team (second track season), he was confident but also unsure of just how fast he could go in the 3,200, the first event of the day. Sado, donning the orange and black colors of Denver West, had only raced the distance once before in 2019, recording a time of 9 minutes, 42 seconds at the Denver South Rebel Invite on March 31.
To upset the No. 1 seed, Mason Norman (9:24 season best), Sado knew he needed to go faster. He did, posting a winning time of 9:29.
Norman, a two-time winner of state cross country for The Classical Academy, led most of the race, pulling William Ledden (Peak to Peak) and Sado through the first 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 46 seconds. Then, with only 800-meters left, Sado and Norman were still even with one another.
“I felt pretty good with two laps to go, but my coach said to just wait until the last lap,” Sado said of staying patient before making his winning move.
That move was a speedy 57-second final lap. He stayed smooth the entire way, then raised his arms in celebration as he crossed the finish line.
Norman, also a junior, was the runner-up in a time of 9:41. Sado’s brother, Ahmed, closed hard to secure third place in 9:42.
A few hours later, with a 3,200 on his legs, the Denver West junior hoped to capture the 800 championship as well.
Holy Family’s Braden Bartlett had something different in mind, accelerating the pace enough to drop all 3A challengers except Sado in the final 200 meters.
“I was just staying behind [University‘s Noah Smith], then the Holy Family guy was going pretty fast,” Sado said. “I just kicked during the last 400.”
The Denver West junior (1:56.25) found a burst, passing Bartlett (1:56.95, second) with only a few strides to go.
In just his second-ever track season, Sado has now won a pair of state titles. He did finish as the 800 runner-up as a sophomore, but as the No. 1 seed in the 1,600 on Saturday, a lofty time of 4:16, Sado could be a three-time champion.
What a way to kick off a track career.
He was a club soccer player, and just a soccer player in his eyes, only two years ago. The fact Sado’s brother, Ahmed, was third and fifth in the 800 (1:59) made Friday that much sweeter.
“He has been injured for cross country and track, but he’s really happy with how he did today,” Sado noted. “He didn’t believe he could get third.”
Cole Sprout, the owner of an all-classification state record in the 3,200 – 8:57 earlier this season — won the event in a time of 9:11.84. Sprout is still only a junior for Valor Christian, but has been a record-breaker many times already. Dakota Ridge’s Austin Vancil (9:17) was second on Friday.
As for the 800, David Cardenas (1:53.47) will bring a gold medal back to Grand Junction Central. Connor Ohlson, also of Dakota Ridge, was second in 1:54.
Fairview’s superstar senior Marlena Preigh won the girls 800 in 2:08.55, defending her title.
Micaylon Moore, the triple jump winner on Friday, represented Fort Collins well in clinching back-to-back titles in long jump. His best mark was 24 feet, 0.25 inches.
Niwot put their stamp on the 800 once again as sophomore Taylor James beat former Cougar great Elise Cranny’s 4A state meet record of 2:08.50 with a mark of 2:08.28. She
Soon after, junior Cruz Culpepper (1:52.93) won an 800-meter title of his own for Niwot.
Pueblo West’s Cisco Padilla (6-5) claimed the high jump gold medal.
Grace Scuzs of Palmer Ridge (11 feet, 4 inches) bettered everyone in pole vault.
In a race that was reminiscent of the 4A girls 3,200 yesterday, Sierra Bower (Basalt) and Kaylee Thompson (The Classical Academy) pulled away from the field and matched wits, stamina, and speed for eight consecutive laps. A better sprint down the homestretch allowed Thompson to clinch the title in 10:58.0 seconds. Bower was just behind in 10:58.3.
Lutheran’s Noah Kelly (14-6) finished as the pole vault king of 3A.
Mason Anthony of Elizabeth set a 3A record in the 300 hurdles (37.82).
Gunnison’s Kelita Baroumbaye (47-00.75) captured the triple jump crown with an excellent mark.
Lutheran (1:48.12) broke the 3A state record in the 800-meter sprint medley relay, besting runner-up Elizabeth (1:48.55).
Lily Lavier of Alamosa captured the two-lap crown (800-meters) in 2:13.08.
Moffat County (1:45.83) proved to have the best group of sprinters in the 800-meter relay.
Jordan Lanning of Bayfield (18-2.50) conquered the long jump.
Colton Jonjak-Plahn of Lyons (1:59.43) topped the 800 field with a diving win.
Hotchkiss (1:50.81) cruised to a near-four second victory in the sprint medley relay.
Hannah Wilkie of Rangely (2:19) was the 800 winner.
Elton Yarger of Stratton/Liberty set a classification triple jump record, winning with a mark of 44-8.25.
Faith Novess of De Beque cleared 5 feet, 7 inches to capture the 1A girls state record for the first time as a senior. She will compete for the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs next year.
“My goal was to get 5-6 and beat the state record,” Novess said. “I love representing De Beque. A lot of people think since we’re a small school, we don’t have good athletes. They take us for granted.”
They did win the girls sprint medley on Thursday, while also capturing the 4x200 relay crown on Friday.
“I think that really set the mood for the whole weekend,” Novess said of the sprint medley’s victory.
Levi Kilian (1:56) and Seth Bruxvoort (1:58) swept the gold and silver medals and tallied plenty of team points for Heritage Christian. The Eagles posted 10 more points in the boys 4x200 relay (1:33.63).