LAKEWOOD — Luc Andrada saw a glimpse of the future.
“Before the 4x100, I swear I’ve never been more confident before a race,” Andrada said on the final day of the state track and field championships. “I had a weird gut feeling that we would PR by half a second and win it. That’s what we did.”
Andrada and his teammates capped off a terrific weekend for Pueblo East, claiming the 4A 400-meter relay title in a time of 42.40 seconds.
But, the victory did not come so easily. In the preliminary round, held on Friday, Pueblo East finished 4th with a time of 42.98. Only 0.17 of a second separated Windsor in 1st and Skyline in 5th though.
The senior sprinter knew how close Saturday’s final would be, but Pueblo East had a lightning rod in Andrada as the anchor leg. As long as he could get the baton relatively close to the leaders, he would have a chance of winning.
After all, he was the 4A king of the sprints this season, tallying gold medals in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Andrada simply has next-level speed.
“We were thankful to be in lane three, so we could see our competition in front of us,” he said.
And, Kain Medrano, Joe Padula, and Marvin London gave Andrada a shot. They were in the thick of the race with one leg to go, but Skyline (42.54, 2nd place) and Canon City (42.63, 3rd) were ahead.
Andrada made it all up in the final 100 meters, causing the Jeffco Stadium crowd to buzz.
He had plenty of spectators chatting about him throughout the final day of competition. His winning times of 10.51 in the 100 and 21.21 in the 200 were slightly wind-aided but very swift.
The 4A 100 state record of 10.53, which Andrada would’ve beaten if his time was wind-legal, has been held since 2000 (Gregg Trigg of Fountain Fort-Carson).
Nevertheless, Andrada put the finishing touches on a memorable prep career, and with style, while also anchoring Pueblo East to a 4x200 relay state crown on Friday.
“They just gave me a chance,” he said of the 4x200. “With a team like that, how can you lose it?”
Medrano, Padula, and Oscar Flores were the other members of that relay as they gave Andrada the baton in a close battle with Pueblo West (runner-up).
For all of Andrada’s accomplishments in football, East was the state runner-up his senior year and the champion in 2016, Medrano has been a decorated athlete as well. He broke the 4A state meet record in discus on Thursday (188-6) and finished runner-up in shot put.
Medrano will soon be a football player for UCLA, while Andrada will compete at Brigham Young University in both football and track.
“He motivates me to be a better person day in and day out,” Andrada said of their friendship. “He’s always pushing me to be better. He deserves every accomplishment.”
The Valor Christian boys won their first state championship as a track and field team with 90 points. They also won the girls title as Fort Collins (57 boys points) was the runner-up for both genders.
Cian Quiroga will bring a title back to Valor in the discus (182-4) and Cole Sprout won his second 1,600 crown (4A in 2018) in 4:13. They also earned gold in the 4x100 relay (42.46).
Fort Collins’ Joseph Maguire, the anchor of their 4x400 relay group, just barely edged out Arapahoe at the line as the teams ran 3:18.77 and 3:18.78.
A terrific 110 hurdles showdown between seniors Zion Gordon of Regis Jesuit and Cameron Harris of Brighton produced swift times of 13.85 and 14.03. Gordon, a University of Southern California recruit, won the 5A crown.
Gordon (10.67) got the better of Harris (10.72) again in the 100-meter dash, the next event on Saturday. Both will be competing at the collegiate level as Brighton’s super sprinter signed with Air Force.
Harris was also the runner-up in the 300 hurdles to Garrett Nelson of Poudre (37.16). Nelson’s time was sixth-fastest in Colorado prep history.
Eaglecrest’s Langston Williams will bring a gold medal back to Aurora with his 400 win (48.59).
Monarch’s Max Manson capped his storied career with three pole vault state titles. He cleared 16 feet, 8 inches in his prep finale.
Niwot needed to finish at least fifth in the final event of the weekend, the 4x400 relay, to capture the team crown over Pueblo East but instead the Cougars won the event in a time of 3:22.86. Niwot bettered Pueblo East 66-60 in the final team standings. The Cougars also won the girls crown.
Zhaire Jackson (Northfield) topped the 110 hurdles field in 14.60 seconds.
Niwot junior Cruz Culpepper smoothly crossed the line in 4:16.69 to earn a 1,600 championship, adding to his 800 crown on Friday and helping Niwot earn a team trophy.
Brendan Young, the pride of Canon City, won a pair of jump titles this weekend (long and triple). He leapt 47 feet, 11 inches in triple jump Saturday.
Manitou Springs produced the 100 and 200 champion in Jayden Omi. His times were 10.97 and 22.14 seconds.
Nate Hanson of Lutheran (14.31) was the 110-hurdles champion as the Lions swept the boys (91.5 points) and girls team titles. Mike Ciccio was second in the 400 and Lutheran piled up points with great depth.
Lutheran has won six state titles in boys track and field.
Denver West, with brothers Yasin and Ahmed Sado finishing 1-2 in the 1,600, was the runner-up with 65 points.
Elizabeth’s Mason Anthony, the 3A state record holder in the 300 hurdles, didn’t quite top his best time but still finished 1st in 38.67.
Alamosa won the boys (3:23) and girls (3:58) 4x400 relays, while Ian Jackson and Lilly Lavier were individual 400 champions for Alamosa.
Lyons boys (68 points) claimed their fifth team title in track and field, but first since 2015. Mancos was the runner-up with 57. Lyons excelled in distance events once again.
Both competitors, Grant Redmond of Soroco and and Jake Chrisman of Yuma, cleared 6 feet, 7 inches in the high jump but Redmond won with fewer attempts. Chrisman was the pole vault gold medal winner on Thursday.
David Trujillo of Rocky Ford was the champion in the 100 with a time of 11.19.
Clear Creek boys won the 4x100 relay (44.10).
Alex Ramos (Holly, 50.14) cruised in the 400.
Jaden Evans of Telluride (4:30.27) held off Isaac Roberts of Lyons (4:30.77) in the 1,600.
Victor Mendoza (20 feet, 10.5 inches) of Yuma was the long jump champion.
The Heritage Christian boys scored points in bunches, securing the team title again with 148 points. They won in 2018 in much the same way with firepower in distance as Levi Kilian (4:28) and Seth Bruxvoort (4:32) both shattered the 1A State meet record in the 1,600 and were 1st and 2nd.
HCA tallied points in many other events, as well, including the 300 hurdles (Ryan Zrubek, champion) and the 200 (Jaden Johnson, 1st).
Arlo Garner of Cotopaxi (15.48) was the state champion in 110 hurdles.
Elton Yarger of Stratton/Liberty broke the triple jump state record yesterday and clinched the 400 title in 50.61 seconds today.
Pikes Peak Christian’s Tommy Harmon (12-10) climbed higher than anyone in pole vault.
Simla (3:37.82) won the 4x400 relay and finished runner-up in the team standings. Simla also claimed the 4x100 title and Darias Harms was the 100 champion in a new 1A State Meet record of 11.18.