LAKEWOOD — Five weeks ago, Anna Hall’s ankle was in a boot and with her final Colorado track and field state championships in doubt, the Valor Christian senior wasn’t doing much smiling around that time.
But she recovered just in time to join the fray this weekend, and Hall’s smile returned immediately. Then that championship smile grew bigger and brighter with every state title she claimed and with each record she set over the course of the three-day meet.
In all, Hall left Jefferson County Stadium with gold medals from the Class 5A girls 100- and 300-meter hurdles, as well as having imprinted her name on all-classification records in the 4x200-meter and 4x800-meter relays.
It took a pretty fast recovery but Hall is feeling like herself again.
“With each race, I’m starting to feel more and more like my usual myself before I got injured,” Hall said. “That felt so good because it felt kind of like old Anna. That’s why I was smiling so much, because I feel good and we were winning.”
Hall’s first medal came after she crossed the finish line – smiling – in 14.18 seconds to win the 100-meter hurdles. Later in the day, Hall, who is still the 4A state meet 300-meter hurdles record holder and will run track for the University of Georgia next year, won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 41.70.
Finally, she ran a sub-54-second split to anchor the Eagles – Reese Dragovich, Camille Peisner, Quincy McMahon and Hall – to a 4x400-meter relay that set an all-classification record of 3:41.89 in the final girls event of the day. The previous record of 3:45.69, was set by Littleton and had stood since 2011.
“I’m just happy I was back in time to run here,” said Hall, who had a Grade 3 ankle sprain. “When I first injured it, they said six to eight weeks and I think right now I’m at five and a half weeks. I rehabbed for like three hours every day and my PT people were super amazing. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and it couldn’t have turned out better.”
Hall’s dominating finish was a fitting end to the Eagles’ state meet, which certainly began with a flurry and ended with both the Valor Christian girls and boys winning team titles.
On Thursday’s opening day, Hall along with teammates Destiny Grimes, Sadie McMullen and Peisner, set an all-classification record of 1:37.00 in the 4x200-meter relay prelims well before the won the state title on Friday. The previous record was 1:37.05, set by Pine Creek in 2014.
Denver East senior Arria Minor went through her typical state meet routine on Saturday, winning the 100 and 200 to push her career total to 10 total individual titles, and added her first-ever relay title by anchoring the Angels’ 400-meter relay team to victory. Along the way, the girl who may go down as the greatest sprinter in Colorado preps history tied the all-time state record of 11.31 in the 100 meters.
After placing third for the past two years in a row, Fairview’s Marlena Preigh won the 1,600 in 4:59.53. The Knights senior also defended her 800 title on Friday.
Grandview junior Lily Williams continued what has been a consistently-excellent prep career in the 400, winning the event in 53.63 to defend the title she won as a sophomore in 2018. As a freshman, she was runner-up to Minor.
To prove her title-winning discus throw of 142 feet was no fluke on Saturday, Loveland’s Kajsa Borrman made sure to hit the mark twice in the finals.
Despite battling injuries throughout the season, Monarch junior Mia Manson defended her pole vault title by clearing 12 feet.
Niwot won the team title with 123 points, which was an incredible 65 points ahead of runner-up Battle Mountain. That was in no small part a result of sophomore Taylor James’ versatile performance. She won the 200 and 400, and ran a leg of the Cougars’ winning 4x200 relay, all on Saturday and a day after setting a 4A meet record of 2:08.29 in the 800 on Friday.
After leading the Mead Mavericks to their school’s first girls title in the sprint medley last spring, Abbey Glynn won Mead’s first girls title in an individual event with a 44.35 in the 300-meter hurdles. The senior finished her career with 14 state medals out of a possible 16 opportunties.
The fastest race of the day went to Harrison’s Ereana McCallister, who won the 100-meter dash in 12.37 seconds.
Have a day, Jordan Lanning. The Bayfield senior made her presence known immediately on Saturday morning, setting a 3A meet record of 14.20 in the 100-meter hurdles. After setting a 3A meet record of 5-8 in the high jump on Thursday and winning the long jump on Friday, it’s safe to say Lanning had more than a good day at the 2019 state championships.
“It’s just felt different when I crossed the finish line,” said Lanning, who also placed third in the 300-hurdles. “I can barely even remember that race.”
Lutheran won the team championship, sweeping 3A with the boys.
The Classical Academy's Kaylee Thompson (5:04.27) and Katie Flaherty (5:04.61) went 1-2 in the 1,600, helping the team to a runner-up finish.
It was clear by Saturday that this year’s team champion would be Highland and the rest of the top teams were competing for second place. Highland ended up winning with 100 points, a full 32 ahead of runner-up Lyons.
Reigning champion Remington Ross wasn’t letting anyone near the 100 and 200 titles on Saturday. The Highland junior set a meet record of 11.84 in the 100 and cruised to victory with a 24.77 in the 200. She also won the long jump.
Hotchkiss senior Kiaya set a 2A state meet record of 55.76 in the 400. She broke the previous record of 56.34 set in 2013 by Jennifer Celis, who also went to Hotchkiss. Firor, who also won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, set a 2A meet record in the later with a time of 44.06.
With 108 total points, the Dragons from De Beque won the team title by an impressive 35 points over runner-up Heritage Christian.
Leading the way for the Dragons, senior Faith Novess won the 100 hurdles and set a 1A meet record of 45 seconds flat in the 300 hurdles. She now has six individual medals in her career.