Arapahoe wins Littleton track meet
Arapahoe's track team scored points in most events as the Warriors took top honors in the boys' and girls' team standing at the April 5 City of Littleton track meet.
In 2002, the City of Littleton Track Meet became a six-team meet as the three Littleton district schools — Arapahoe, Heritage and Littleton — were joined by nearby Jefferson County schools Columbine, Chatfield and Dakota Ridge.
In this year's meet, the Warriors boys took top honors with 147.5 points to regain the meet title after losing it to Heritage last year. The Eagles captured runner-up honors by scoring 120 points. Chatfield was third, Littleton fourth, Columbine fifth and Dakota Ridge sixth.
In the girls competition, the Warriors piled up points in field events and on the track as they won the meet time title for the fourth year in a row by scoring 211.25 points. Heritage took second place in the team standings with 120 points. The Dakota Ridge girls were third, Chatfield was fourth, Littleton was fifth and Columbine was sixth.
Going into this year's meet, each of the coaches for the three Littleton district schools gave early-season evaluations of how they felt their teams were shaping up.
This year's Warrior girls team is talented, particularly in middle and long distances, coach Steve Lienemann said.
“Our girls are really working well as individuals and with their teammates,” he said. “I know it is early, but our 4 X 400 and our 4 X 800 relay teams are rated as best in state, as is our medley relay team.”
Devon Foster helped her team's point total by winning the 1,600-meter run in a time of 5:18, with teammate Emily Wolff a close second. In field events, Brianna Borcic posted a first-place finish in the girls pole vault.
Lienemann said the Warriors also had a strong boys team. He said the distance runners will score points and he expects his young sprinters to score points for him.
He said the Warriors have strong performers in several field events. Two Arapahoe athletes, Zachary Ray and Nathan Forest, helped their team as they finished one-two in the pole vault.
Coach Art Vigil said the Littleton Lions have a talented boys team, but the majority of the girls team is young athletes.
“The boys team is particularly strong in the sprints,” he said. “We have D'Angelo Deniro running in the 100 and the 200, plus we have a strong performer in Jack Robb, who runs the 400 and the 800.”
Deniro and Robb joined forces with Jake Bergman and Barry Visser to win the 4 X 200 relay and reunited to win the 4 x 400. Lion hurler Casey Thompson Comstock Thompson placed in the discus and won the shot put event.
The Lions coach said the girls team has a lot of young athletes in individual events and will run well in relays.
The coach's prediction was on target as Rosa Hardason, Elizabeth Ballendonk, Emily Burch and Elizabeth Rothrock captures runner-up honors in the 4 x 400 relay.
Vigil said he also expected Elsie Mangum to be a top contender in the discus and shot put. In the city meet, she won the shot put and finished third in discus.
Heritage coach Kevin Young said he expects the Eagles to be competitive, but it is almost too early in the season to decide how good his top performers will be.
However, he said the boys team includes quality depth in all areas, and Christian Martin should be a top contender in the long-distance races.
“We have good kids on the roster but the makeup of our relay teams is still a work in progress,” he said. “I expect it'll take about a month of practices and meets to establish firm relay lineups.”
However, his decision on who should team up for the 4 x 800 relay was on target, as the Eagles won the event. The team point total was also helped as Martin came on strong down the stretch to win the 1,600-meter run.
Young said the Eagles girls roster is thin and most of the athletes are young. In the city meet, Logan Torres was third in the 100-meter dash while, in field events, Natalie Schoendaller took third in the shot put and in the discus.