Littleton runs away with both 5A track titles

Posted 5/18/09

Courtney Johnson The Class 5A high school track and field state championship meet was all about the Littleton Lions. Both the boys and girls teams …

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Littleton runs away with both 5A track titles


Courtney Johnson

The Class 5A high school track and field state championship meet was all about the Littleton Lions.

Both the boys and girls teams from Littleton High School took the team championships after three days of events May 14-16 at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.

The boys scored 77 points, beating second-place Rampart by almost 40 points. Last year, the team finished third. The boys 1,600-meter relay team of Marco Carpenter, Kumar Pinkney, Kyle MacIntosh and Kevin Scheuerman won the gold medal.

MacIntosh also took first in the 300 high hurdles. He was fifth in the 400.

“It feels great,” he said after the 1,600 relay team took first. “I think this victory is even better then when I won the 300 meter hurdles earlier.”

Nate Guthals was first in the 800 run. Ben Courtney was fifth overall in the 110-meter hurdles. He also placed eighth in the 300 hurdles. The boys 800 relay team took fifth, while the 3,200 relay team finished third.

Joe Takikawa finished runner up in the long jump, while Jonathan Edmunds finished fourth.

The overall team win, however, was a bit bittersweet for the squad and head coach Brian Kula. Kula is leaving the Lions to become the coach at Valor Christian in Highlands Ranch next season.

“The kids really put their best foot forward, and this win feels culminating,” Kula said. “The Lord blessed the team and myself. This is the best way to leave. Even though it is a bit harder to leave on this note, it will be great for my family and I, because I will be able to coach and also serve the Lord.”

MacIntosh felt the win was a perfect way to end his senior year at Littleton.

“It is such a great way to thank our coach, and a great way for him to go out too,” MacIntosh said.

The girls team edged out second-place Cherry Creek with 81 total points. Top field event placers for the girls were junior Jenna Adams, who won the 5A pole vault and junior Brooke Jackson who took the 5A discus.

Senior Jillian Quintana placed fourth in the discus and sixth in the shot put. Freshman Dana Gaetani was fourth in the 400-meter run and anchored the 1,600 relay team to victory.

“You can tell both the girls and boys really wanted it,” she said.

Her relay teammate, freshman Grace Brittan finished fifth in the 400.

“The 4 x 400 has such a team legacy,” Gaetani said. “We just had to win it for the team.”

Junior Aleah Meade and junior Emily Pirnack were also part of that winning relay.

“With coach Kula leaving this year, I know we all wanted to do it for him,” Gaetani said.

Pirnack was also sixth overall in the 100 meter hurdles, while teammate senior Tori Tillquist was seventh. Pirnack also placed ninth in the 300-meter hurdles with senior Jaquia Respass placing seventh. Tillquist was also ninth in the triple jump.

The 800 relay team finished fourth overall. The 800 sprint medley team also took home a victory.

Across town, the Heritage boys finished third with 35 points. Last year, they were seventh. Senior Jordan Edwards got redemption by repeating in the 200. He also finished second in the 100.

“I hope I can get my props and respect now as a runner and an athlete,” he said. “I am happy I could represent Heritage and myself in such a way and to do it for the team.”

He was also part of the 400 relay which finished third with teammates Seth Kisselman, Brandon Kaufman and Blair Zimmerman. Edwards also ran in the 3,200 relay, where his team finished eighth.

Senior Cody Sanders finished second in the shot put. After finishing eighth last year, he was excited with his improvement.

“It feels pretty good helping the team out,” he said.

Andrew Shultz was 14th in the pole vault.

Heritage girls finished 11th overall with 28 points. Last year, they finished third but graduated many of their top athletes. The highlight for the team was its victory in the 400 relay. Freshmen Jenna Pinto and Erin Mock along with sophomore Angela Csaszar and junior Andi Slouka took home the win despite having trouble with their handoffs the day before.

“We are so excited, and I know our coach is too after our bad handoffs,” Mock said. “He will be happy with us.”

Slouka also finished fourth in the 100 dash and fifth in the 200. The 800 relay team finished fifth, while the 3,200 team was 15th. Sophomore Carrie Nickel placed eighth in the pole vault.

The Arapahoe Warriors girls team placed 30th overall with nine points after finishing 23rd the year before. Stephanie Gerber placed fifth overall in the 100-meter hurdles and eighth in the 300 hurdles. The 1,600 relay team placed ninth. Senior Sophie McNeely finished 11th in the 3,200 run.

The boys team has a yearly goal to place top five at state, and this year they did just that. The team finished fifth with 34 points, one point out of fourth. Last season, they were the state champions but lost many top runners who graduated.

Connor Winters was third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600. Winters was also sixth in the 800.

“I thought we did well,” Winters said. “Our goal is to go top five and be a dominant team. There is such a camaraderie, and we push each other at practices.”

Junior Jason Kearns was eighth in the 3,200. Senior Marcus Pierce was seventh in the 110-meter hurdles and 13th in the high jump. Senior Patrick Brovsky was third overall in the pole vault. The 3,200 relay team finished fifth.


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