Niwot track dynasty continues, Rock Canyon wins first crown and more storylines from the girls state track meet

Photo by Jen Jardeleza | Colorado MileSplit
By KYLE NEWMAN | [email protected] | The Denver Post and BRAIDON NOURSE | [email protected] | Special to The Denver Post

Niwot’s girls track dynasty is chugging along at an infinite pace.

The Cougars cruised to another Class 4A title on Saturday, the team’s eighth championship since 2013 and fifth straight. As has been the case in recent years, Niwot’s triumph was never in question. The ultra-loaded Cougars finished with 158 points for a 98-point margin of victory over runner-up Windsor.

In the process, Niwot claimed five individual titles and three relay titles. Sophomore sensation Addison Ritzenhein won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, junior Reese Kasper won the 300-meter hurdles, junior Jade West claimed the discus and shot put, and the Cougars also posted wins in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 relays.

“Our strength has been versatility,” 14th-year Niwot coach Maurice Henriques said. “We’ve been strong in sprints and we’ve been strong in the relays, in hurdles, in the jumps. We’ve been able to compete across the board, and things we’ve been improving on is something like the throws, where Jade West has been big for us. That’s allowed our margin (of victory) to increase over the years, because our first state title came from just 70 points.”

The Cougars’ theme for this season has been “encourage,” and they had something extra to compete for at Jeffco Stadium. Niwot assistant coach Craig Sherman has been battling cancer, and Ritzenhein said “it’s been very tough for us to see him go through that.”

“We all take the hit emotionally from that,” Ritzenhein said. “But our big thing for this state meet was to run for him, because he’s such a loving and supporting coach.”

Niwot will be moving up to Class 5A in track and field in 2026, so next year will be the final season the Cougar girls are a heavy favorite in 4A. But even when they are competing in the state’s highest classification, based off Niwot’s current talent, they will still be a title contender.

“We’ve got a lot of talented freshmen this year, and a bunch of returners overall,” Reese Kasper said. “This is going to keep going.”

Rock Canyon makes history. In a close race for the 5A girls title, the Jaguars’ 71 points bested Fossil Ridge (62.5 points) and Mountain Vista (58) to win Rock Canyon’s first track and field title in school history.

Read the full article at the Denver Post by clicking here.

Source Denver Post
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