Cherokee Trail repeats as Class 5A track state champion

Photo by Jen Jardeleza | Colorado MileSplit
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By KYLE NEWMAN | [email protected] | The Denver Post

Chris Faust needs another tattoo.

The Cherokee Trail boys repeated as the Class 5A track state champions on Saturday at Jeffco Stadium, blowing away the field with 111 points, nearly double the tally of second-place Mountain Vista.

For that feat, Faust will add some more ink, as he gets a tattoo for each of the Cougars’ state titles. CT’s now won four championships on the boys side to go along with a pair on the girls side.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this, where we’ve scored so many more points than what we were seeded against,” said Faust, in his 21st year as the Cougars head coach. “On paper, we were expecting to get 85 points. Usually if you’ve got 85 projected, we can get to 70 or 75, and that will usually win boys 5A. But we outperformed across the board.”

Faust’s tattoos honoring his title teams feature state rings, a winged foot, Cherokee Trail’s original logo and — his most recent addition after the Cougars’ boys crown last spring — the Flying Dutchman from Spongebob Squarepants on his left calf. All of those tattoos have the title years corresponding with the images.

The repeat is even sweeter for Faust considering the last time Cherokee Trail was a favorite to go back-to-back, in 2014, the Cougars stumbled at state. They dropped a baton in the 1,600-meter relay preliminaries to miss the finals, and had a couple other blunders en route to finishing second to Fountain-Fort Carson by six points.

“You can’t assume what’s happening on paper is going to happen in the meet,” Faust said. “So it’s a credit to our team for staying focused this year.”

While the Cougars were headlined by junior sprinter Peyton Sommers, who swept the 100-, 200- and 400-meter crowns and ran the anchor on Cherokee Trail’s state-record 800-meter relay, Faust emphasizes it was a total team effort that allowed Cherokee Trail to dominate.

Faust hailed New Mexico-bound senior Kahari Wilbon, a three-year captain, as the “undisputed leader of this team.” Add in other key point-accumulating performances by athletes like junior Solomon Griffen (third in the 110-meter hurdles), senior Cayden Sweets (third in the long jump), junior Taylor Waters (fourth in the pole vault) and senior Jaden Smith (fourth in the triple jump), and Cherokee Trail was a deep, unstoppable force.


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Source Denver Post
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