Aurora athletes contributed heavily to making the 2013 season one of the best — if not the best — seasons of girls track in recent memory.
Colorado girls in several classifications put themselves atop national leaderboards and put more of a spotlight on the state like it had never had before, many from Aurora.
Regis Jesuit senior Ana Holland, who won the rare triple crown by winning Class 5A state championships in the girls 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes on the final day of the three-day 5A state meet at Jefferson County Stadium headlines the 2013 Aurora Sentinel All-City Girls Track Team, which is based on results from the state meet.
Holland — a University of Virginia signee — dazzled at her final state meet, shaking off a tweak to her foot in warmups to complete the sprint sweep, which just eluded her in 2011. Two of Holland’s state times — in the 100 and 400 — were tops in the country and her 400 mark of 52.49, which came after she injured her foot in warmups, still stands as the tops in the country.
Holland’s teammate Kelsey Cunningham made it four state titles for Regis Jesuit girls, as she won the triple jump with a top effort of 38 feet, 11 1/2 inches.
The Augustana College signee went a half-inch better than that in April, with her 39-footer the best jump in Colorado. City-best high jumper Kellyn Toole also contributed to Regis Jesuit’s fourth place team finish, one spot behind Cherokee Trail.
Cherokee Trail posted a strong third place team finish with a fairly small state team that included just one senior.
Junior Hannah Sparks had Aurora’s top effort in the long jump and anchored both of the Cougars’ second-place relay teams, the 4×100 — which also included Haley Rogers, Aunyx Ashby and Shayna Yon — and the 4×200 group, rounded out by Yon, Apeasha and Aunyx Ashby.
Yon also had a great first state meet individually, placing in two sprint events and the long jump.
Sophomore Amanda Andrews in the 300 meter hurdles (6th place) and freshman Amazing Ashby in the 100 meter hurdles also led Aurora athletes.
Seventh-place Smoky Hill got a great meet from senior Rachael Chacko, who finished in the top four of all three distance events.
The Princeton-bound Chacko placed a career-best second in the 3,200, third in the 1,600 and fourth in the 800.
Senior Zainab Sanni didn’t finish best among Aurora athletes in any event at state — thanks primarily to Holland’s triple crown — but she was one of the small number of city athletes to score in three open events. The University of Kansas signee placed second in the 100 meter dash, fourth in the 200 and sixth in the long jump, which she took up this year.
The Buffaloes also showed their typical strength in the distance relays, posting Aurora’s best finishes in the 4×400 (Brynell Yount, Melissa Klatt, Monica Watson, Jamie Jezier) and 4×800 (Yount, Jezier, Chloe Andrie and Lana Yeager).
Grandview had no state champions, but a trio of runners-up: junior Erin Norton in the 1,600 meters, senior Adaeze Obinnah in the shot put (by 1/4 of a inch) and senior Anna Loken in the pole vault.
Eaglecrest’s 800 sprint medley relay team of Ashley Windom, Tashay Brown, Omotuminunu Olatipo and Alicia Taurchini posted the second-best time in the country in the event at the Liberty Bell Invitational and they improved on that at state, but crossed the finish line second.
Rangeview’s Christina Fasci capped a strong throwing career by leading Aurora’s three state placers in the discus in sixth.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555
2013 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-CITY GIRLS TRACK TEAM
100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters: Ana Holland, Regis Jesuit, sr.***; 800 meters, 3,200 meters: Rachael Chacko, Smoky Hill, sr.; 1,600 meters: Erin Norton, Grandview, jr.; 100 meter hurdles: Amazing Ashby, Cherokee Trail, fr.; 300 meter hurdles: Amanda Andrews, Cherokee Trail, soph.; 4×100 meter relay: Cherokee Trail (Haley Rogers, Aunyx Ashby, Shayna Yon, Hannah Sparks); 4×200 meter relay: Cherokee Trail (Apeasha Ashby, Aunyx Ashby, Shayna Yon, Hannah Sparks); 4×400 meter relay: Smoky Hill (Brynell Yount, Melissa Klatt, Monica Watson, Jamie Jezier); 4×800 meter relay: Smoky Hill (Brynell Yount, Jamie Jezier, Chloe Andrie, Lana Yeager); 800 meter sprint medley relay: Eaglecrest (Ashley Windom, Tashay Brown, Omotuminunu Olatipo, Alicia Taurchini); High jump: Kellyn Toole, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Long jump: Hannah Sparks, Cherokee Trail, jr.; Triple jump: Kelsey Cunningham, Regis Jesuit, sr.*; Pole vault: Anna Loken, Grandview, sr.; Discus: Christina Fasci, Rangeview, sr.; Shot put: Adaeze Obinnah, Grandview, sr.; All around: Zainab Sanni, Smoky Hill, sr.
* — State champion
HONORABLE MENTION: Rachael Chacko, sr., Smoky Hill (1,600 meter run); Christina Fasci, sr., Rangeview (shot put); Charley Hatcher, jr., Cherokee Trail (discus); Maddie Leatherbury, jr., Cherokee Trail (discus); Erin Norton, jr., Grandview (3,200 meter run); Stephanie Nwagwu, sr., Grandview (triple jump); Sydney Rohlwing, sr., Regis Jesuit (300 meter hurdles); Zainab Sanni, sr., Smoky Hill (100, 200 meters; long jump); Hannah Sparks, jr., Cherokee Trail (triple jump); Shayna Yon, soph., Cherokee Trail (100, 200 meters; long jump); Relays: Cherokee Trail 800 sprint medley; Regis Jesuit 4×200 meter relay