We are the (Aurora) champions: Cherokee Trail’s Sydnee Larkin (5A girls triple jump)

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Cherokee Trail junior Sydnee Larkin makes her third attempt during the Class 5A girls triple jump competition on May 20, 2017, at Jeffco Stadium. Despite a season-low jump of 36 feet, 10 1/2 inches, Larkin became the back-to-back 5A state champion in the event. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | City teams and athletes won one team state championship and 11 individual titles during the final weeks of the 2017 spring prep sports season. Here’s an in-depth look at Cherokee Trail junior Sydnee Larkin, the Class 5A girls state champion in the triple jump:

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

Even with her lowest mark of the season, Cherokee Trail junior Sydnee Larkin, right, finished two inches ahead of Loveland’s Tatum Rembao in the Class 5A girls triple jump to become a back-to-back state champion in the event. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

CHEROKEE TRAIL’S SYDNEE LARKIN: 5A GIRLS TRIPLE JUMP STATE CHAMPION

On the whole, the bad weather that forced the three-day Class 5A state track meet to be condensed into two days didn’t have tremendous effect, however, some competitors in the field events felt the change more than others. Because of the time crunch, each athlete in the girls triple jump got just four attempts instead of the normal three-jump prelims, followed by a three-jump final for those who made it through. Cherokee Trail junior Sydnee Larkin felt she suffered the most from the change as she typically makes her best jumps at the end of competitions. Larkin — the defending state champion in the triple jump — felt pressed by the loss of two attempts and actually scratched two of her four tries in one of the early events on the first day at Jeffco Stadium, which came after she said she got just 45 minutes of sleep the night before. Nothing kept her from becoming a back-to-back state champion, however, as her third attempt yielded an effort of 36 feet, 10 1/2 inches, which stood up as the winner as runner-up Tatum Rembao of Loveland landed a best jump of just 36 8 1/4. Larkin felt her best jump was her fourth attempt, but it was a scratch.

Cherokee Trail junior Sydnee Larkin makes one of her attempts during the girls long jump at the Class 5A state track & field meet on May 20, 2017, at Jeffco Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Larkin battled injury all season, so she triple jumped only a handful of times and ran events like the 400 meters along the way to find her form and fitness. Her state performance actually stood as her shortest winning mark, as she had achieved her top mark of 37-2 1/2 inches at the Stutler Bowl Twilight Meet on April 24 and also surpassed 37 feet in winning the event at the Centennial League Championships a week before state. Her personal best outdoors is 39 8 1/4 set at last year’s 5A state meet and she’d recorded a 40 3/4 during the indoor season in a meet at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Larkin and teammate Chian DeLoach, who finished fourth, gave coach Chris Faust’s Cherokee Trail team significant points in the triple jump on their way to third place as a team. Larkin also became a back-to-back state champion in the 5A 4×100 meter relay, as she ran the anchor leg on a team that also included DeLoach and fellow juniors Jaiden Paris and Taylor Watson. The Cougars have won that event for three straight seasons and the same foursome contributed a fourth-place finish in the 4×200 meter relay.

Quoting Larkin: “My last jump is usually my best jump and I felt like I could have gone so much further…This wasn’t even close to my best, but honestly the mark didn’t even matter. I just came out here to be a back-to-back state champ and get points for my team and I did that.”

MORE WE ARE THE (AURORA) CHAMPIONS

We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview girls track team (5A state track)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Brie Oakley (5A girls 3,200 meters)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Hinkley’s Darrien Wells (5A boys 400 meters)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Kylee Harr (5A girls high jump)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Hinkley’s Angel Heredia (5A boys 300 meter hurdles)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Cherokee Trail’s Jaiden Paris, Taylor Watson, Chian DeLoach, Sydnee Larkin (5A girls 4×100 meter relay)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Kennede Brown, Kameryn Brown, Lily Williams and Michaela Onyenwere (5A girls 4×200 meter relay)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Hinkley’s Casey Sharpe, Oscar Sarabia, Angel Heredia and Darrien Wells (5A boys 4×200 meter relay)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Kylee Harr, Jordyn Moore, Kameryn Brown and Lily Williams (5A girls 800 meter sprint medley relay)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Lily Williams, Kaitlyn Mercer, Kennede Brown and Michaela Onyenwere (5A girls 4×400 meter relay)

We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Amy Chitkoksoong (5A girls golf)