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

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From left, Hinkley senior Darrien Wells and juniors Casey Sharpe, Angel Heredia and Oscar Sarabia pose for a picture with a Colorado flag after they ran the top time in the state regardless of classification to win the Class 5A boys 4×200 meter relay at the state meet on May 20, 2017. at Jeffco Stadium. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | City teams and athletes won one team state championship and 11 individual titles during the 2017 spring prep sports season. Here’s an in-depth look at Hinkley’s Casey Sharpe, Oscar Sarabia, Angel Heredia and Darrien Wells, the Class 5A boys 4×200 meter relay state champions:

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

HINKLEY’S CASEY SHARPE, OSCAR SARABIA, ANGEL HEREDIA & DARRIEN WELLS: 2017 5A BOYS 4×200 RELAY  STATE CHAMPION

Hinkley senior Darrien Wells lets out a yell after the Thunderbirds won the Class 5A boys 4×200 meter relay at the 5A state track meet on May 20, 2017, at Jeffco Stadium. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Coming into the 2017 season, Hinkley coach Chris Carhart had a new need for strategy for his team in the wake of a 2016 campaign the saw the Thunderbirds finish third in the standings at last season’s Class 5A boys state track meet. Coming that close to a state championship and returning as much talent as he did — including state champions in Darrien Wells and Angel Heredia — Carhart believed the best strategy was to spend most of the season getting as many individuals qualified for the state meet as possible. That meant an emphasis on open events and not so much on relays.

The time to put together relays came at the end of the season and Hinkley did so at the EMAC Championship meet and especially at its own Last Chance Meet — which happened a week before state — where the Thunderbirds were particularly noteworthy in the 4×200 meter relay. Hinkley’s foursome of juniors Casey Sharpe and Oscar Sarabia along with Heredia and Wells showed itself to be a contender at the Last Chance meet, when the Thunderbirds recorded the second-fastest time in the state behind sprint powerhouse Fountain-Fort Carson. When the state meet got condensed down from three days to two days at Jefferson County Stadium due to weather — eliminating prelims in all events — it favored Hinkley as it needed to take down the top-seeded Trojans just once.

Hinkley coach Chris Carhart, center right, hugs senior Darrien Wells after the Thunderbirds clinched the Class 5A boys 4×200 meter relay state title. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Sharpe and Sarabia, who had a breakout season in the hurdles and also showed plenty of speed, got Hinkley off to a strong start before Heredia and Wells used their competitive experience in a championship context to finish off the second half of the race. As the anchor leg, Wells created quite a stir at the end of the event as he dove across the finish line and rolled on his shoulder to bring the Thunderbirds in at 1 minute, 27.25 seconds. Wells popped up, checked out the scoreboard and when he saw Hinkley listed at the top, let out a yell. The Thunderbirds’ time stood up as the best time in Colorado regardless of classification and brought them in ahead of Fountain-Fort Carson, which clocked 1:27.43.

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: Cherokee Trail’s Sydnee Larkin (5A girls triple jump)

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: 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)