Athletes from Grandview and Cherokee Trail climbed all over the medal podium at the Class 5A state track meet and the Wolves and Cougars packed in the open spots on the 2022 Sentinel Colorado All-Aurora Boys Track & Field Team as well.
The repeat state champion Wolves and runner-up Cougars — likely one of the favorites next season — combine to fill 16 of the 18 slots on the All-Aurora Team, which is based primarily on performance at the state meet.
Coach John Reyes’ Grandview team came into the season as the prohibitive pick to win again based on how much talent it brought back from the 2021 state championship team and the Wolves did not disappoint. They won every meet in Colorado that they competed in full strength and closed it out with a 27-point victory at the state meet with a big finish on the final day.
Grandview had strength all over the place, but it was especially dominant in the sprint relays, as the same group of seniors Charlie Dick and Evan Johnson and juniors David Maldonado and Luke Trinrud earned state championships in the 4×100 and 4×200 meter relays.
The 4×100 performance proved particularly historic, as the Wolves earned their way into Colorado’s all-classification state recordbook with their performance in the prelims of the Centennial League Championship meet. Grandview clocked a time of 40.59 seconds that bettered the mark of 41.21 held by Overland since 2007. It took an effort 41.37 to win the state title for the Wolves, who also won the event at the city meet. The same Grandvie group collected the 4×200 title with a time of 1:26.75 that finished the season as the fastest in Colorado regardless of classification.
On top of his relay efforts, Maldonado was the fastest Aurora runner in the 100 meter dash as he finished just an eyelash behind Denver East’s Ben Kirk for the state title. Maldonado ran 11 seconds flat to finish second by a hair over Chatfield’s Hayden Marx.
Grandview had two two-event All-Aurora performers in seniors Malique Singleton and Mateo Munoz, who were both key point scorers for the Wolves as they combined for four top-three results.
Singleton — a football star signed with the University of Wyoming — swept All-Aurora honors in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, which he also did at the city meet earlier in the season. He started the final day of the state meet with a third-place finish in the 110 hurdles in a time of 14.73 seconds and his runner-up finish behind Rampart’s Carson Bruns in the 300 meter hurdles ignited a celebration from teammates gathered near the finish line as it clinched the team title.
The versatile Munoz, who has signed with Colorado State, won the pole vault six times in nine competitions during the course of the season and finished with a PR of 15 feet, 3 inches, at the state meet that made him the state runner-up. Munoz grabbed third place in the high jump as well with a top effort of 6 feet, 3 inches, which was a key late result on the second day of the state meet that gave the Wolves momentum going into the third.
Rounding out Grandview’s All-Aurora contingent for the second straight season is senior Moosah Alsaffar, the city’s top performer in the shot put yet again. A standout running back on the football team, Alsaffar traded carrying a ball for throwing it in the fall and followed up a runner-up finish in 2021 with a second second-place result. His top throw of 51 feet, 4 3/4 inches, came on the final throw of his prelim flight and he finish only behind Douglas County’s Taylor Nichols (51-7 3/4) despite scratching out on all three of his final attempts.
Coach Chris Faust’s Cherokee Trail team needed just a sixth-place or better performance in the 4×400 meter relay to move into second place in the final team standings and got way more than that as the team of senior Ciaran Hyslop, junior Reuben Holness, sophomore Kahari Wilbon and freshman Peyton Sommers won the state championship with an all-classification best time of 3:17.49.
The Cougars got a lead on rival Cherry Creek early and held it the entire way to win an event Faust always values given how impactful it can be to the final team standings. The anchor leg was run by Sommers, who put the finishing touches on an outstanding debut state meet that netted him three All-Aurora honors.
In addition to his work with the 4×400 meter relay, Sommers was the fastest 200 meter runner in the city — as he placed second, just behind Denver East’s Ben Kirk and just in front of the Grandview duo of Maldonado and Johnson — and also topped locals in the 400 as well, as he finished third.
Cherokee Trail’s state meet opened with another state championship from the all-junior 4×800 meter relay team of Reuben Holness, Beck Gutjahr, Evan Armstrong and Logan McGowan.
That team used the motivation of a runner-up finish to Mountain Vista last season and owned the competition this time, as the Cougars (also the city champions) finished in 7:52.07 for a sweet win over the second-place Golden Eagles.
That began an outstanding meet for Holness, who contributed to both championship-winning relays and also grabbed All-Aurora honors in the 1,600 meters, in which he surged late to secure seventh-place in an event in which he won the city championship. He was joined on the All-Aurora team by a distance teammate in junior Hunter Strand, the city’s top 3,200 meter runner with a sixth-place result.
Senior Nate Gaye — another football standout — rounds out Cherokee Trail’s All-Aurora contingent by way of the long jump, in which he placed third at state with a top jump of 22 feet, 6 inches, that came midway through his prelim flight. During the regular season, Gaye had jumped more than seven inches further in a distance of 23-1 1/2 that was the top wind-legal mark among 5A jumpers.
The Rangeview duo of seniors Austin Appiah and Leland Smith prevented a sweep of the All-Aurora categories by Grandview and Cherokee Trail as they each produced top-five results in the discus and triple jump, respectively.
Appiah — a football standout who has signed with Colorado State-Pueblo, where he also plans to throw — had designs on winning the 5A crown in the discus and he came in believing he could top the throw of 164 feet, 6 inches, from the Pomona Invitational that had been his personal best. Even that throw at the state meet would have put the Aurora city champion second, a spot he secured behind Rocky Mountain’s Kevin Bruxvoort with a top effort of 160-6.
Smith’s personal best in the triple jump of 43 feet, 5 3/4 inches, came in the opening meet of the year at the Rangeview Invitational, but he came closest to that mark at the state meet, where a 42-8 3/4 put him a city-best fifth. He also won the Aurora City Championship meet in the event for coach Marty Wittmer’s Raiders.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
2022 SENTINEL COLORADO ALL-AURORA BOYS TRACK TEAM
4×800 meter relay — Cherokee Trail (Reuben Holness, jr., Beck Gutjahr, jr., Evan Armstrong, jr., Logan McGowan, jr.)*; 110 meter hurdles — Malique Singleton, sr., Grandview; 100 meter dash — David Maldonado, jr., Grandview; 4×200 meter relay — Grandview (Charlie Dick, Evan Johnson, Luke Trinrud, David Maldonado)*; 1,600 meter run — Reuben Holness, jr., Cherokee Trail; 4×100 meter relay — Grandview (Luke Trinrud, jr., David Maldonado, jr., Charlie Dick, sr., Evan Johnson, sr.)*; 400 meter dash — Peyton Sommers, fr., Cherokee Trail; 300 meter hurdles — Malique Singleton, sr., Grandview; 800 meter run — Reuben Holness, jr., Cherokee Trail; 200 meter dash — Peyton Sommers, fr., Cherokee Trail; 3,200 meter run — Hunter Strand, jr., Cherokee Trail; 4×400 meter relay — Cherokee Trail (Ciaran Hyslop, sr., Kahari Wilbon, soph., Reuben Holness, jr., Peyton Sommers, fr.)*; Long jump — Nate Gaye, sr., Cherokee Trail; High jump — Mateo Munoz, sr., Grandview; Pole vault — Mateo Munoz, sr., Grandview; Triple jump — Leland Smith, sr., Rangeview; Discus — Austin Appiah, sr., Rangeview; Shot put — Moosah Alsaffar, sr., Grandview
Jaheim Alexander, soph., Rangeview (110 meter hurdles/300 meter hurdles); Evan Armstrong, jr., Cherokee Trail (800 meter run); D’Andre Barnes, jr., Regis Jesuit (100 meter dash/200 meter dash); Conrad Casebolt, sr., Grandview (400 meter dash); Zane Cole, jr., Grandview (high jump); Charlie Dick, sr., Grandview (100 meter dash); Micah Dobson, jr., Rangeview (triple jump); Jared Ebedes, sr., Regis Jesuit (110 meter hurdles/300 meter hurdles); David Flaig, soph., Regis Jesuit (1,600 meter run); Nate Gaye, sr., Cherokee Trail (100 meter dash/triple jump); Michael Hemingway, sr., Cherokee Trail (100 meter dash); James Holland, jr., Rangeview (200 meter dash); Nathan Hunholz, soph., Vista PEAK (shot put/discus); Evan Johnson, sr., Grandview (100 meter dash/200 meter dash); Gibby Leafgreen, jr., Grandview (110 meter hurdles); Rylen Lippelt, jr., Grandview (pole vault); David Maldonado, jr., Grandview (200 meter dash); Bryce McCutcheon, sr., Rangeview (400 meter dash); Braden Miller, sr., Eaglecrest (shot put); Mateo Munoz, sr., Grandview (110 meter hurdles); Ose Okhihan, jr., Rangeview (triple jump); Komari Owens, jr., Overland (long jump); Kahden Rullo, sr., Grandview (100 meter dash); Leland Smith, sr., Rangeview (high jump); Hunter Strand, jr., Cherokee Trail (1,600 meter run); Luke Trinrud, jr., Grandview (100 meter dash/200 meter dash); Wyatt Walker, sr., Grandview (triple jump); Kahari Wilbon, soph., Cherokee Trail (400 meter run); Jarrius Ward, fr., Overland (discus/shot put)
Relays: Jack Pierce, Michael Hemingway, Kalib Davis, Nate Gaye, Cherokee Trail (4×100 meter relay); Jared Ebedes, Lawson Douglas, Dylan McCullough, D’Andre Barnes, Regis Jesuit (4×100 meter relay); Donci Kanyinda, David Torres, Aaron Frimpong, Peace Warah, Eaglecrest (4×100 meter relay); Marcel Evans, Timi Ola, Calem Moore, Jordan Mayfield, Vista PEAK (4×100 meter relay); Nasir Simmons, Leland Smith, Donovan Cooks, James Holland, Rangeview (4×100 meter relay); Kahari Wilbon, Jaylon Moore, Ciaran Hyslop, Peyton Sommers, Cherokee Trail (4×200 meter relay); Tanner Lippold, Malique Singleton, Ryan Williams, Conrad Casebolt, Grandview (4×400 meter relay); Donci Kanyinda, Cam Chapa, Peach Warah, Xavier Waldron, Eaglecrest (4×400 meter relay); Andrew Naylor, Richjarion Hines, Brandon Guzman, Elijah Hatcher, Smoky Hill (4×400 meter relay); Niko Auerbach, D’Andre Barnes, Makani Sahm-McKee, Owen Walker, Regis Jesuit (4×400 meter relay)