Gabriella Cunningham won a Class 5A state championship with the Grandview girls basketball team in 2021-22 and she did a lot of heavy lifting as she tried to help the Wolves win another in state track.

On the final day of the three-day 5A state meet at Jefferson County Stadium, the junior star capped an outstanding season with individual state championships in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles — as she bested another Aurora contender, Vista PEAK’s Kendall McCoy, in both — and also finished fourth in the 100 meter dash.

Near the end of the day, she ran the anchor leg on a title-winning 4×100 meter relay that also included sophomore Leiava Holliman, junior Mikaya Singleton and senior McKenzie Droughns.

“Honestly it was such a beautiful opportunity to spend a day with my teammates,” Cunningham said after her team finished in front of local rival Eaglecrest to win the relay.

“I’m proud of every individual on this team and we can all hold our heads up high,” she added.

The win gave the Wolves a chance to win the team title depending on the results of the 4×400 meter relay, but Valor Christian — which had a two-point lead going into the event — held onto its advantage by winning the final event to outpace Grandview 84-77.

Coach Chris Carhart’s Eaglecrest team grabbed 47 points to finish next among local teams in fifth place and defended last season’s 4×200 meter relay.

Seniors Kiara Garcia, Maya Walters and Bianca Gleim and sophomore anchor Jaylynn Wilson turned in a time of 1:41.63 to earn the win after the same unit finished a disappointing third in the 800 sprint medley relay.

It turned out to be fuel.

“This meant a lot more to us after the sprint medley, so being at the top of the podium was absolutely amazing,” Wilson said.

Three of the four relay members also scored individually and senior Blythe Cayko finished fourth in the shot put and sixth in the discus to help the Raptors.

Eighth-place Cherokee Trail had two top-four finishes in jumping events from sophomore Kaeli Powe — second in the triple jump, fourth in the long jump — while coach Chris Faust’s team also got a third-place finish from junior Sanaai Hancock in the 100 hurdles.

Vista PEAK made the move up from 4A to 5A this season and finished in 15th place with a total of four top-nine places among three athletes. Two of those came from McCoy, who finished behind Cunningham in both hurdles races.

“This year has been a learning experience, trying not to compare myself to anybody else,” said McCoy, who signed her letter of intent with San Jose State on May 18. “I’m just trying to have fun, trust my training and my coaches and do what I can.”

Rangeview finished in a tie for 18th with Zane Bullock scoring individually and anchoring two fourth-place relay teams, while senior Leilah Swanson earned podium places in both of the throwing events for Hinkley.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports


Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...

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