Left to right, senior Ismael Dembele, junior Bryce McCutcheon, sophomore James Holland and junior Daryn Ofori-Kuragu pose after winning the Class 5A state championship in the boys 4×400 meter relay on June 26, 2021, at Jefferson County Stadium. The Raiders earned one of the five event state championships for Aurora boys athletes at the three-day state meet. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | City individuals and relay teams combined to win five individual event championships and a team title at the boys Class 5A state track & field championships June 24-26, 2021, at Jefferson County Stadium. Here’s a quick look at each state champion and how they won:

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

TEAM

Grandview: Class 5A boys team championship — The Wolves knew they had both the firepower and chemistry to bring home a state championship and they did just that with a 21.5-point victory after three days of competition at Jefferson County Stadium. In winning just the third state championship for a boys team in Grandview history (the 2007 football team and 2017-18 boys basketball previously won titles), coach John Reyes’ team had state championship-winning 4×100 and 4×200 meter relay teams in addition to 12 athletes who scored in at least one event, individually or with a relay, and three that scored in four in senior Sonny Thompkins, junior Malique Singleton and sophomore David Maldonado.

INDIVIDUAL/RELAY

Eaglecrest’s Sterling Brassfield: Class 5A boys 100 meter dash — A showdown between Brassfield and Fairview’s Gavin Schurr looked to be one of the highlights of the state meet coming in before Schurr got the call for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Still, Brassfield had to navigate a fast field to win his first state championship in his second career trip to the state meet, as he finished sixth in the 100 as a sophomore in 2019 before last season was lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. He brought home the title with a time of 10.63 seconds, which was his second-fastest race of the season after the PR of 10.58 seconds he ran at the June 3 Centennial League qualifier that finished the season as the second-fastest all season in Colorado behind a 10.49 clocked by Schurr.

Regis Jesuit’s D’Andre Barnes: Class 5A boys 200 meter dash — Barnes didn’t have the chance to compete at the state meet during his freshman year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but he made the most of his debut as a sophomore. He warmed up with a fourth-place as part of Regis Jesuit’s 4×200 meter relay and a third-place result in the 100 meters before taking home the individual title in the 200. Barnes ran his fastest time of the season — a wind-aided 21.49 seconds — at the Liberty Bell Invitational two weeks before the state meet and dropped his second-fastest with a 21.65 in state prelims. A time of 21.69 in the finals brought Barnes across the finish line 0.10 of a second ahead of Eaglecrest’s Sterling Brassfield, who was trying for his second sprint title of the meet.

Grandview’s Charlie Dick, Malique Singleton, Evan Johnson, David Maldonado: Class 5A boys 4×200 meter relay — The Wolves have an embarrassment of riches with a deep pool of outstanding relay runners, but chose this group (subbing in Singleton for junior Kahden Rullo, who ran the prelims) to compete in the final of the 4×200 and it netted the first of two relay state titles in the meet. Grandview ran a time of 1 minute, 27.88 seconds, in the prelims and bettered it with a 1:27.08 with the title on the line to finish well in front of runner-up Fountain-Fort Carson, which clocked a 1:28.35. The Wolves’ time was easily the fastest in Colorado regardless of classification on the season and sealed a clean sweep in the event for the Grandview program, as the girls won the 4×200 crown in the event just prior.

Grandview’s Conrad Casebolt, David Maldonado, Charlie Dick, Evan Johnson: Class 5A boys 4×100 meter relay — The Wolves had dominated this relay during the season and came in as the favorite, clocking the fastest time in prelims to set up a run to the title. The final came in the midst of a rain storm, however, and included a false start by another team in the championship heat. Casebolt got off to a strong start, Maldonado and Dick did their work to get it to Johnson, who rolled to the finish line to clock a time of 41.96 seconds. It was a half-second behind the 41.48 they ran at the Centennial League Championships that ended the season as Colorado’s best regardless of classification, but fell short of taking down the 2007 Colorado state record of 41.21 set by Overland in 2007.

Rangeview’s Ismael Dembele, James Holland, Daryn Ofori-Kuragu, Bryce McCutcheon: Class 5A boys 4×400 meter relay — The last event of the state meet for the 5A classification came complete with fireworks provided by Rangeview, which came into the meet with only the ninth-fastest time in the state. The Raiders improved on that by running the second-fastest time in the prelims, which was nearly two seconds slower than Cherry Creek. The Rangeview group was at its best in the championship finals, as it clocked a time of 3 minutes, 21.51 seconds, that was nearly three seconds faster than they ran in prelims — and almost six better than their previous best time of the season — and ended up as Colorado’s top time regardless of classification. Dembele, the lone senior in the group, got off to a strong start, while Holland (originally an alternate) worked Rangeview into the lead, Ofori-Kuragu (the EMAC Athlete of the Year) held the advantage and McCutcheon withstood pursuit by the Bruins and a surge at the finish line by Castle View to win the state title.

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