Local athletes closed the 2021-2022 prep calendar with a bang.
Sierra High School crowned a state champion on the track, Mitchell nearly had long jump champions in consecutive years at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood and the Harrison girls soccer team set a new standard for the program.
Here are the highlights from the spring season:
Track and field: Marcus Mills earns redemption
“I’ll be back. Trust me, this isn’t the end for me.”
Marcus Mills said this following a disqualification in the 110 hurdles at the state meet in 2021 after he ventured out of his lane.
Nearly one year later, Mills earned the Class 3A crown in the event where he dominated most of the year – Mills hadn’t finished worse than second this season.
Mills clocked in at 14.90 seconds to take first place in the event.
Mills became the first Stallions 110 meter hurdler to win a title since Kelby Dias – who trained Mills in the 110 hurdles – accomplished the feat in 2009. Dias ran a 13.72 in the finals in his last competition.
“[I’m] so proud of him!” said Sierra track and field coach Amy Dolbeare.
The Stallions nearly captured first in the final event of the meet with the boys 4x400 relay.
The Stallions quartet finished second with a season-best 3:26.94 seconds race.
The girls sprint medley relay placed fifth with a time of 1:53.36. In total, the Stallions had 16 athletes at the event.
Harrison (Class 4A)
The Panthers had a slew of athletes take the podium at Lakewood including Michaela Cruickshank, who did so twice in individual events.
Cruickshank finished fifth in both the 100 and 200 with a 12.97 and 26.03, respectively.
The boys had a relay and individual earn medals at state as Jordan David-Voss placed seventh in the 110 hurdle finals at 15.60.
The boys 4x1 checked in at 43.57 seconds. Harrison fielded 10 athletes in total at state.
Mitchell (Class 4A)
Nathan Mercer was the lone athlete to make the trek to Lakewood for the Marauders. But the senior transfer from Texas didn’t back down to his competition.
Mercer nearly gave Mitchell its second long jump champion in as many seasons. Mercer placed second with a mark of 20 feet, 11.5 inches, one inch shy of a tie with Longmont’s Caleb Johnson.
Mercer’s jump marked a personal best, who set his PB during the Colorado Springs All City meet at Garry Berry on May 10-11.
Mercer earned another podium finish in the 110 hurdles and clocked in at 15.34 to finish fourth.
Harrison girls soccer
Through no fault of their own, the Harrison girls soccer team missed the postseason. Regardless, they had a phenomenal year.
The Panthers dominated on the pitch en-route to a 10-win season—the first time this millennium a Harrison girls soccer team has accomplished the feat.
Harrison eclipsed four wins just once since 2009, which is as far back as MaxPreps data shows. In 2016, the Panthers finished 5-10 and hadn’t earned five victories in a season since.
Harrison finished the year on a two-game win streak and won a season-best six consecutive matches after starting 1-1.
During their six-game winning streak, the Panthers allowed just two goals while scoring 23. Senior Nevaeh Valenzuela led the Panthers in goals with 14 with sophomore Tyara Vazquez trailing with 13.