Chris Black was a one-man show at this year's state track and field championships. The Delta High School senior placed in two events in Class 4A competition, and scored eight hard-earned points to tie the Panthers for 27th place with Erie and Wheat Ridge at the 50-team meet.
Black was the only member of his team to qualify for state competition.
This was also Black's first state meet. An outstanding athlete in football and basketball, he has dealt with injuries that have kept him from competing at full strength. He entered state competition ranked sixth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 38.85 seconds.
On day one of the three-day meet he ran his best race of the season, making the top nine and qualifying for Saturday's finals with a preliminary fifth-place time of 38.80 seconds. In the finals Black again upped his game, finishing fourth with a time of 38.62. This year's competition was tight. The top seven finishers in the race were seniors, and four were returning state qualifiers. Only 8/10ths of a second separated Black from a first-place finish.
"I think I could have done better," said Black after taking the podium. "The last hurdle I missed my step and went off my wrong foot, and I felt like that slowed me down a little bit. But fourth place, I'm pretty happy."
While Black joined the track team his freshman year, this was the first time he finished the season. It was also his first year to run hurdles. "I wanted to run them my sophomore year," said Black, who competed in two meets in 2011 and had twice placed second in the long jump before suffering a season-ending broken ankle. His junior year he broke his wrist.
He opened this year's competition with a first-place finish in the 300m hurdles at the Panther Invitational, and won the Tiger and Woodburn invitational meets. He ran his state-qualifying time at Montrose to place second.
Black also qualified for the high jump. He was ranked 18th coming into state competition and cleared 6 feet, 1 inch Friday to place eighth, "Which I was really happy with," he said.
Black also competed in the triple jump once this season (jumped a 40-5.75 to be ranked sixth in state) and ran on the Panthers' 1600m relay team with Zach Decker, Dustin Ownbey and Douglas Hawkins. The team finished second at this year's 4A Western Slope League meet. He said he plans to attend Colorado State University.
As for sports, "No," he said as he headed off the field Saturday afternoon. "No sports in my future."blog comments powered by Disqus