The track teams from Hotchkiss and Delta may not have won team titles at the state meet last weekend in Lakewood, but the Bulldogs and Panthers got several fine individual performances and represented their schools proudly.
Leading the way for Hotchkiss was senior Katy Parsons, who was still winded after claiming the 2A 800-meter title on Friday afternoon.
"I felt pretty good," Parsons said while trying to catch her breath after posting her time of 2:18.91. "I definitely knew that there were some really tough contenders out there, so I tried to really go out hard and push myself to keep up there. It felt really great."
Parsons recovered from an injury suffered in her junior year and led the 800 from start to finish.
"Winning it was definitely a goal we set at the beginning of the season, but as the season went on I was kind of getting down on myself and my times," Parsons said. "But then I really started to see them drop and I got excited with it. I was injured last year so it just feels great to come back and finish out my season like this. It feels good to go out on top."
Parsons also finished second in the 400-meter run at the state meet.
The Bulldogs foursome of Parsons, Mae Anderson, Sophia Schelle and Jordan Tamayo finished second to Paonia in the 4x400 relay. The same group was the runner up to Paonia in the 4x800 relay as well.
Parsons ran with fellow seniors Anderson and Schelle for four years and all enjoyed much success at Hotchkiss.
"It's something special," Parsons said. "We have a really good team that came with us to state this year so it's definitely special to come out here and compete with each other after being together for four years."
The Hotchkiss girls finished 10th in the state meet with 34 points. The Bulldogs boys posted four team points over the weekend.
Delta, which unlike its 2A neighbors in the North Fork Valley, competed for the last time in the 4A classification. Four Panthers went to the state meet to compete in five events. Delta will move down to 3A next year.
"We're a little fish in a big pond because we're such a small school for 4A," said Delta standout Lily Lockhart. The junior won the 4A shot put and finished second in the discus and was the only Delta athlete to earn team points at the state meet.
"So next year our team is going to do awesome because we'll be down in 3A," Lockhart said. "We'll be able to almost dominate that."
Lockhart posted a personal record discus throw of over 143 feet to finish second in the event.
"The competition was awesome. I was super pumped by that," Lockhart said. "My previous PR was 139-8, so throwing a 143 was super awesome especially at state because you've been working all year towards this goal. Finally putting it all together at the end was the best feeling ever."
Lockhart started the meet off right with a victory in the shot put Thursday evening. She heaved the shot 41 feet, 4.25 inches to claim the win.
"I got my stuff together in the finals," Lockhart said. "My throw in finals was a 41-4.25 for my last throw and it was so awesome to know that my best was on the very last throw of the season."
Competing in 2A and 3A meets for most of the season, Lockhart often won both throwing events coming into the state meet. And when the Panthers faced 5A oppontents, Lockhart was the victor there as well.
"Winning every single meet is great, but when you are at state and you get first or second or even in the top couple kids, it's just so awesome," Lockhart said. "This is the best of the best. To do as well here is so awesome."