State track and field: Valor Christian’s Drew Costelow sweeps Class 5A distance races

If Valor Christian junior Drew Costelow were in charge of writing his headline to recap his Class 5A state track and field championship weekend, he’d use just two words: “The Trifecta.”

Costelow, who transferred from Center Grove High School in Indiana in January 2021, officially burst onto the scene this weekend. On Sunday afternoon he won the 5A boys 1,600 meters at Jeffco Stadium. With a strong final lap, Costelow surged ahead of the pack to win in 4 minutes, 13.09 seconds, cementing a 5A triple in distance running.

He won the 3,200 on Thursday (9:19:18) and took the 800 on Saturday (1:52.11) in a tight finish. For Costelow, he knew he had more in the tank heading into the last lap.

“I had a pretty decent kick left in me based on my 800 speed, I knew I could close it well,” Costelow said afterward. “I wanted those guys to come down to the finish line with me like yesterday in the 800, as I love that last burst of energy. Overall, I couldn’t be happier.”

Costelow was able to use that last kick to fend off Battle Mountain’s Dalton Kaines (4:13.09) and Mountain Vista’s Tyler Downs (4:15.60).

The junior will compete in the RunningLane 800-meter run in Huntsville, Ala., next week. It’s safe to say this former Hoosier is happy to be in the Centennial State.

“I’m now already thinking about how to defend my titles next year.”

5A boys 100-meter upset. A stacked field in the 5A boys 100-meter dash ended with a sprinter from Lane 1 taking the title. Denver East’s Ben Kirk, clocking a 10.94-second finish, could hardly believe it.

“It’s very emotional,” Kirk said. “I had no idea that was going to happen.”

Kirk initially joined the East track team as offseason training for football. However, entering his senior year, Kirk dropped football to focus completely on his sprinting goals. It proved to be a smart decision. He also won the 200 on Sunday to take the top two sprints.

“It’s just been crazy,” Kirk said. “My first full track season and now I’m 5A number one.”

Kirk celebrated with a big hug for his sprints coach, Tanya Vassar, who also coaches with the Hustle Denver club track team.

“She’s the reason I’m here. One-hundred percent,” Kirk said.

Erie QB fastest in 4A. Erie sophomore quarterback Blake Barnett is among the most sought-after college football recruits in the state with offers from CU, CSU, Kansas State, Oregon State and Washington. On Sunday, he added another distinction to his impressive athletic resume: The speed king of 4A.

Barnett won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.11 seconds — narrowly edging second-place Justin Blanton (Grand Junction Central) at 11.13. Barnett celebrated with a massive fist pump on a chilly morning at Jeffco Stadium.

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“Oh my gosh, I didn’t think I was gonna win it, to be honest,” Barnett said. “I’m a football player. I run in the cold. I had an advantage today and I took it. … This is awesome.”

Adams claims 5A girls 100-meter title. Symone Adams is less than one year removed from major knee surgery. You could never tell Sunday after the Cherokee Trail junior claimed the 5A girls 100-meter title in 12.18 seconds.

“I tore my whole meniscus. I had a complete knee repair in May of last year,” Adams said. “So, to run that and win feels really great. It took a lot of work. I really tried to train and get back here. … It feels good to have all the support. To come back next year and win against would just be beyond me.”

Footnotes. Platte Valley senior Devyn Lauer-Duarte earned the distinction as the fastest prep track and field athlete in the Centennial State after winning the 3A 100 in 10.74 seconds. The second-fastest? The runner who finished second to him in 3A — Holy Family’s Grayson Arnold (10.92). Lauer-Duarte also had the top overall time in the 200 (21.31). … Fort Collins senior Brooke Naughton, an Iowa State commit, is the undisputed 5A girls jump champion after winning the triple jump (37 feet, 9.50 inches), long jump (18-09.75) and high jump (5-06.00). … Coal Ridge senior Peyton Garrison swept the 3A girls sprints for the second consecutive year. The Montana State commit won all three races Sunday, capped by a 24.80-second showing in the 200. … Longmont’s Connor McCormick took down a 4A boys meet record for the second day in a row, reeling in Niwot’s Zane Bergen down the stretch to claim the 1,600 in 4:06.97. Just like in the 3200 on Saturday, Bergen also eclipsed the old record in finishing second (4:07.72).

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