Ailing shins don't stop Fancher

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By Michael Hicks


LAKEWOOD – The fact that Dillon Fancher was even able to run at the 5A state boys track and field championship is a testament to his will. Then for the Chatfield senior to take second place in the 110-meter hurdles on May 21 at Jefferson County Stadium despite fighting off stress fractures in his shins highlights the pure athleticism he possesses.

So there he was five weeks after suffering the injury while participating in the 300 hurdles, running a time of 14.82 seconds, just behind Regis Jesuit’s Casey Young time of 14.44 for top medalist honors. And, rest assured, it wasn’t easy.

“They hurt pretty good,” Fancher said of his ailing shins moments after the race. “I was hoping for first, but I’m not as healthy as I want to be right now. In state, to take second, I’m totally happy with that.”

His finish, alongside a third for Chatfield’s 4x100 relay team and a sixth for the 4x200, helped the Chargers to a 12th-place finish in the team standings.

Chatfield finished with 24 points. Fountain-Fort Carson won the team title with 73 points, followed by Cherry Creek with 67 and Regis Jesuit with 62.

Sophomore teammate Erik Gaytan did his part as well. He overcame a disappointing 12th in the 200 that kept him out of the finals to take fourth in the 400 on May 22 – the final day of the three-day event.

Gaytan was fourth in the preliminaries, but he couldn’t overcome the stiff competition or the fierce wind that held him back down the backstretch.

“The competition was great. I was hoping to come out with a W, but these guys are real good,” said Gaytan, who finished in 50.14 seconds. Brandon Parson of Fountain-Fort Carson won the event in 49.09. 

“They’ve been working hard all season.”

Columbine finished 35th in the team standings with six points – all coming from William Kincaid’s fourth-place finish in the 3,200. The Rebels junior, who just started running this season, moved into fourth in the final 200 meters, finishing in a time of 9:30.01.

“It feels good. Third would’ve felt better,” Kincaid said.

Arapahoe’s Connor Winter won the 3,200 in a three-person dead heat at the finish in 9:17.17. Regis Jesuit’s Danny Nicolls and Cherry Creek’s Walter Schafer were second and third, respectively, with just over one second separating the top three.

Dakota Ridge, which didn’t score any team points, was led by Jeffery Berghorn’s 11th-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 47 feet, one-quarter inch. Jamarius Mathis of Fountain-Fort Carson won with a throw of 59-0.75.