Spillar content with her state finish

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Defending state champ takes sixth in the 3,200 meters

By Michael Hicks

LAKEWOOD — McKenna Spillar walked around with a smile on her face. She wasn’t the least bit concerned that she’d just finished sixth in the 3,200 meters. This was, after all, a year after the Dakota Ridge senior had surprised even herself by winning the event at the 5A state track and field championships.
But on May 16 at Jefferson County Stadium, sixth place was as good as it would get, and that was OK.
“I ran my own race to get the best that I could. That’s what I could do today. Not every day is a state-champ day,” said Spillar, who finished in 10 minutes, 58.46 seconds. She was 13 seconds back of Fort Collins’ Erin Hooker, who won in 10:45.39.
It didn’t really matter that it wasn’t a state-championship day, Spillar said. It was still a fun day. Her final trip to state before heading off to Fort Collins in the fall to run for Colorado State University was all about the moment at hand and the ones she’s relished in years past.
Like in 2012, when she narrowly beat out Pomona’s Alaina Anderson for the state title. That’s a moment she’ll never forget.
“That’s a very special thing, and I still have that,” said Spillar, who added an 11th-place finish in the 1,600 two days later. “Nobody can take my state championship away from me.”
While Spillar was content, Chatfield’s Amanda Clements was anything but. The Lady Chargers’ long jumper scratched the first two of her jumps in the preliminary round and finals, but her final jump in the prelims of 16 feet, 11¾ inches proved to be enough for a ninth-place finish. She, however, was hoping for more.
“I’m a little disappointed ‘cause I know I could jump 18-2. I’ve done that this year. I scratched at 18-7. I knew I could jump it,” Clements said. “It’s a matter of getting your timing, and obviously that was off for the majority of the jumps.”
Coincidentally, a jump of 18-plus feet would’ve put her in the running for a state title. Cherry Creek’s Megan McCabe won this year’s event with a leap of 18-3½.
Littleton’s Elsie Mangum found herself on the medal podium after a fifth-place finish in the discus at 117-2. Chatfield’s Brigitta Games was sixth in the shot put at 37-7¾. Littleton’s Rosa Hardarson placed seventh in the 400 in 57.78 seconds. Dakota Ridge’s Cayli Hume just missed out on a medal in the 800, placing 10th in 2:18.30. She was just 0.28 seconds away from placing. Dakota Ridge’s Jae Ferrin took 10th in the triple jump at 35-4¾.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.