Diza-mbelolo, Martin and Williams bring home track titles

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 5/22/18

LAKEWOOD — A damp, cold and rainy Jeffco Stadium didn’t slow down D’Evelyn junior Esther Diza-mbelolo and Standley Lake junior Tyler Williams on Saturday, May 19. Diza-mbelolo ran in four Class …

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Diza-mbelolo, Martin and Williams bring home track titles

Posted

LAKEWOOD — A damp, cold and rainy Jeffco Stadium didn’t slow down D’Evelyn junior Esther Diza-mbelolo and Standley Lake junior Tyler Williams on Saturday, May 19.

Diza-mbelolo ran in four Class 3A girls track state event finals — 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 100 and 200 dashes — during the final day of the three-day state meet. The junior claimed the 100-meter hurdles state championship title with a time of 15.08 seconds.

“I’m really not used to running in this. I was kind of worried I was going to slip,” Diza-mbelolo said after winning the 100 hurdles when the rain was at its heaviest during the morning session. “I got it in my head, that wouldn’t happen because I’m wearing spikes and it’s an all-weather track.”

Bayfield junior Jordan Lanning placed second with a time of 15.24 seconds.

“I’ve trained for this over-and-over again,” Diza-mbelolo said. “I just had to keep my head in the game and trust my training. Everything went well.”

It didn’t go as planned in the other three event finals. The junior placed 9th in both the 100 and 200 finals. Diza-mbelolo simply didn’t have much left in the tank when she got into the blocks for the 300 hurdles final at 2:20 p.m. She had the second best time in the preliminaries, but finished eighth.

Still, an impressive state meet for the D’Evelyn junior.

“It’s so amazing to be familiar with this place (Jeffco Stadium),” Diza-mbelolo said. “I do feel like I have a home-field advantage.”

Williams was nearly as busy as Diza-mbelolo. The Standley Lake junior ran in three 4A boys track state event finals — 100, 200 and 400 — on Saturday. For the first time all season Williams wore long sleeves and spandex. The moved paid off with Williams cruising to a win in the 4A 400 in a time of 48.22 seconds, more than a second faster than Pueblo South junior Treveon Collins.

“It feels like a big weight off your shoulder to come out and finish what you started the year to do,” Williams said after winning his first career state track title. “I thought the 400 was my best bet.”

Williams finished third in both the 100 and 200. The 200 was one of the closest races of the day with first, second and third separated by .08 seconds.

“I wasn’t sure how it would go with the weather conditions, but it worked out,” said Williams, a three-sport athlete who returns for his senior year in the 2018-19 school year.

Standley Lake senior Garrett Martin, another multi-sport athlete, was the other Jeffco track star to win a state title. Martin claimed the 4A boys high jump title Friday clearing 6-feet, 10-inches.

Pomona senior Ryan Marquez had his farewell Saturday at Jeffco Stadium. The football, basketball and track star placed second in the 5A boys 300 hurdles.

“There are always nerves when you come out and compete. Especially in track when it’s just you and eight other guys,” Marquez said. “You have to prove yourself. I’m happy with how I came out today.”

Marquez finished fifth last year in the 300 hurdles. Broomfield’s Mitchell Gorman placed fourth a year ago. Gorman just edged Marquez again, but this time the pair finished one, two.

“He (Gorman) did that to me last year too,” said Marquez, who was running in lane two while Gorman was in lane three. “He was one lane ahead of me and I just couldn’t catch him. I’m proud of him what he did.”

One of the toughest decisions Marquez had to make was to actually not compete in the prelims of the 5A 110 hurdles that was run Thursday morning. Instead, Marquez chose to be at Pomona’s graduation which was at 10 a.m. Thursday at the University of Colorado’s Events Center.

“It was a hard decision to make because I was coming in fourth (best qualifying time),” said Marquez, who will play football at the University of Wyoming next fall. “It hurts, but graduation was more meaningful to me with my friends and family there supporting me. I choose to be with my friends and family to celebrate my academic accomplishments.”

Arvada West senior Colin Berndt’s long, curly hair got mentioned during an A-West graduation speech Friday morning. A little more than 24 hours later Berndt was crossing the finish line with a seventh-place finish in the 5A boys 1,600 with a time of 4 minutes, 21.01 seconds.

“I wish I would have broke our school record, but I did my best,” Berndt said. “I’m pretty happy for what I did.”

Berndt was key to the Wildcats winning three straight 5A boys cross-country team lead titles before Dakota Ridge ended that streak last fall. There was plenty of Jeffco flavor in one of the final individual events Saturday.

Berndt, Dakota Ridge junior Austin Vancil, Dakota Ridge sophomore Connor Ohlson and Lakewood senior Chase Dornbusch all finish in the top-10.

“We like to push each other,” Berndt said of three Jeffco runners finishing on the podium. “It’s definitely a Jeffco thing to try to beat the other schools.”

Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.

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