Students from across Colorado met at Longmont High School’s Everly-Montgomery Field for the 17th Annual St. Vrain Track & Field Invitational.
Students, parents and coaches convened on the athletic field for the end of year competition across a variety of track and field events, including relays, high jumps, pole-vaulting and shotput. The pandemic cancelled track seasons across the country at all levels, so this is the first opportunity a lot of students have had to compete for state level.
“This is one of the oldest meets, and one of the best in the state by far. Mark Roberts always does such an amazing job. He gets the most number of kids in a meet you can, and he sets it up well for competition,” said Scott Chamberlain, a coach at Wheat Ridge High School. “It’s an amazing meet, I love it. It’s always a last chance meet so the kids are trying to get big times and big jumps.”
High school students compete all across the board, but the Invitational also has some elite athletic events. Tim McIntire, owner of MaxTrax and organizer of the event, said that the event has attracted World Championship and Olympic level athletes in the past.
“This is a high school meet, but we have elite athletes that participate in separate events throughout the day,” McIntire said. “Due to this being an Olympic year, and the trials starting today, we’re only holding an elite pole vault event, but these post-collegiate athletes are competing for prize money.”
McIntire used to coach at Longmont High School, while Mark Roberts is a coach at Lyons High School. The pair have been organizing running events in Colorado for more than twenty years.
“Mark Roberts and Tim McIntire always bring a world-class flavor to (the Invitational),” Chamberlain said. “It’s really the way track should be showcased.”
Coach Charles Jansen of Eagle Valley High School brought twenty students all the way from Gypsum to compete.
“Hoping for some good season and lifetime bests. For most of them it’s the last chance to get a state-qualifying time,” Jansen said. “With slightly lower elevation, a good venue and a good track, I think their chances are good.”
St. Vrain Valley School District was well-represented at the Invitational, with competitors from each of the high schools in the district.
“It’s a great meet for our young kids to get experience,” said Brian McGee, a coach at Silver Creek High School. “For us, today is more about getting out and letting our students see what it takes to prepare for a competition at this level.”
Frederick High School freshman Gracie Wilkes competed in several of the relays, as well as the high jump.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Wilkes said before the competition. “I’m jumping pretty high and going pretty fast, I’m hoping to make it to state with my high jump.”