LAKEWOOD – Cherokee Trail High School had 25 points after all Class 5A state track and field events on Friday.

By the meet’s conclusion Saturday, the Cougars had 74 points and earned the boys’ third title in school history and their first since 2013.

The Cougars finished as runners-up in 2022 to Grandview and allowed the second-place finish to fuel them this season.

“We definitely started the year with a chip on our shoulders,” said Cherokee Trail sophomore Peyton Sommers. “We knew what we had to do to win it and it took all season, but we did it.”

Sommers wreaked havoc on the competition in three individual finals events.

Sommers earned the titles the 200 and 400 and finished second in the 100 to give Cherokee Trail 28 points as an individual.

Sommers’ 21.10 in the 200 placed him second in the state behind Mead’s Tavon Underwood.

The Cougars sophomore’s time of 46.77 ranks second in the state and, as of May 20, would place him 22nd in the nation.

Sommers’ 10.62 in the 100 made him one of two underclassmen in the top nine of the event.

“Being able to help out the team like this felt amazing,” Sommers said. “Those individual runs helped us to get the team trophy and that’s what we wanted from the jump.”

The Cougars’ 4×200 relay also earned the state title and Cherokee Trail finished fourth and 11th, respectively, in the 400 and 200.

They also scored in the two-mile, 4×100, 110 hurdles and the 800.


Valor Christian girls clinches title with 4×400 victory

(Dan Mohrmann/

Entering the final race of the meet, the Valor Christian girls 4×400 team needed to place ahead of Grandview to win the 5A title.

Valor Christian had 74 points through 18 events while Grandview scored 72.

The Eagles showed their valor with a 3:52.49, first-place finish in the 1600 relay to close the event as champions. Valor Christian’s title is its second since 2021.

“Our entire goal with the 4×4 was to win it at state,” said Valor Christian’s Jocelyn Millican. “No matter what we wanted to beat Grandview for the team title but more than that we just wanted to win the entire thing.”

The Eagles entered the relay seeded first at 3:56.22. But Grandview held the three spot with a time of 3:59.57.

Millican said her and her teammates realized those three seconds didn’t provide them a cushion to cruise to the victory in the relay or for the team title.

Millican also said the Eagles didn’t mind the extra pressure.

“We knew what we were capable of and we went into the race knowing we had to give it our all,” Millican said. “As long as we have each others’ backs we know anything is possible.”

Millican anchored the 4×400 and kept the Eagles ahead of the pack, building a comfortable lead in the final 200.

She continued to add to the lead in the home stretch and said “I refused” to let the lead slip.

“No matter how tired I was I had to put that to the side,” Millican said. “After that race we were done, so there was no use of saving anything for later.”

The Eagles scored in 13 of 19 events including: triple, long and high jump; sprint medley relay; 4×100 relay; 100 hurdles; two mile; mile; 100, 200, 400 and 800.