LAKEWOOD — Mountain Vista High School and Niwot each needed to win the girls 4×800 relay to complete a sweep for both schools in the event.

Each squad delivered and in entertaining fashion during the 3,200 relay finals at Jefferson County Stadium on Thursday during the state track and field meet.

In 5A, Mountain Vista broke the meet record and set a Colorado record with a time of 9 minutes, 05.05 seconds.

For 4A, Niwot earned the crown with a time of 9:22.60.

The Cougars entered the finals seeded first with a 9:07.27, which, on May 5 when they set the mark, was 11th in the nation.

So when the Cougars fell to sixth by the first exchange, it created brief concern.

Among spectators anyway. The Niwot quartet had no worries regarding their position after the opening leg.

“I’m used to tracking people down,” said Niwot’s Cayden Justice. “This wasn’t unfamiliar territory.”

By the end of Justice’s first lap, the Cougars jumped from sixth to third. Midway through her final lap, Justice put Niwot in the lead.

The Cougars built that to an eight-second advantage between them and then-second place Battle Mountain.

Anna Prok took the baton on the final exchange and churned her legs to create an insurmountable gap between herself and the field after her first 400.

“I wanted to make sure I got out and gave us an extended lead,” Prok said. “The end was about hanging in there and getting a better time for our team.”

Prok’s stride on the final lap guided her to a 2:17.50, the fastest 800 on her team and the best split of all competitors in the race.

“I wanted to go out and do what all the other girls did,” Prok said. “They all poured their heart in this. I got to the line and ran through it hard and our effort got us a state championship.”

In 5A, Mountain Vista eclipsed their previous season-best time of 9:19.92 by more than 14 seconds.

The Golden Eagles entered the finals seeded third behind Fossil Ridge (9:19.90) and Air Academy (9:16.95).

Mountain Vista warded off Air Academy and Fossil Ridge in the first three legs, steadily building a lead.

Air Academy’s anchor ran a 2:10.77, the fastest time of leg of the race.

But the Golden Eagles’ lead ballooned beyond the field’s reach and they finished with a three-second advantage to earn the title.

(Marcus Hill)