LAKEWOOD — There was defintely some extra interest during the boys shot put and discus events at the Class 5A/4A Jeffco League track and field championships last week at Jeffco Stadium.

Chatfield senior Charlie Lafore broke the 5A boys shot put league record of Jim Banich (Arvada High School) that had stood since 1982. Lafore final throw on Wednesday, May 1, measured 65-feet, 4.25 inches. The old record was 63-8.5.

“It felt great to break the record,” Lafore said. “It’s really an accumulation of hard work.”

Banich also has the 5A boys state meet record in the shot put. His throw of 66-03.25 was also the all-classification state meet record since 1982 until Buena Vista’s Mason Finley broke it in 2009 with a throw of 67-10.25.

“The first five throws on Wednesday things really weren’t connecting,” Lafore admitted. “My fifth throw wasn’t perfect, but it went further. I knew I was on to something. Going into my sixth throw I knew what I needed to do, I just needed to do it better.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

Also on May 1, Golden senior Montrey Strickland topped his own league record set last year in the 4A boys shot put. Strickland’s throw of 61-05.5 shattered his own record of 53-8.5.

The two seniors weren’t done putting on a show during the two-day meet. Lafore was going after the 5A boys discus league record of 195-4 set by Lee Kunz in 1975. While the Kansas State University-bound thrower came up short with his best throw of 186, it was still better than 50-feet over the second-place finisher in the event.

“I wasn’t super happy with how today went,” Lafore said Saturday after coming up short of Kunz’s record in the discus.

Strickland finished up the historic meet with setting the boys 4A discus record with his best throw of 161-3. The old mark was held by Eric Rivera-Parker of 159-8 set back in 2012.

“I was kind of struggling to find my rhythm,” Strickland admitted, despite his record-setting throw of over 160-feet in the discus Saturday. “I was kind of throwing flat. I didn’t feel right today, but I was happy with the outcome.”

While Strickland will be looking for his first state title during the state meet back at Jeffco Stadium in a few weeks — he took 4th in the 4A shot put and 5th in the discus last season — Lafore will be a heavy favorite to pull off another state double.

“Going into this year I’ve only gotten better,” Lafore said as he will attempt to defending both his 5A shot put and discus state championships during the state meet May 16-18 at Jeffco Stadium. “My competition has only gotten better too. Hopefully we can do the same thing.”

Lafore said since he started throwing four years ago his goal has been to throw at the college level and possibility make a run at the Olympics in the future. With many eyes watching and high expectations is something Lafore welcomes.

“I’m getting to the point in my career where pressure, adrenaline and the jitteriness turns into extra distance,” Lafore said. “If I can utilize that, be a good technician and a good competitor then I’m very excited for state. I think I can do very well.”

Strickland, who will play football at the University of Northern Colorado next school year, believes if he puts it all together at state he could have a shot at the 4A state meet record of 192-6.

“I wanted to throw in the 190s. I’ve been doing that in practice,” Strickland said. “It’s a process.”

If Strickland equals his shot put at league, that mark would break the 4A record of 60-04.75.

“I defintely want to perfect my technique in the shot and disc,” Strickland said of heading to state. “I know what I’m capable of. I just need to do it in a meet.”