LAKEWOOD – By anyone’s measure, nine years is too long to go without winning a state title. For The Classical Academy, it felt like an eternity.

The Titans put together a masterful performance over three days to capture the Class 3A boys state track and field team championship. It is the first win for the Titans since 2014, a stretch that included five runner-up finishes. But there will be no more settling for second.

Strong distance performances were a factor in the win as Matthew Edwards captured gold in the 3,200-meter run, clocking a time of 9 minutes, 20.88 seconds. He also finished third in the 1,600 at 4:19.18. Chandler Wilburn added a fifth-place finish in the mile with a time of 4:21.75.

The 4×800 relay team finished second to Estes Park.

Jordan Wenger helped out with his long jump of 22 feet, 2.5 inches to finish fourth in the event. It was an overall strong team performance that gave the Titans 109 points after 17 events, 52.5 ahead of Eaton and Resurrection Christian who were tied for second in the team standings.

Both Eaton and Rez had teams in the 4×400 relay and even though the Titans didn’t, the state championship was already in their grasp.

This is the sixth team title in program history and the first since their run of five straight championships from 2009-14. The distance runners have been carrying the Titans through the fall and the spring as they captured the 3A cross country title back in October at the Norris Penrose Event Center.


Fueled by emotion, Alamosa captures 3A girls team title

(Dan Mohrmann/

Somewhere, Erik Melgoza is smiling. The Alamosa athletic director passed away unexpectedly earlier this year but he would’ve loved to see the sight at Jeffco Stadium on Saturday.

His Mean Moose girls track team was ecstatic as they were handed the 3A girls team trophy. Melgoza was a big proponent of track and field, he coached it prior to getting into administration and was always proud of the accomplishments of his athletes.

They accomplished a lot in 2023.

The distance runners put on a show, winning the 4×800 relay with a time of 9:46.61. The Moose also capped the day with a win in the 4×400 to lock up the program’s first team state championship since 1991. Aani Hardesty trapped a gold medal in the 100 hurdles and overall, each win or standout performance by a Mean Moose was emotional boost.

“Not just for us, but for our community,” Hardesty said. “Everyone at the school is so proud of us for winning. It’s been so hard for us and our community.”

Alamosa finished fifth in last year’s team standings and the growth of the track program was very much in line with Melgoza’s mission. But it wasn’t just track and field. He was an advocate for all athletes in his school and the payoff of this year’s girls track team is an excellent reminder of how much he meant to each program in his building.

His passing was very difficult for all the students, but it helped tie them together and focus on common missions in their specific arena of competition.

“The athletics piece [of our school] is definitely thriving right now,” Sarah Delacerda said. “Everybody is united in a way because of it.”