May 19 – LAKEWOOD – Broomfield’s Lilly Nichols has been competing long enough to know that past successes don’t guarantee anything in the present.
Despite being the reigning state champion in the Class 5A women’s pole vault and the favorite to repeat, Nichols came to Jeffco Stadium ready to compete.
“Jumping isn’t always guaranteed, so you’re just wishing all the time,” she said.
Nichols’ wish for a new title came true on the first day of the state meet on Thursday, as his 12-foot-9 jump survived the competition.
“It’s really exciting,” said the Eagles second player. “I didn’t really expect to get the state title again because there would be so many good girls here, but I’m happy. I’m really happy.”
The 5A pole vault competition was essentially a Battle of Boulder County.
Fairview had three of the top five, including Olivia Kosanovich (second), Sophie Pierce (fourth) and Charlotte Elliston (fifth). Legacy’s Victoria Spitzley was third, Monarch’s McKenna Selby was sixth and Broomfield’s Elizabeth Dunham was eighth.
In the end, it came down to Nichols and Kosanovich, who tied the game with clear jumps at 12-6. Kosanovich failed to erase 12-9, but still broke his previous personal best (11-10) three times.
“It was so much fun,” Kosanovich said. “It was a bit of a tough season but it all paid off in the end and all my training finally worked out and everything fell into place which is a super good feeling. My goal was just to get closer to my PR , which was a lot of fun.”
It was also fun for Nichols, who enjoyed competing with Kosanovich and others.
“I loved it,” Nichols said. “She’s such a good jumper and I’m so glad she did some PR today. I love competition, so when there’s more competition I jump better most of the time. I loves competition in general.”
After securing the title, Nichols made three attempts at 13-1.5, which would have set a state meet record, but fatigue set in and she ran through the pit on all three attempts.
“I think I’m tired,” she said. “My stamina is definitely not the best because I don’t run a lot. (Pole vault) is 80% mental and 20% physical so if your brain isn’t there you’re not going to probably not doing very well.”
However, she has done very well so far and stayed in line to be maybe a four-time road champion.
Nichols was equally happy for Dunham, however. Dunham came in as the 18th and final seed, but had a 10-3 PR to win a medal.
“I’m so happy my teammate got on the podium because she worked so hard,” Nichols said. “A lot of other people in this competition worked hard too and they got through and I’m happy for them. It was really fun.”
Kosanovich said having so many great local competitors helped her calm down, allowing her to relax and focus.
“It was great fun and since we know each other we can push each other in friendly competition,” Kosanovich said. “I think that’s what allowed all of us to have such a good time and jump well.”
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