Track & Field: Large Aurora contingent heads to Great Southwest Classic

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Recently graduated Cherokee Trail star Shayna Yon — who won four championships at the Class 5A state track meet — is set to compete in four events at the Great Southwest Classic June 4-6 at the University of New Mexico. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Recently graduated Cherokee Trail star Shayna Yon — who won four championships at the Class 5A state track meet — is set to compete in four events at the Great Southwest Classic June 4-6 at the University of New Mexico. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

A glittering assortment of Aurora boys and girls track stars is headed to New Mexico for the Great Southwest Track & Field Classic, which runs Thursday through Saturday at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

City athletes who combined to win eight state championships at the Class 5A/4A state meet May 14-16 at Jefferson County Stadium were among the elite national group of invitees for the 40th annual event.

A few relays and multi-event contests such as the heptathlon are scheduled for the first day, but the majority of the competition takes place on Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Class 5A/4A State Track & Field Meet, Day 2 (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Recently graduated Smoky Hill senior Blake Yount, right, set the Colorado prep record of 1 minute, 50.59 seconds, in the 800 meter run at the Class 5A state meet and now heads to the Great Southwest Classic. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

On the Aurora boys side, 5A state winners Blake Yount of Smoky Hill (800 meters), Mike Ware of Gateway (400 meters) and Josh Wright of Overland (110 meter hurdles) were invited, as were Smoky Hill’s Dom Carrasco and Grandview’s Isaiah Brown.

Yount, who set the Colorado prep state record of 1 minute, 50.59 seconds at the 5A state meet, ran a 1:53.67 to finish third at last season’s Great Southwest meet. The University of Oklahoma signee is confirmed in the field, as is teammate Carrasco, who was second in the 300 meter hurdles behind Grandview’s Triston Sisneros at the state meet.

Four-event state champion Shayna Yon and several of her teammates — Amy McConnell, Sydnee Larkin, Haley Rogers, Kelly Penny and Minnie Harrison — from the Cherokee Trail team that won the 5A girls team title earned girls invites, in addition to Vista PEAK’s Maya Evans, who won the 4A state long jump title as a freshman.

Smoky Hill’s Keisha Lopes also received an invitation.

Yon — who is scheduled to run in the open 100 and 200 meters, the 4×100 meter relay and the long jump, all the events she won at the 5A state meet — placed third in the 100 meter dash at last year’s Great Southwest meet, which was won on the girls side by the Colorado contingent, which racked up 169.5 points to finish well in front of runner-up Missouri (119).

Athletes from Aurora schools have a long tradition at the Great Southwest meet and one former Aurora Central star still holds one of the girls all-time meet records.

Former Trojan Trina Edmond — who went on to run at the University of Colorado — posted a time of 2:10.44 in 1989 that still stands.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel