Coaches of all sports, not in the least track-and-field, love to talk about "finishing strong."
And at almost any meet a track team attends, the finishing event tends to be the 4x400-meter relay.
Last we heard of Bayfield's fleetest foursome - seniors Carl and Dawson Heide, Wyatt Killinen and Dax Snooks - they were within four hundredths of the school record, and only 1.45 seconds behind Alamosa's Class 3A-leading time (3:29.35).
One week after clocking a 3:30.79 at their own Pine River Invitational, the quartet burned both benchmarks with a scorching showing at the April 20-21 B&B Invitational in Aztec. Leaving 5A Bloomfield 6.55 seconds behind, the Wolverines captured first place, 3:29.76 to 3:36.31, with 5A Farmington coming home third in a distant 3:38.73.
Swapping out Snooks for sophomore sprinter Dylan Hilliker, Bayfield still didn't miss a step in bettering Bloomfield for first in the 4x100, 44.02 to 44.36, and the Wolverines also scored points via the Rylan Ross-Xander Hovenstine-Ethan Cook-Zeb Shields 4x800 (fifth, 9:46.18) and Briant Cuellar-Shea Marx-Josh Kaufmann-James Mottin 4x200 (sixth, 1:37.14) en route to totaling a meet-winning 101.5 points.
4A Durango (69) scored just enough to edge Bloomfield (65), Aztec (63) and FHS (60.5) in the final standings.
And as one would expect by Bayfield's haul, strong finishes were plentiful.
BHS swept the shot put, with Ryan Phelps heaving a winning 50'3", Killinen following at 49'2.5" and David Hawkins earning third with his 48'4.5" best. Phelps also won the discus (155'6") with Kaufmann fourth (129'3"), Snooks took first in the high jump (6'0"), and Dawson Heide won the 400m dash in an even 51 seconds.
Carl Heide, however, blew minds and shattered times on a whole new level. Again owning his two specialties, he won both the 110m high and 300m intermediate hurdles races inside Fred Cook Memorial Stadium, the former in 14.75 seconds and the latter in a truly-elite 38.36.
62 hundredths of a second faster than his preliminary effort, Heide's time in the final eight-runner showdown was not only 2.04 seconds faster than second place but faster than just about any clocking ever in CHSAA Class 3A annals.
That would include the long-standing State Championships record of 38.39, set in 1995 by Colorado Springs Christian's Ben Myers, as well as the State-winning times in 2015 (39.68; Cooper Eggleston, Buena Vista), 2016 (39.08; Gallian Roberts, Salida) and 2017 (40.42; James Finken, Elizabeth).
Heide did not qualify for state in the specialty as a freshman (though he did go to Jeffco Stadium in the 110) in '15, but placed fifth in 41.11 as a sophomore, and second as a junior with a 40.49 in last spring's weather-wracked grand finale.
Additionally for Bayfield at the B&B, Killinen sprinted to third in the 100m dash (11.64), Dawson Heide took second in the 200 (23.43), and Snooks earned third in the 110m hurdles (15.53). Needing more attempts to clear 12 feet in the pole vault than Farmington's Max Dalley, BHS' Colton Fine settled for fourth place while Dawson French (11'0") tied FHS' Cade Cahoon for sixth.
Hilliker flew to third place in the long jump (19'10") with Turner Kennedy seventh (19'3"), and Snooks took fifth in the triple jump (38'11").
Next on the Wolverines' schedule will be a trip to the Saturday's Montrose Invitational, with some athletes traveling instead to Alamosa's High Altitude Invite.
FOR THE RECORD: Later a Stanford University track and football athlete, Lakewood Bear Creek alumnus Gerren Crochet set Colorado's still-standing, all-classification best in the 300 hurdles (36.41) at the 2001 Class 5A State Championships-held in Lakewood-after leading the nation in receiving yardage (1,410) in Fall 2000.
2018 B&B AZTEC, N.M., INVITATIONAL BOYS' TEAM STANDINGS: 1.BAYFIELD 101.5, 2.Durango 69, 3.Bloomfield 65, 4.Aztec 63, 5.Farmington 60.5, 6.Kirtland (N.M.) Central 26, 7.Mancos 25, 8.Montezuma-Cortez 20, 9.Gallup (N.M.) Miyamura 19, 10.Pagosa Springs 13, 11.IGNACIO 7, T-12.Newcomb (N.M.)/Dove Creek 2, T-14.Farmington (N.M.) Navajo Prep/Dolores 1.