2022 in Review: Peyton Garrison closes out storied high school career with big awards; Coal Ridge cheer dominates at state

Coal Ridge junior Peyton Garrison pushes across the finish line as the Titans’ 4x400 relay team took gold at the 3A State Track and Field Championships in Lakewood back in 2021.
Cody Jones/Post Independent

Peyton Garrison’s name is now listed on Montana State University Women’s Track and Field roster as a freshman.

When she was a senior for Coal Ridge High School, however, she left a legacy few could match. In 2022, Garrison not only nabbed state titles but she was named Western Slope League 3A Female Athlete of the Year.

Garrison defended her state titles in the 100- 200- and 400-meter events in May’s Class 3A State Track and Field championships at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.

Garrison outran Liberty Common’s Katie Wrona in the 100 with a winning time of 12.41 seconds. Wrona crossed in 12.77, followed by Alamosa’s Aani Hardesty in 13.01, and Basalt’s Jacey Read was fourth at 13.02 seconds, the Post Independent reported in May.

Garrison was tops again in the 400 with a time of 54.97 seconds (her prelim time of 54.71 seconds that week was a new state meet record, as well as a personal best and new school record). She finished way ahead of Strasburg’s Peighton Marrero at 58.13 seconds and Halle Hamilton’s third-place finish of 58.46 seconds. Liberty Common’s Lily Morrison was fourth in 58.49 seconds.

“Next up was the 200-meter final where Garrison again broke the tape first with a time of 24.82 seconds, another school record,” the Post reported. “It was the second straight year Garrison swept the sprint events at state. She also helped the Titans’ 800 sprint medley relay win.”

Garrison closed out her high school track career as a seven-time state champion for Coal Ridge.

Coal Ridge cheer nabs 5-peat

Coal Ridge High School cheerleading closed out 2022 with a bang. In early December, the Titans nabbed an impressive fifth straight 2A/3A Co-Ed division state title.

It marked the Titans’ sixth overall state cheer title.

“We have an incredible group of boys this year,” head coach Alyssa Thurmon, quoted in a December Post Independent story, said of the Coal Ridge varsity squad that includes seven boys and 12 girls. “They came in and embraced our team and culture, and they did whatever I asked of them and gave it 100%.”

The Coal Ridge High School Co-Ed cheerleading team competes at the Colorado state spirit championships at the Denver Coliseum the weekend of Dec. 9-10.
Alyssa Thurmon/Courtesy photo

The state title was taken on the cheer mat at the Denver Coliseum, where the Titans not only were the top 2A/3A team, but also the third-best team in all classifications, the Post Independent reported. In the finals, Coal Ridge outscored 4A Co-Ed Cheer champions Thompson Valley, 88.85 to 87.1. Only 5A champion and runner-up Vista Ridge and Thunder Ridge scored higher in the finals, at 93.4 and 88.9, respectively.

Titans senior Lupita Angeles described the experience.

“It’s a surreal experience to show up at state after putting in so much blood, sweat and tears on the mat in practice and doing as well as we did,” Angeles said. “Everyone looks up to Coal Ridge there because we are one of the true co-ed teams, and they even want to take their picture with you.

“We just all love each other with all our hearts, and we literally trust each other with our lives out there.”

Other notable prep sports performances in 2022:

  • Grand Valley girls basketball finished in fourth place at the 3A state tourney, falling 44-30 to The Vanguard School in the third-place game
  • Coal Ridge soccer makes it to 3A state semifinals after winning the Western Slope League outright.
  • Defending 3A state state champions Roaring Fork boys soccer loses a 3A state quarterfinal to Liberty Common
  • Rifle football wins first-round playoff upset against Florence
  • Glenwood Springs girls swimming finishes sixth at the Colorado State 3A State Championships behind an individual title for sophomore Amelie Ogilby in the 500 freestyle and a Demons relay win in the 200 event; and the Glenwood boys swimming team took eighth place at the 4A Championships
  • Grand Valley wrestler Hayden Grice nabbed a third-place individual finish at the 3A state tourney

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