LAKEWOOD — Breaking: Competition is still OK.

Thank goodness, and Luc Andrada and Tyrese Vanhorne. They were sent here with turbo-charged legs for a reason: "I love competing. If I’m not competing, it’s not fun," Andrada says.

Good. We need more like 'em. Theirs is a world where second-place ribbons double as Kleenex.

“That guy, if you don’t bring it,” Tyrese tells me Saturday after their three head-to-head cage matches at the state track and field meet inside Jeffco Stadium, “you’re going to get beat.”

Paul Klee: Competitive fire burns hot for state champ Kaylee Thompson and TCA track teams

 

Give me these two competitors, plus the neighbor kid mowing lawns, and we’ll beat your Gus Macker team. Or win a $5 Best Ball. Or whatever, you name the game. These guys come alive when there's something on the line.

Don’t you love it? Plus, Luc and Tyrese share almost nothing in common. That's the great part. Luc’s a senior at Pueblo East; Tyrese a junior at Harrison. Luc's a clean freak who laid out his meet-day clothes the night before; Tyrese might mosey to the starting block straight from his dad’s truck. Luc’s a native proudly born and raised in Pueblo; Tyrese moved here from Jamaica when he was 12.

"Miss my beach," he says.

So you guys hate each other’s guts, right?

“Actually, we’re super cool!” Tyrese says. “But when we get on the track ...”

“Out there we’ll exchange some looks,” Luc says later.

Because competition is good. On the final day of state, The Classical Academy girls inched within three points of another team title, thanks to Kaylee Thompson’s emergence as a two-time state champion; Manitou’s Jayden Omi proved modern medicine is a miracle with a pair of sprinting titles, just months after ACL surgery; and Luc and Tyrese competed. Again.