Dimitri Stanley could have not picked a better way for his high school athletic career to end, standing atop the podium at Jefferson County Stadium on Saturday with his Cherry Creek teammates.
After helping the Bruins to the state championship in the Class 5A 400-meter relay, Stanley walked off the podium and, in a few short weeks, will begin his collegiate career with the Colorado football team.
"I'm ready for the challenge, honestly, to get up there and compete and try to earn my spot, earn my stripes and get to work," he said. "Hopefully we can get some national championships."
Next month, Stanley will move to Boulder and follow in the footsteps of his father, Walter, who was a receiver and kick returner with the Buffs in 1980 and 1981.
Stanley comes to CU after a stellar career at Cherry Creek, where he starred in football, basketball and track and field.
In basketball this past season, Stanley led the Bruins in points (12.1 per game), assists (2.3) and steals (2.1).
On the track, in addition to the 400-meter relay title, Stanley helped the Bruins to second place in the 800-meter relay. Individually, he was fourth in the 100 meters (10.90 seconds) and fifth in the 200 meters (22.30), while running in the rain and cold. This spring, he set personal records of 10.70 in the 100 and 21.76 in the 200.
"Unfortunately, I had a strained hamstring (this spring), so I was out for a few weeks and didn't fully recover as well as I wanted to," he said after the state meet. "It wasn't my best performance, but I'm definitely ready to get better."
In recent years, CU has had a few football players also compete in track and field. This year, offensive lineman Aaron Haigler competed in the throws and Buff back Davion Taylor in the sprints.
Being a dual-sport athlete at CU could be an option for Stanley, but he said he hasn't talked to the track coaches about that yet.
"If I could get out there and run for CU, that would be awesome," he said.
Of course, Stanley's main sport is football.
A three-star prospect, the 6-foot, 170-pound Stanley caught 183 passes for 2,588 yards and 36 touchdowns in his prep career. He had 81 catches for 1,192 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior.
Stanley also played defensive back, returned punts and kicks and punted for the Bruins.
He is slated to play receiver for the Buffs, but defensive back could be an option, too.
"CU actually recruited me as an athlete, so kind of giving me the option to go either way," he said. "Whichever they feel most comfortable with me at and wherever I can benefit the team most."
CU currently has more depth at receiver. In fact, including Stanley, the Buffs stockpiled a load of talent at receiver, but he's not fazed by the competition.
"I like competition and I think I can go up there and fight for a spot on the field," he said. "We have a lot of talent coming in the 2018 class and even the 2019 and 2020 class. It just makes me excited for the future because I believe that we can compete with anybody at this point."
Stanley said he's been in contact with CU classmate Blake Stenstrom, a quarterback from Valor Christian, and he hopes the two can work out together soon.
"We're going to set up a few sessions in the upcoming weeks," Stanley said.
As the son of a former Buffalo, Stanley said it's not in his father's nature to get too excited just yet about his son's future at CU. But, he added, "I think he'll be pretty excited once he actually sees me step onto that field."