LAKEWOOD — Delaney Gaddis was a little disappointed after finishing fourth place in the long jump at the Class 4A State Championships on Friday. She was happy, though.
So what’s with the mixed emotions?
“There’s those specific meets when people hit those big marks, and I just haven’t been able to get back to them,” the Glenwood Springs High School senior said after her best mark in the event final was 16 feet, 10 inches. “Today is the closest I’ve gotten back to my best in the long jump, but I haven’t gotten back to my best in the triple jump, either.
“But it’s over and I have to be happy with myself,” she continued. “Really, I’m just happy that I got here.”
Considering that Gaddis didn’t even compete on the track team during her junior year, her finishes in both the triple jump (eighth place, 35-4 1/2) and long jump were more than respectable. She also qualified for today’s 300-meter hurdles finals thanks to her time of 45.93 in preliminaries, and she’ll also run the lead leg for the Demons in the 4x400-meter relay during the final day of the meet today. Her team set a new personal-best time of 4:00.91, topping their previous-best time by three seconds.
Gaddis sat out of track season during her junior season thanks to an ankle injury incurred playing volleyball and a pair of ankle injuries during basketball season. Because the events she enjoys the most are the jumping events, she decided to sit out feeling that she wouldn’t be able to perform at her best.
“But I missed it,” she said with a big smile on her face. “So I just decided to give it another go.”
She credited the Glenwood coaching staff for helping her to regain her form, which helped her break a 34-year-old school record in the long jump with her best mark of 17-6. She’s also gone close to 36 feet — 35-11 3/4, to be exact — in the triple jump this season.
She won’t be the only Glenwood athlete who made it through running preliminaries to reach today’s finals, however.
The most notable was Glenwood junior Kaden Weller, who was the top qualifier in the 300 hurdles. He came into the event with a personal-best time of 39.01, which was tied for the best time with Trenton Stringari of Canon City. Weller posted a prelim time of 38.50, beating the Canon City junior by 0.13 seconds.
Weller is also trying to give Glenwood its second consecutive state championship in the boys intermediate hurdles. Auston Tribble did it during the final race of his high school career last year, posting a winning time of 37.74.
Also competing in the finals today will be the Demons’ boys 4x400 relay, which qualified fourth in 3:23.93. The Demons, however, failed to qualify in the 4x100 relay.
Rifle High School senior Brittany Neuroth, coming off a sixth-place finish in the shot put on Thursday, will try to reach the podium for the second time in this meet when she competes in the 4A girls discus today.
“I have to be happy with myself. Really, I’m just happy that I got here.”
Glenwood Springs High School senior