LAKEWOOD — Kaden Weller equated his performance in the 300-meter hurdles final to just one thing.
“That first hurdle,” Weller said right after finishing second in the event final at the Class 4A State Championships at Jefferson County Stadium on Saturday.
“I hit it with my wrong foot, and I went over into the wrong lane a little bit and had to recover,” the Glenwood Springs High School junior continued. “Everything was gone after that hurdle.”
Weller, who came into the race tied for the top time in the event with Canon City’s Trenton Stingari, finished second in the event with a time of 38.56 seconds. Stingari was nearly flawless during his hurdles run, crossing the finish line with a first-place time of 38.20.
Weller had come into the event as the top seed in the race, posting a personal-best time of 38.50 during Friday’s preliminaries. Even with the recovery time he needed, his time on Saturday was still within 0.06 seconds of that time.
The Glenwood junior was convinced that, had it not been for that initial mistake, things would have been different.
“I would have gone sub-38 if it wasn’t for that,” he said.
He wasn’t the only Class 4A Garfield County athlete to reach the podium Saturday, though.
The biggest personal record of the day came from Rifle High senior Brittany Neuroth, who managed a fifth-place finish in her best event, the discus. Neuroth’s mark of 127 feet, 11 inches shattered her previous personal-best mark of 120-8.
“More than 7 feet!” an ecstatic Neuroth said as she headed to the podium. “Can you believe that?”
Also reaching the podium Saturday was Glenwood senior Delaney Gaddis, who placed seventh in the 300 hurdles in 46.04. She also ran a leg of the Demons’ 1,600-meter relay that finished ninth in 4:02.17.
Glenwood’s 1,600-meter boys relay team had posted one of the best times in Friday’s preliminaries. However, the Demons’ leadoff leg, Garrett Goodstein, gingerly sprinted around the track after the gun sounded. He made it around the track but had to be helped off by medical staff on hand. The Demons wound up finishing ninth in 3:34.04, moving up a place after Denver South’s team was disqualified for throwing the baton after the race had ended.
Though it’s not a medical opinion, Goodstein said the pain in his right calf — which was wrapped prior to the race — may have been a stress fracture that flared up. He considered allowing an alternate to run for him Saturday, but his teammates — Zane Lundin, Evrett Marr and Weller — convinced him otherwise.
“They told me that we got here together as a team, so we need to stick together,” Goodstein said.