Demons 4×800 relay team sprints to silver |

Demons 4×800 relay team sprints to silver

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentGlenwood Springs' 4x800-meter relay team huddles in the wake of Thursday's 4A final. The Demons finished second.

LAKEWOOD, Colorado – Andrew Mansfield, Vinson Marr, Alex Stepniewski and Christian Leverson huddled briefly in the aftermath of Thursday’s Class 4A 4×800-meter relay final at the state track and field tournament. Within seconds of parting, an exhausted Leverson dropped to the infield grass at Jefferson County Stadium.

Having pushed himself to unprecedented levels, it’s no wonder Leverson’s weary legs gave out.

With the Glenwood Springs senior anchor picking off two spots and then holding off a pack of challengers on the final lap, the Demons earned a silver medal. Only Moffat County finished ahead of Glenwood.

“That first lap, I picked them off,” said Leverson, who ran a 1:55.90 split. “The second lap, I was trying to keep it all the way around. I felt the heat on that last 200. I ran harder than I’ve probably ever tried before in my life.”

How was he feeling afterwards?

“I feel like a second-place winner,” he proclaimed between deep breaths. “I love that.”

And so did his teammates.

“That’s exactly what we were looking for,” said Marr, a junior.

“We were trying to stay positive the whole week,” explained Mansfield, a senior. “Everything’s just one-upped at state. You have to have in your mind, before you go into the race, that everyone’s going to go that much faster. So we knew we had to, too.”

That added effort netted the Demons a time of 8 minutes, 0.62 seconds, which fell a fraction of a second short of a school record set back in 2001 by Marco Salmen, Chas Salmen, Pat Davis and Jake Taufer. The 2001 quartet won a state title with a time of 8:00.60.

Moments before the boys’ silver run, Glenwood’s girls 4×800 foursome placed 10th. With Jenna Brown, Delaney Gaddis, Michaela Mansfield and Jackie Knott sharing the running duties, the Demons clocked in at 9:51.21.

In the triple jump, Gaddis came through with a sixth-place finish. She covered 34 feet, 7 1/4 inches with her top leap. Brown finished 11th with a jump of 33-8 1/4.

“Overall, it was a good day,” Glenwood coach Blake Risner said. “The kids performed well. They have a lot to be proud of. They’re performing their best at the state meet, which is what they’re supposed to do.”

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