Glenwood’s golden girls
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
LAKEWOOD, Colorado – As Michaela Mansfield sauntered off the track at Jefferson County Stadium on Saturday, she barely cracked a smile. Her lungs sapped, she instead wore a look of sheer exhaustion.
Running 400 meters at full speed will do that to you.
As her 4×400-meter relay teammates mobbed her in celebration of the 4A state title they had just won, a smile quickly found its way onto her face.
Their tired arms wrapped tight around one other, Madi Goodstein, Jolie Dubois, Allison Brown smiled right alongside Mansfield.
The Demons were state champs. Times two.
Roughly an hour and 15 minutes earlier, three of the huddled four bagged Glenwood Spring High School’s first girls relay state title since 1994 by claiming gold in the 4×100. They didn’t have to wait long to win another.
Finishing first and getting to stand tall atop the podium is a rush none of the five girls responsible for the Demons’ first state titles of any kind since 2003 will soon forget.
“It’s indescribable,” said Connor Adams, who ran with Goodstein, Dubois and Brown as part of the 4×100 quartet.
“We’re state champs!” Goodstein shrieked.
With Dubois running the anchor leg and fighting her way into the lead down the final stretch, Glenwood put up a time of 49.28 seconds in the 4×100. Mesa Ridge didn’t finish far behind, clocking in at 49.43.
No one doubted Dubois, who finished fourth in the 200 and fifth in the 100 in her open events at the state track and field meet.
“She took the baton in what appeared to me to be fourth,” Demons coach Blake Risner said. “I have to look at the film to be certain, but she was not in the lead when she got the baton. That was a lot of determination from her. She stepped up and took over. She passed a couple of girls and held on against a charge from a couple others.”
As Dubois crossed the line, she was met by her three gleeful teammates. Each had sprinted to the finish line area from their respective exchange points.
Like Dubois in the 4×100, Mansfield made up some ground late in the 4×400. Mansfield took the baton with a lead, but Windsor’s Emily Elliott sprinted ahead of her early.
Mansfield knew she had to keep Elliott within striking distance.
“When she passed me, I just tried staying right behind her,” she said. “Then, in the home stretch, that’s when I kicked it in. I knew she wouldn’t be able to hold on. I was just trying to stay with her. The home stretch was the hardest part.”
The Demons were fully aware of Elliott’s capabilities. They’d done their homework.
“Emily Elliott is a force,” Brown said. “We’ve been looking at her all year in the VarVee rankings. Seeing her name had us a little scared.”
Glenwood finished up the 4×400 with a school-record time of 3:54.73. Windsor’s second-place mark was 3:55.35.
The Demons set the school record in the 4×100 (49.08) in Thursday’s preliminaries. They entered the finals with the top prelim time in the 4×100 and the second-best time – behind only Windsor – in the 4×400.
Glenwood long ago targeted the big two relays as the ones they’d go after the hardest. When the 4×100 foursome clocked a sub-50 time at the mid-April Demon Invitational, Risner and his coaching staff identified that event as one that they had a shot to win gold in. They knew all along the 4×400 team would be a force.
“We went after a tough goal by trying to take the big two,” Risner said with a smile. “The big two relays, everyone knows, are the 4×1 and the 4×4. We decided to go after ’em both. It was bold.”
Being bold paid off.
“It’s just really amazing we could bring home two for Glenwood,” Dubois said.
And, with three sophomores (Mansfield, Adams and Goodstein) and two juniors (Brown and Dubois) comprising the two relay groups, the prospect of future relay golds certainly exists.
Proclaimed Goodstein: “We’re coming back stronger than ever.”
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