Rifle’s Kuheim nets silver in shot put
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
LAKEWOOD, Colorado – Most would happily settle for second place, but Rifle’s Joey Kuheim isn’t most people.
Armed with a relentless drive to be the best, first place is all the junior would have been happy with in Saturday’s 3A shot put competition at the state track and field meet in Lakewood.
And she missed it by the slimmest of margins. Kuheim led going into the finals, only to be outgunned by Eaton’s Mel Herl.
Kuheim topped out at a personal-best 41 feet, 2 inches. Herl recorded a throw of 43-2.
“You put so much time, effort and work into something,” Kuheim said. “Whenever you lose, you wonder what I could have done better, if I put in enough work, if I put in enough time. I truly think I worked hard, and she beat me. It was within my grasp, which is part of what sucks.”
While tough to swallow, Kuheim is motivated as she sets her sights on her senior year.
“I’m still throwing four feet further than [Herl] did as a junior,” she said. “I’m not coming back just to win a state championship, I’m coming back next year to break the state record.”
And she plans on putting in the time to make it happen.
“I think part of what’s going to change is I’ll do a lot more footwork during the year,” Kuheim said. “Normally, I just did a lot of strength training and running to help the cardio part.”
She’s also dabbling in Olympic weightlifting, and has already qualified for a national meet in June.
Elsewhere in the 3A shot put, Coal Ridge freshman Britni Allen placed fifth (36-2 1/2) and Rifle sophomore Brittany Neuroth finished 18th (30-9).
Jordan Steinke closed out her high school career with a fifth-place finish in the Class 3A long jump. The Grand Valley senior covered 16-7 1/2 with her top jump.
Roaring Fork sophomore Taila Howe placed 14th (15-5 1/2).
Grand Valley junior Rocio Roman was a busy girl at Jefferson County Stadium on Saturday, running both the 300 hurdles and the 1,600-meter run within a short time frame.
“I’m very tired,” she said with a weary smile.
Roman placed sixth in the 300 hurdles, timing in at 48.62 seconds. With tired legs and maybe a half hour later, she finished 18th in the mile (5:50.82).
Hurdles events have been Roman’s thing since she was young.
“I was really good in elementary school, so I just kept it going,” she said.
And she hasn’t stopped since.
Coal Ridge’s girls recorded a pair of memorable relay finishes at state on Saturday.
The Titans’ 4×400 quartet of Kayla Hinkley, Becca Mitchell, Mariela Martinez and Alicia Hampton took fourth in 4:08.27 and the 4×100 foursome of Mitchell, Hinkley, Martinez and Kelsey Fauser placed ninth (52.04).
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.