Area athletes solid on first day
GRAND JUNCTION – The Glenwood Springs girls 4×800-meter relay team set the tone for Friday’s Class 2A-4A regional track meet by setting a school-record time of 9 minutes, 54.54 seconds.Challenged by the first-place mark which advanced the Demons to next week’s 4A state meet, other area athletes followed Glenwood’s lead.”I just wanted to make sure our team was in first, because most of the time other teams are close behind me,” said lead runner Melissa Buchanan. “It’s kind of scary. There’s so much pressure because I’m running the first leg.”If the Demon freshman felt any pressure, It was dispelled when Buchanan hit the back stretch on her first of two laps.Jumping out to a commanding lead, Buchanan placed the baton in Abbey Barnes’ hands.”Usually if I get us in first, the rest of our team is so good that we’ll stay in first,” Buchanan said.She was right.A good baton pass from Barnes to No. 3 runner Sharaya Selsor, followed by a clean exchange to her younger sister Katrina Selsor in the anchor slot sealed the deal.The regional championship time eclipsed the team’s former fastest time by nearly three seconds.Solid: see next page”We were challenged. But we weren’t pushed because no one was (behind us),” Sharaya Selsor said. “Then when I handed off to Katrina. And, I knew we had the race.”Katrina also had the race to herself for the entire 1,600. Katrina, who was already qualified for the 4A girls state meet in the event, won the area’s lone individual regional title with a 5:22.69 mark.”I just had to get mentally challenged (for the 1,600). I wanted to be regional champ,” Katrina said. “So I just went out and did my best.”Katrina’s best was eight seconds faster than her closest competitor. Six more area prep competitors also earned state championship meet berths in event finals held Friday.Three Coal Ridge runners – DaLin Murphy, Thomas Simmons and Kody Roper – will compete in the 2A boys 1,600 state prelims Friday in Pueblo.They, with the rest of the field, finished so closely together it took a photo to determine the race’s outcome.Murphy, one of 11 runners earning a state berth, took seventh in 4:57.67 – a slash of seven seconds off his previous best. Simmons finished in 4:58.06. Roper, who clocked the fastest time of the three Titans earlier this season, ran under five minutes for the first time with 4:58.81.Joining them at Dutch Clark Stadium for state medals will be Grand Valley 1,600 runners Jonathan Thompson and Katie Bryan.”I was so happy. I felt so good the entire time,” Bryan said of the 5:42.20 second-place mark she posted. “I beat my PR by about three seconds. That’s the second time this year I’ve done that. I’m going to state and I’m just excited.”The Cardinals junior, can add her name to the 2A state qualifying list in two more events today if she earns a top-three mark in the 2A girls 800 and 3,200.”Qualifying in the 1,600 makes it easier for me in the other two (events), she said. “It gets my confidence up and I can do it.”Rifle’s Rachael Rung, who earned the regional runner-up spot in the 4A girls high jump, is the only Bear who qualified Thursday for the big show at Lakewood’s Jeffco Stadium. But, with top-eight marks in event preliminaries Friday, a slew of additional athletes from Garfield County high schools are in position to be welcomed aboard when action resumes this morning at Stocker Stadium.The top-three marks from each of today’s events, along with athletes who make or surpass, pre-set classification standards, also move on to the state meet.
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Fans, players and coaches on both sides of Stubler Memorial Field seemed to know it would come down just the way it did, regardless of who had the ball at the end.