Athletes push themselves on first day
LAKEWOOD — Edgar Enriquez ran his guts out on Thursday.
The Coal Ridge High School senior did everything he could to cross the finish line first on the final leg of the 4×800-meter relay during the first day of the Class 3A State Championships at Jefferson County Stadium. That turned out not to be the case, as Enrich Hixiun, the anchor man for Holy Family, rallied past Enriquez to give his team the state championship.
Coal Ridge wound up the state runner-up, posting a time of 8 minutes, 15.76 seconds to beat the team’s previous personal-best time by close to a full second. Holy Family, however, beat its own team-best time by nearly 12 seconds on its way to a winning time of 8:12.48.
And when the race was over, Enriquez needed time away from teammates Roman Plano, Noah Crisler and Sam Jorgenson to, well, lose his lunch.
“That’s the last 800 of my high school career,” an exhausted Enriquez said after the race. “I’m pretty happy about that.”
The Coal Ridge relay team had the best time in Class 3A headed into the event, and it was visibly upset following Holy Family’s victory. After stepping up to the awards podium after the race, however, they were able to put things in perspective.
“Last year we got eighth place in this event, so I think we’re pretty excited and happy that we got second place this year,” Enriquez said.
That Coal Ridge relay team wasn’t the only member of the boys team that managed a high finish. Trevor Kelly, a senior, was disappointed after his third-place mark of 41 feet, 4 inches in the triple jump, knowing that his personal-best mark is about a foot farther than that.
“I could have done a lot better,” said Kelly, who also will compete in Saturday’s long jump and also qualified for that day’s final in the 110-meter hurdles.
Still, Kelly admitted that the Titans’ focus lies on something bigger than individual results.
“We still put ourselves in a pretty good position,” Kelly said. “Little things happened today, but we can make up for that.”
The Coal Ridge boys head into the second day of the meet in a three-way tie for fourth place with 15 points after five events scored. Frontier Academy of Greeley leads it with 24 points, with The Classical Academy (20) and Eaton (18) following.
Those little things that happened to Coal Ridge on Thursday were things the Titans bounced back from in a big way. That was especially true for Coal Ridge senior Andy Bowles.
Bowles ran the first heat of the 110 hurdles prelims but, halfway through the race, was part of a four-runner pileup when Holy Family hurdler Ryan Willis clipped a hurdle so hard, it rolled, bounced and sent four runners trailing Willis tumbling to the ground behind him. Willis, as a result, was disqualified for interference. Four runners — including Bowles — were given a rare re-race by officials to record a time.
Bowles had to run from the medical tent on the south end of the track with a bandaged right knee to the starting line. Not that it slowed him down — his time of 15.06 seconds qualified him third for Saturday’s final behind top-qualifier Ryan Youngren of Holy Family (14.76) and his teammate, Kelly (15.00).
The Coal Ridge boys weren’t the only ones who managed some notable performances.
Grand Valley junior Ben Coleman became a state placer for the second-consecutive year, finishing fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 40-11 3/4. Coal Ridge sophomore Kaitlyn Detlefsen made the top nine in the high jump — barely — with her jump of 4-10 in the high jump landing her in a three-way tie for ninth place.
Grand Valley also had freshman Kylyn Rigsby, who is making her first appearance in the state meet.
Chris Contreras qualified in both the 100 and 200 meters, and each of the Titans’ sprint relays qualified in the top half of the prelim fields on Thursday. In the 4×100 relay, both Grand Valley and Coal Ridge managed qualifying teams. Coal Ridge qualified third and Grand Valley qualified ninth.
Prelims continue through today with running and intermediate hurdle events. Finals for most events take place on Saturday.
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The Roaring Fork High School baseball team was deadlocked with the visiting Gunnison Cowboys in Carbondale through the final three frames Tuesday, before falling 16-9 in nine innings.