Bears bring home seven state medals
If numbers are any indication to the future, the Rifle Bears are fast becoming a major player in Class 4A track and field.
Every time spectators turned around at last weekend’s state championship meet at Jeffco Stadium, they saw or heard a Rifle athlete’s named mentioned.
With the largest number of state qualifiers they’ve had in the past few years, the Bears brought a new attitude with them.
Instead of just being pleased to attend the party, the Bears set their sites higher.
And it paid off.
Combined, the boys and girls teams from Rifle came home with seven state medals between them.
Overall, the Bears had four participants complete their events in fourth place, one runner finished fifth and two others end in sixth in their events.
Individually, sprinter Terena Leuallen and hurdler Ryan Enright had the best meet of the Bear qualifiers.
Leuallen, a junior, clocked a fourth-place time of 12.56 seconds in the girls 100-meter dash. And she followed that up with a 26.75 time, good for eighth place, in the 200 meters.
And running the anchor leg of Rifle’s 4×100 relay, she teamed with Jennifer Kitchens, Amber Canard and Brooke St. Pierre to clock a PR time of 50.52, good for fourth place at the state championships.
Enright fired in at 14.94 in the finals of the 110-meter hurdles for a fourth-place medal. He also took part in the finals of the 4×100 relay, an event Rifle finished at 44.74 – the eighth-best 4A time in the state.
Rifle’s Danielle Reedy concluded her four-year track career with a fifth-place medal in the 110 hurdles (15.60) and a sixth place in the 300-meter hurdles.
The senior set a personal-best time of 47.37 in the 300’s, a race featuring six former state placers.
Michael Birdsley also posted a personal best in the boys 400 meters. A 50.38 time earned the junior a fourth place medal at state.
Other individual marks by Rifle in event finals included Kitchens’ seventh-place 100-meter time of 12.86 and ninth place efforts by David Suminski (22.98) and Justin Steffen (44.46) in the boys 200 and 300 hurdles, respectively.
In other relay events, the Bears’ 4×200 girls team finished 14th and the Rifle boys took eighth in the 4×400 relay.
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