Bears show well at 4A meet

Phil Sandoval

LAKEWOOD – It’s not the medals that’s important when competing at the state meet. Instead, it’s a matter of performing at your best.

To that effect, the Rifle High boys and girls track teams were successful at the Class 4A state track and field meet held at Jeffco Stadium.

Both teams turned in a number of personal bests while earning four state medals for finishing in the state’s top eight.

The boys 4×100-meter relay team, one of four Bear relay teams that advanced to this weekend’s Class 4A championships, finished fourth.

The team of Kalvin Deere, Brian Hileman, David Suminski and Troy Weiss clocked in at 44.17, three-tenths of second behind Friday’s preliminary time which advance them to the event finals.

Possibly Rifle’s most exciting performance of the two-day meet occurred on Saturday.

The Bear 4×800 girls’ relay team of Savanna Beecraft, Lauren Pleva, Jessica Warwick and Krista Wagstrom finished seventh overall, but set a new school record of 10 minutes, 1.33 seconds in winning its heat.

Wagstrom overcame Melissa Urban of Woodland Park in the backstretch of the final lap for the win.

“I let her pass on the backstretch,” said Wagstrom. “I figured I could beat her because I have a longer stride.”

The junior’s strategy worked perfectly.

With a half-lap remaining, Wagstrom passed Urban and pulled away as Urban faded. But, being placed in the second flight, the team had to wait to see where it finished.

Greeley West, the winner of the first heat, had the state championship time of 9:43.75. Moffat County had the best 4×800 relay time of Western Slope schools – a 9:50.71 – good for fifth-place.

Amanda Bingman turned in Rifle’s best individual mark. The Bear senior took seventh place in the shot put with a 34-foot, 8-inch toss. The mark came on Bingman’s third, and final throw in the event finals.

Her previous best – 33-111⁄2 – advanced Bingman to the event finals.

Terena Leuallen finished eighth in the girls’ 100 with a 12.89 mark. Justin Steffen was eighth in the 110 and 300 hurdles in times of 15.16 and 41.05, respectively.

In the boys’ shot put Andrew Stone was 19th with a best of 41-81⁄2.

The boys 4×400 relay squad posted a ninth-place finish.

The results of the girls long jump, featuring Rifle’s Jennifer Schneider and Wagstrom, were not available at press time.

In events Rifle athletes did not advance beyond Friday’s preliminaries, senior Kristina Dahlin finished 10th in the girls high jump with a best of 5-0. Sprinter David Suminski also recorded a 10th-place finish in the boys’ 100 meters at 11.39.

Savanna Beecraft took 13th in the girls’ 800 after clocking in at 2:25.27. Ali Little ran the 400 meters in 1:00.82 to finish 14th and the Bears’ 4×200 relay team of A.J. Connolly, Wagstrom, Little and Leuallen ran a 1:47.82 time for 13th place.

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