Brother, can you spare a time?
Most brothers want nothing more than to beat each other. Whether it’s marbles, football, darts, or any other competitive activity, there are few things sweeter than gaining bragging rights over a sibling.That said, brothers also usually take pride in the other’s accomplishments and help out when possible. It’s been more than a decade since Zeke Tiernan won a state title in the 3,200 meters.On Saturday, another Tiernan, Alex, will be gunning for the same title at the 3A state meet – with a little help from his elder sibling.Zeke – a 1993 graduate of Aspen High School, who also claimed a cross country state title – joined the Roaring Fork High School track and field staff as the distance coach this season to get a little quality time with his younger brother. “That was one of the things I wanted out of it,” Zeke said. “It’s a hard commute downvalley, but it’s worth it to be able to spend some time with my brother. Then I was rewarded with all the other (distance) runners. It’s just a great group.”
Alex was on board with Zeke joining the staff, not only because it was his brother, but because it was a knowledgeable coach coming. Along with his high school state titles, Zeke also ran for the University of Colorado in both events, where he earned All-America status. “I definitely got really excited he was going to be our coach,” Alex said. “He’s very accomplished and knows what it takes to be good.”It has certainly been beneficial for the Tiernan brothers, and the Rams team as a whole. Of the five Roaring Fork athletes to qualify for this year’s Class 3A state meet, which starts today in Pueblo, three – Alex, Casey Weaver and Collin Stewart – will compete in the 3,200.”I think it’s been great, a great motivation for Alex, for sure, to run with Zeke,” Roaring Fork head coach Hadley Hentschel said. “And with that, they brings the rest of the distance crew along with them.”Of course the big question is: Who would win a 3,200 between the two Tiernans right now?
Alex said he believes Zeke still has the heart and the determination of the champion he was, but …”He’d probably be right there, but I think I could outkick him in the end,” Alex said. Said Zeke: “I think at this moment in time, based on his fitness and my fitness, I would be hard-pressed to beat him.”Back to the race that will happen, Alex’s 3,200 time of 10 minutes, 6.50 seconds is second among prequalifying times in the state, according to the Colorado High School Activities Association Web site. And he’s looking for a big jump from last season’s 11th-place finish in the event. Tiernan also qualified for the 1,600, but said he will likely save himself for the 3,200.”I’m pretty excited about it. … I’ll see if I can’t go out and surprise myself,” Alex said.Weaver, who also is expected to compete in the 1,600, and Stewart come into the 3,200 with prequalifying times of 10:15.52 and 10:22.78, respectively.
“It should be a good race,” Zeke said. “There are a bunch of kids right around 10 minutes who should be in the hunt for the title.” Joining the trio in the 4×800 relay is Theo Pulver.Mollie Honan was the only girls qualifier for the Rams, winning regional titles in both the 100 and 300 hurdles last weekend in Grand Junction.”She’s got a great chance to podium in both events,” Hentschel said of Honan. “She keeps getting faster and is just hitting her peak right now.”Basalt also sends a hurdler to state in Haley Stumpus, who finished second to Honan in the 100 hurdles at regionals. The Longhorns’ other individual qualifiers include Amy Lund in the girls 3,200 and Duncan McDaniel, who took second in the boys 800 at regionals.The Basalt girls also have three relay teams competing. The 4×800 relay (Lund, Sophie Stenstadvold, Kate Wilson, Emily Tates), 800 medley relay (Natalie Barr, Stumpus, Emily Gustafson, Nicole Wagner) and the 4×100 (Barr, Gustafson, Stumpus, Wagner) all see action.
Grand Valley’s Katie Bryan is the Cardinals’ only individual qualifier in the 2A state meet, also in Pueblo on Friday and Saturday. In last week’s regional meet, Bryan took second place in the girls 1,600 and third in the 3,200 to earn a spot at state. “She had a good week of practice and is pretty healthy,” Grand Valley head coach Scott Kiburis said. “I think she has a really good chance to place, if not do better than that.”The Cardinals also qualified their 800 medley relay team after a third-place finish in last week’s meet. Bryan joins Amy Adkins, Natasha Segreto and Brittany Chrisley for the event.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.