Clear head helps Rifle senior reach the podium
LAKEWOOD — Brittany Neuroth, for a brief moment, forgot on Thursday that she was competing in the Class 4A State Championships.
And for that same brief moment, the Rifle High School senior decided to live in the moment while she competed in the girls shot put finals during the first day of the three-day meet at Jefferson County Stadium.
“Instead of focusing on all of the things I had focused on all throughout the year, I just let everything go,” said Neuroth, who finished a surprising sixth in the event on Thursday morning. “I just decided to relax and, technically, it would have been the last three throws I would have gotten. So I just decided to go for it.”
That turned out to be a good approach for Neuroth. Her sixth-place finish came thanks to a personal-best mark of 36 feet, 2 ¼ inches. That was almost a full foot better than the previous-best mark of 35-3 ¾ she had coming into the meet.
That new best mark came during the preliminary round of the event, which she figured would be good enough at least to move her into the final and guarantee herself a spot on the event podium. It turned out to be better than that, which was more than a pleasant surprise to her.
What’s more, Neuroth has a chance to place in both the discus and shot put events, and discus is Neuroth’s stronger event.
“I actually feel really accomplished with what I wanted here, because I was hoping I would reach 35 [feet],” Neuroth said. “That was amazing to hit 36, and now I have a chance to place in two events.
The Class 4A girls discus preliminaries and finals take place on Saturday.
Neuroth wasn’t the only Class 4A thrower from Garfield County who was able to reach the podium on Thursday. Glenwood Springs High School senior Garrett Lowe placed seventh in the shot put with a mark of 49-1 ½, and fellow Glenwood senior Delaney Gaddis managed a mark of 35-4 ½ in the triple jump to place eighth.
Lowe was in a hurry when he was participating in the shot put. The Glenwood senior was taking on the rare double duty of competing in a throwing and a sprint-relay event, running legs of the Demons’ 4×100 and 4×200 relays. He had to rush to the preliminaries of the 4×200 relay from the shot put Thursday morning, but he managed to record his best mark of the day right before running to the relay.
“It was my PR for the day, and I’m happy about that,” Lowe said. “There isn’t one of the throwers here who had to go to a running event from there, so I at least have that to brag about.”
Glenwood’s 4×200 relay wasn’t able to qualify for Saturday’s finals, but Kaden Weller made it in the open 200 meters. The Glenwood junior barely made it, actually, with his preliminary time of 22.55 seconds netting him the ninth and final qualifying spot. Weller, who is a top contender for the 4A 300-meter hurdles title, will try to qualify for the finals in that event today.
Rifle’s boys 4×800 relay team managed a 12th-place finish in 8:20.02 while competing in an 18-team finals field.
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