Coal Ridge girls, Glenwood boys place 3rd, 5th at state track meet
Coal Ridge standout freshman Peyton Garrison came into the three-day state track and field championships looking to measure herself up against the rest of the Class 3A competition.
If her third- and fourth-place finishes let her take anything away from the state meet and how she measures up, she should know she’ll be a state championship contender for the next three years.
Right away on the third and final day Saturday at JeffCo Stadium, Garrison left a mark and helped push the Titan girls to a third-place team finish in 3A.
The freshman finished fourth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.61 seconds, finishing 4/100ths of a second behind Grand Valley’s Jordyn Pittman as the two Garfield County products showed out early.
Following her fourth-place finish, Garrison improved by one spot in the 200m dash, which is her best event.
Coming off the final turn, Garrison turned on the burners and clocked a time of 25.52 seconds, just 27/100ths out of first place.
“I definitely want the title,” said Garrison. “All I wanted to do today was win the 200, so I’m going to do whatever I can moving forward to win that race. The 200 is definitely my best race and I felt really good today.”
Along with Garrison’s finishes in individual events, the Titans built on a strong Friday in relay events by grabbing a third-place finish in the 4x100m relay. Mary Bolitho, Kara Morgan, Phoebe Young, and Garrison combined to finish in 50.26 seconds, just under a second off of the pace set by state champion Eaton at 49.05 seconds.
FLY, CARDINAL, FLY
As Coal Ridge climbed the 3A girls’ leaderboard Saturday, Grand Valley’s Pittman had a strong individual day, finishing third in the 100m dash with a time of 12.57 seconds. She also grabbed a fourth-place finish in the 400m with a time of 57.82 seconds, holding off Rifle’s Delaney Phillips in sixth, who finished with a time of 59.10 seconds.
Pittman then helped the Cardinals’ 4x100m relay team finish sixth with a time of 50.82 seconds.
“This is the first year that I qualified for the 100, so I’m really proud of myself,” Pittman said. “My block starts are horrible, so I have to work on that. But I’m a strong finisher, so I’m really proud of myself.”
Glenwood Springs senior Gavin Olson made school history in qualifying for the state meet in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter dashes. The senior couldn’t quite qualify for the finals in the 100 and 200, but was in the final in the 400 for the second year in a row and saw a two-spot improvement on the podium, moving up from ninth last year to seventh this year.
Olson had the lead heading into the final turn, but the unfamiliarity of running in the outside lane and the general wear and tear his body went through over three days led to the senior slipping back to the middle of the pack, finishing seventh with a time of 50.49 seconds.
“Any time you can move up two places, is awesome,” said Olson. “Moving up just one spot is huge, but to move up two spots is great. I felt great in the race, but coming out of that last turn was really hard. I just gave it my all.”
The senior sprinter accomplished his goal of qualifying in all three sprint events, leaving himself impressed with his overall body of work.
“It’s every sprinter’s dream to run the 100, 200 and 400,” added Olson. “Not many guys in any classification can do that. It’s just a really impressive thing to do, but my body is pretty dead at this point.”
Following the 400, Olson then had a few hours to burn before running in the 4x400m relay with Bryce Risner, Kuba Bartnik, and Wyatt Ewer. Bartnik was really the only fresh runner at that point, which resulted in a sixth-place finish with a time of 3:26.02.
Glenwood’s girls 4x400m relay of Sophia Vigil, Emily Worline, Hadley Yellico, and Sequoia Kellogg also qualified for the final and finished fifth with a time of 4:05.92.
OH, SO CLOSE
Prior to Ewer and Risner finishing 1-2 in the 300m hurdles, the duo competed Saturday morning in the 110m hurdles and came up excruciatingly short in the event.
Risner finished seventh in 15.41 seconds, while Ewer finished eighth in 15.46 seconds, which put both of them off the pace by less than 40/100ths of a second.
“I clipped the eighth and final hurdle, which really slowed me down,” a frustrated Risner said. “It pretty much stopped me right there in my tracks; I guess it’s just what happens here at the state meet.”
Right after the 110m hurdles, Ewer had to race over to the triple jump and compete for the Demons. In the field event, Ewer ran out of steam, placing ninth.
In the girls 3A triple jump, Rifle’s Maddy Valencia, who set the school record earlier in the spring for the Bears, claimed seventh with a distance of 35 feet, 05.75 inches, capping off a terrific year for the Rifle standout.
While Valencia competed in the 3A triple jump, Glenwood’s Kellogg ran the 100m hurdles for the Demons, coming up with a fourth-place finish in 15.22 seconds, less than half a second out of first.
“I’m really happy with the finish,” said Kellogg. “I had my best start of the season out of the blocks, and that was my big goal to get out of the blocks quickly and get to the first hurdle. I just kind of jumped out of the blocks, instead of running out of them. I was really excited for this race, and that took over my nerves.”
Closing things out at the state meet in 3A, the Rifle Bears’ boys 4x100m relay team of Dalton Pruett, Embrey Marantino, Bryce Schance, and Tanner Vines finished sixth in the event, bringing medals back to Rifle.
The relay team was less than half a second out of the top 3 in the tightly contested relay.
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