Colorado State Track Day 2 recap: Western Slope distance and relay athletes shine bright |

Colorado State Track Day 2 recap: Western Slope distance and relay athletes shine bright

On day 2 of the 2021 Colorado State Track and Field Championships, Western Slope teams showed their prowess in both the distance races and relays.

It was all about the Basalt Longhorns in the 3A girls 3200-meter run as the team put three girls on the podium. Katelyn Maley led the way placing second with a time of 11:06, followed by Sierra Bower in fourth and Ava Lane in eighth. Maley valiantly led for the majority of the eight-lap race but was narrowly passed in the final lap.

Katelyn Maley kicks down the homestretch to place 2nd.
Cody Jones/ Post Independent

In the next distance race of the day, Mikayla Cheney of Coal Ridge and Katelyn Maley of Basalt once again put their cross-valley rivalry on full display. Cheney led from the gun, uncontested until the last 20-meters when Jaycee Williams of Berthoud came up on Cheney’s shoulder, threatening Cheney’s push for the title. However, Cheney with a big lean at the finish line was able to beat Williams and the rest of the field with a time of 2:15.22.

“My first thought when I crossed the line was ‘ow.’ It’s always a good feeling when you win but after a hard distance race it always hurts and today it hurt bad,” Cheney said immediately after the race.

“The girls I am running against are incredible, so I was super nervous for the race because of how competitive the 3A girls distance races are,” she added. “Overall, It feels amazing to bring back a state title to the Western Slope as it shows that the small towns got it.”

Mikayla Cheney smiles as she crosses the finish line as the 800 meter state champion.
Cody Jones/ Post Independent

In the 3A girls 4×100 meter relay Coal Ridge qualified for tomorrow’s final while also placing first in their heat. In the 4×200 meter relay finals and 4×400 meter relay prelims, Moffat County and Coal Ridge squared off. Moffat County won the state title in the 4×200 meter with Coal Ridge placing fifth. The Moffat County 4×200 meter relay state championship team was composed of Halle Hamilton, Emma Jones, Sadie Smilanich, and Emaleigh Papierski. Coal Ridge was the first qualifier in the 4×400, with Moffat following in second.

The Coal Ridge boys 4×100 meter relay team must have been inspired by the success of the Lady Titan relays as they also qualified for the final, placing third in their heat. In the 4×200 meter relay final Moffat County placed sixth and Coal Ridge placed eighth. Lastly, in the 4×400 meter prelims, the Coal Ridge Titans squeaked by with a time qualifier for tomorrow’s final.

The two brothers from Moffat County, Logan and Ian Hafey, both qualified for Saturday’s final in the 300-meter hurdles where both will compete for clan bragging rights.

Moving onto the 3A field events, Lily Nieslanik of Roaring Fork High School long jumped 16 feet 11.5 inches which was enough for her to place fourth.

In the pole vault, Phoebe Young of Coal Ridge placed third with a vault of 11 feet 6 inches. Young was followed by two area competitors in Katie Bohannan of Basalt who placed seventh and Abigaile Pinkerton-Spark of Rifle who placed ninth.

After several lightning and rain delays, Taylor Wiescamp was able to place second in the 3A girls shot put with a throw of 39 feet. Wiescamp’s throw helped to move the Lady Titans into first place in the team rankings.

Rifle’s Josh Straw and Coal Ridge’s Shayne Sandblom tied for fifth in the boy’s pole vault with their best vaults being 11 feet.

In the 4A classification, the Glenwood Springs Demons had Sophia Connerton-Nevin place 11th in girls 800. Taber Uyehara also secured his spot in the 300 meter hurdle final posting one of the fastest times on the day. The Demon boys 4×400 meter relay are competing in tomorrow’s final as they qualified on time running 3:26.80.

In the 4A boys 800, Gage Nielsen of Eagle Valley placed 11th with a time of 1:56.91, a new personal best.

Rounding out the performances on day two of the state track meet, Alex Mendoza from Grand Valley advanced to tomorrow’s final in the 300 meter hurdles with the fifth-best time today in the 2A classification.

Lady Titans and Longhorns in team battle

After the second day of the state track meet, Coal Ridge and Basalt are currently ranked first and second in the team rankings. Basalt has 42.50 points to Coal Ridge’s 48. Lady Titan, Peyton Garrison will help Coal Ridge’s race to the team title as she competes in the finals of the 100,200, and 400 where she is projected to podium in all three. Basalt will have to rely on their talent in the 1600 meter run in Katelyn Maley and Sierra Bower.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.