Cretti breaks Boyle’s 1600 record at Regionals
For Caroline Cretti, this was one time when deciding to run less was best.
Opting not to participate in Friday’s 800-meter run at the girls 3A Regional track meet at Stocker Stadium resulted in a record-setting performance by the Roaring Fork senior in the 1600 meters.
The extra rest gave Cretti the extra oomph to smash Dana Boyle’s meet record. She finished the run in 5:06.96, well ahead of fellow state-qualifiers Kim Smith and Jessica Mesker of Eagle Valley and Olathe’s Stacy Henderson.
Entering Saturday’s event, Cretti’s goal was to break the 5-minute and 10-second barrier.
To help, Cretti wrote down split times as reminders on her arm.
She didn’t look at them at all.
In fact, Cretti wasn’t aware that she had set a new Regional record until she glanced at her winning time on the track’s electronic scoreboard at the finish line.
“I was so excited to break Dana’s record,” Cretti said. “Those records have been there since I was a freshman. Because she’s such an incredible runner… it’s always been something to hold yourself to as a goal,” she added.
Cretti said the weather conditions helped set the record.
“It was very good, finally. There was not so much wind,” she said, referring to Friday’s cool, blustery weather that included powerful crosswinds of 20-30 miles per hour.
Going into the 1600, Cretti was prepared, but wasn’t sure of reaching Boyle’s record time.
“After (Friday’s 3200), I thought,`Oh, yeah I could try, but I’m not sure it would happen,’ and it did.”
On Friday, Cretti lowered her previous 3200 state-best time by more than two seconds, cruising in at 11 minutes, 18.59 seconds while the rest of the field, seemingly, took the time to watch the Ram runner’s accomplishment.
The weather conditions made the 3200 race “incredible,” Cretti said.
“I had people cheering for me from Glenwood (on the backstretch) and I couldn’t hear what they saying. They were going to read my splits for me, and I couldn’t hear anything. As soon as you came around the curve it was….whooo.” But, everyone had to do it, so I just dealt with it.
Cretti’s victory was a minute and a half faster than Erin Thayer of Hotchkiss.
One reason why Cretti scratched from the 800 was to reach a sub-11 minute time in the 3200, and she needs the extra distance of the longer races to compete against other runners.
“I don’t think I’m fast enough, speed-wise, for it,” Cretti said of the 800. “Kim Smith and all those other girls have such huge kicks. It takes me four laps to get going. So I’m leaving it up to the pros.”
Now Cretti will head to the 3A State Track and Field Championships in Pueblo next weekend, where she is the defending state champion in the 1600 and the 3200.
“It’s weird,” she said about being the runner to beat. “I’m very excited and we’ll see what happens.”
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As a new transplant to the area, each week I will feature a trail within the Garfield County limits. For this inaugural week, I’m highlighting Glenwood Springs’ own Atkinson Canal Trail.