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Demon girls collect medals at state meet

Phil Sandoval

Between now and the start of the 2003 girls track season, there’s going to be some remodeling on the school record board at Glenwood Springs High School.

Collectively, the Demon girls set a number of record marks at this weekend’s Class 4A State Track and Field Championships, marks which could stick around for the next few years.

On Friday, the Demon 4×800 relay team set the pace.

Kessie Schwanebeck, Lacey Darien, Sarah Shepard and Yuri Salvidrez shattered their week-old school record by 19 seconds.

Getting a push from challengers Mullen and Loveland Mountain View, the Demons turned in a season’s best time of 9 minutes, 49.86 seconds.

The time by the Glenwood foursome was good enough to earn them the third-place medal at state.

More school records tumbled Saturday.

Amber Sutherland unofficially broke the school record in the girls discus with a throw of 123 fee, 11 inches, good for second place at the state meet.

Earlier, the sophomore tied her career-best in the shot put and earned a third-place state medal in the process.

“I wanted to set a PR (personal record) in the shot,” Sutherland said. But she added she was happy that her 35-11 throw enabled her to collect a bronze medal, vs. the fourth place she had with the same distance at last year’s state finals.

She also qualified for state in the triple and long jump events. Sutherland ended in 20th place in Friday’s triple jump competition, and scratched from the long jump because the event ran simultaneously with the discus on Saturday.

“Just getting here was awesome,” Sutherland said of qualifying for the state championships in four events.

“I just wanted to have fun and do the best I could do and I did.”

More impressive performances followed for the Demons.

Appearing for the first time at state in three years, Jennifer Kishimoto returned with a vengeance.

Since winning the state title in the 300-meter hurdles as a freshman, Kishimoto had gone through two injury-prone years which prevented her from performing at her best.

She made up for lost time in Saturday’s finals.

Kishimoto ran a lifetime best 45.31, which gave her the 2002 silver medal at state.

The race was double-sweet for the Demons as teammate Megan McKinnie following right on her heels for third place in the state championships.

“I’m so glad to get back and compete at state,” Kishimoto said. “Before Regionals, I didn’t think that I’d be in the (state) finals.”

Kishimoto set up her medal-winning run by posting the second-best preliminary time the day before.

That 46.78 time she posted was a tenth of a second behind her seasonal best that she had run a week before at Regionals.

And with one race left in her high school career, Kishimoto displayed the same form she had as a freshman.

Kishimoto didn’t win the race. Rachelle Mims of Widefield took that honor in 44.86.

“I think this was my best race in three years and I’m happy with that,” Kishimoto said.

Demon coach Blake Risner was equally enthused.

“I am so happy that Jennifer could run the race of her life in her final race,” the coach said.

Abby Walters lowered her own girls’ freshman school records in the 800 and 1600 meter runs at her first state championship track meet.

She followed up her 10th place, 5:25.55 time in the 1600 with a sixth-place finish in a very fast 800 field, one that included returning state champion Jenna Bimbi of Pueblo Centennial and Moffat County’s Charlotte Steele, this year’s Western Slope Regional champ.

After a slow first lap, Walters completed the race in 2:21.55, running the final 400 meters in 66 seconds.

In the finals of the 4×400 relay, the Demons fell a bit off the school record pace they had at Friday’s prelims, but managed to bag a state medal.

The team of Kishimoto, Darien, McKinnie and Walters finished fourth in 4:07.62. At the prelims, the same foursome set a new school mark of 4:06.57, six seconds faster than their previous best.

In the 100-meter hurdles, Megan McGrath lowered her personal best time to 15.97 while finishing seventh.

As a team, the Glenwood Springs girls, coached by Andrea Sprung, finished a strong fourth at the 2002 state meet.

The Demons totaled 50 points, just two behind third-place Liberty of Colorado Springs.

Powerhouse Mullen won the girls team title with 87 points. Niwot was second with 65.

Mullen also won the boys’ team title with 98 points. Colorado Springs Harrison was second with 70. Fountain-Fort Carson was third.


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