Demon tracksters perform well at Broomfield
Special to the Post Independent
The Glenwood Springs High School track and field teams travelled to the Front Range on Saturday for an opportunity to compete with some of the best athletes in the state. The high level of competition found at the Broomfield Shootout definitely resulted in some outstanding performances for the Demons.
Broomfield High School has boldly stepped up in recent years to offer a meet consisting of nearly 50 schools with the intent of providing competition not found in your average weekend invitational. And Glenwood Springs’ athletes were prepared to step up to the challenge of this big stage.
The highlight of the meet for Glenwood had to wait until the second to last event of the day. The “Elite” heat of the boys 3200m run saw no less than 21 athletes run faster than the coveted 10:00 mark — an almost unheard of feat at altitude in March.
Among the 21 sub-10 runners were Glenwood junior Gavin Harden and senior Benny Smith. Smith, a 2017 state-qualifier in the 3200, ran a lifetime best time of 9:46.06. But it was Harden who stole the show by breaking the GSHS school record with a time of 9:43.75.
Harden’s record run eclipsed the mark of Marco Salmen’s 9:44.83, which was established in 2003.
Harden and Smith’s amazing performances only managed to place them 10th and 14th, respectively, in the 3200m — an indication of the exceptional quality of this meet.
Two other Demon athletes proved that they were up to the challenge of performing with Colorado’s best. Hurdler Ginny Bergstrom and sprinter Gavin Olson returned to Glenwood Springs with medals from the Broomfield Shootout, showing proof of their top 3 finishes on the track.
Bergstrom, an Ottowa (Arizona) bound senior, had two medal winning performances on the day. She placed third in the 100m hurdles with a season-best time of 15.81 and followed that up later with a second place finish in the 300m hurdles, running 47.32.
Glenwood junior Gavin Olson had been patiently waiting through the first two track meets of the season to debut his 400m speed. The wait was worth it as Olson cruised to a second place finish in the quarter with a blistering early-season time of 50.19 — over a second faster than his 2017 personal best.
Glenwood Springs was also impressive as a team at Broomfield. The boys placed ninth by scoring 24 points, while the girls placed 11th with 22 points. The team titles went to the Vista Ridge boys (68 points) and the Niwot girls (93 points).
Contributing individually to the boys final score were Bryce Risner (sixth in the 110m hurdles and sixth in the high jump), AJ Adams (sixth in the high jump), Wyatt Ewer (seventh in the triple jump) and AJ Crowley (eighth in the 300m hurdles).
Two Demon relay teams placed in the top eight on Saturday. The boys 4 x 400m team (Olson, Kuba Bartnik, Aaron Smith, Crowley) placed fifth with a time of 3:36.72, and the 4 x 200m foursome of Olson, Bartnik, Smith and Crowley ran 1:32.41, good for seventh place.
Scoring for the girls, in addition to Bergstrom, was Sequoia Kellogg in the girls long jump (eighth place).
The girls also had two relay teams in the top eight. The 4 x 800m team of Sophia Vigil, Emily Worline, Lizzy Barsness and Payton Bonsack just missed a medal with its fourth place run. Morgan Hollenback joined Bergstrom, Kellogg and Vigil in the final race of the day as the girls sped around the track to a seventh place finish in the 4 x 400m relay.
Many of the Demon tracksters will be taking the next week off due to Spring Break. Fifteen Glenwood athletes will seek warmer temperatures in Arizona for the Peoria Invitational on Friday, March 30.
Blake Risner is head coach of the Glenwood Springs High School track and field teams.