Demons’ Salmen ends prep career with pair of top-three finishes
LAKEWOOD – Career-ending performances – no matter how well one does – are bittersweet.
All of Glenwood Springs High School’s seniors would have liked to go out as champions at Saturday’s Class 4A state track meet, but sometimes fate goes against an athlete’s wishes.
Seniors Marco Salmen, Chase Warner, Jeri Polowchena have given their sweat, training and devotion to the Demon track program.
Salmen, who finished second in the boys’ 3,200 meters and third in the 1,600 meters, said the best part of competing in the state meet is knowing you’re among Colorado’s best.
“You always have certain goals when you get to state,” he said. “I was just happy to run. And, then to know you are one of the top guys and be in contention for a state championship.”
In Friday’s 3,200, Salmen led for six of the event’s eight laps, which had his teammates and supporters thinking he was on his way to capturing the gold.
“I knew the pace I wanted to set, it was a little slow,” Salmen said of taking the lead in the 3,200. “It was a little surprising as far as being up front, but, I thought, `Now, I’ll take it.'”
Steven Willis had other ideas.
The runner from Cheyenne Mountain made his move on the final lap, zooming past Salmen. Willis blistered the Jeffco Stadium track with a 9 minute, 32.59 second finish.
Salmen, who overcame a late challenge from Harrison’s Eduardo Pasko, ran a lifetime best 9:44.83 to finish second.
Saturday’s 1,600 meter run was no contest.
Alex Clayton, the 800 meter state champ from Liberty, blazed past the entire field. Clayton’s 4:22.16 time was 5.5 seconds faster than second-place finisher Nate Dern of Evergreen’s mark.
“Clayton is a great runner and he ran real solid,” Salmen said. “I just couldn’t keep up.”
But, Marco did gain some revenge in the 1,600.
Salmen bested Willis for third by four-tenths of a second with a time of 4:28.41.
Warner, the Western Regional runner-up in the boys’ shot put, finished 17th in the state with a mark of 42 feet, 61⁄4 inches.
On the girls side, Polowchena ran her best time of the year in the 100 meter hurdles final – a 16.22 – and finished seventh in the event’s final standings.
Earlier, Polowchena was 15th in the triple jump and was 11th in the 4×100 relay with teammates Amber Sutherland, Leah Hinkey and Megan McKinnie.
Glenwood’s two boys’ relay teams finished 16th in the 4×200 and 18th in the 4×100.
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