Glenwood Springs hurdlers have great showing at state meet |

Glenwood Springs hurdlers have great showing at state meet

Joelle Milholm
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post Independent

LAKEWOOD, Colorado ” Back in February, Mike Kishimoto gave the Glenwood Springs hurdlers fair warning. The Demons hurdling coach advised his pupils they would be training with the sprinters, but working harder than them. He knew with their talent and the strong Demon hurdler tradition, good things could happen.

On Saturday, his plan all played out pretty well.

Laura Young finished as the runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles, and Dakota Stonehouse placed third in the 300 hurdles and ninth in the 110 event ” gathering three hurdling medals for the Demons. Young and Stonehouse were the only Demon hurdlers to reach the finals, but five qualified for state.

“I am very happy. They are amazing ” all of them,” Kishimoto said. “Laura was running for a state championship today, as was Doc (Stonehouse’s nickname). They were both running against the best.”

If Young would have been running in the Class 5A girls 300-meter hurdles, she would be the 2008 state champion. Young’s runner-up time of 44.4 seconds, and the 44.14 mark of the 4A champ Ashley Miknis of Broomfield, were both faster than the 5A state champion Vanessa Samuel’s 44.65.

Young’s time also set a new personal record for her, which also happens to break the Glenwood Springs school record she set last weekend at regionals.

“I wanted to PR (set a personal record) again, which I did,” said Young, a junior. “I really wanted the state championship, but that’s OK. It’s something to push for next year. I’ll get it.”

Stonehouse, another Glenwood junior, also faced tough competition in both hurdles events in Sierra’s Kelby Dias, who won both events. Dias’ time of 37.59 in the 300 hurdles was quick enough to make the top-10 all-time list in 4A Colorado.

Stonehouse, who crossed the finish line with a time of 15.59 in the 110 hurdles, felt good about his time of 39.28 in the 300.

“I am really happy with how it went. I didn’t get the time I was shooting for, but third at state is a good feeling,” Stonehouse said. “Kelby Dias is a junior, too, so I’ll be shooting for him next year.”

Young and Stonehouse, as well as fellow Demon state qualifying hurdlers Kurt Hartmann, Taylor Goodstein and Kristy Moore, are just the latest chapter in the successful history of hurdling at Glenwood Springs.

The event has seen state titles from Jennifer Kishimoto and Megan McKinnie in the past. While the athletes cycle in and out of the school, one thing has remained steadfast ” Coach Kishimoto.

“He is the hurdle coach of the year,” said Glenwood Springs head track and field coach Blake Risner. “He is deserving of accolades because he has got a great group and they are that way partly because of talent, but partly because of his motivation and skill.”

Kishimoto, who works as an engineer for a living, was never a hurdler. Instead, he was a gymnast in his younger days. When he signed on under Risner to coach the Demons, he learned the ins and outs of hurdling.

“I actually started it from the ground up. I learn a whole lot from Risner. He is very scientific and he made me become very scientific,” Kishimoto said. “Track and field is amazingly scientific, and so that came easy for me. I studied it and studied it and then you get kids like Dakota, and start with Jen (Kishimoto) and Megan McKinnie and it just becomes easier every year.”

Having practiced under Kishimoto, the Glenwood hurdlers are reaping the benefits of his highly-developed training system. Stonehouse, who joined the track team to enhance his all-around athletic ability and become a better quarterback for the Demons’ football team, has not only become a more effective QB, but one of the top hurdlers in the state.

“Mike Kishimoto, he is an amazing coach,” Stonehouse said. “He taught me everything I know. I know he taught Kurt everything he knows and the girls. He is doing a really great job.”

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