Glenwood’s Harden, Barth grab podium finishes in the 3200m at state meet
For the last few years, Glenwood Springs seniors Gavin Harden and Henry Barth have competed against each other in distance events.
Throughout the years, the duo has pushed themselves to new heights. That continued Thursday morning on Day 1 of the 2019 Colorado High School Activities Association’s state track and field championships at JeffCo Stadium in Lakewood.
Competing in the 3200m run, Barth and Harden took turns leading the race before eventually fading slightly down the stretch. However, the senior duo earned podium finishes as Harden grabbed fourth place after leading with two laps to go, while Barth grabbed ninth after leading the second lap of the race.
Harden crossed the line in 9:38.17, while Barth finished in 9:43.51, giving the Demons two podium finishes in the monster two-mile race.
“It was just awesome to see both of us up there,” said Harden following the medal ceremony. “We worked hard all summer, all through cross country, and then all spring in track. It’s been a long road.”
“It’s a good accomplishment for us,” added Barth. “It puts a good mark on Glenwood Springs.”
Coming off the starting line in Thursday morning’s two-mile race, the pack bunched up quickly and seemed to slow the pace, which allowed Barth to race to the front late in the second lap.
“It went out slow, which caught me by surprise,” said Barth.
Despite taking the early lead, the race quickly picked up heading into the second mile, which caused Barth to slide to the middle of the pack.
“I wasn’t ready for the pace to pick up,” added Barth.
Watching his friend and teammate take an early lead caused Harden to pick up the pace, allowing him to keep with the leaders throughout the battle until the senior surged to the front on the sixth lap with a state championship staring him in the face.
Much like Barth, though, Harden faded slightly, allowing Thompson Valley freshman Dylan Schubert to take the state championship in 9:24.87, edging Air Academy’s Dylan Powell in second at 9:28.01.
“I was just trying to make my move early there down the stretch,” said Harden. “I knew a bunch of guys in the pack had good speed for the final lap, so I was trying to make my move early and lean on my endurance.”
The podium finishes wrap up storied careers at Glenwood Springs High School for Barth — the school’s record holder in the 3200m — and Harden in the event. Now, the senior duo moves onto the collegiate level.
“It’s a big accomplishment; our coaches have really helped us along the way,” said Harden. “Our parents have been so supportive, so doing it for them means a great deal.”
While Harden and Barth experienced jubilation Thursday morning, senior Gavin Olson experienced some frustration in the 100m and 200m dashes. The senior, who became the first Glenwood Springs male athlete to qualify for the state meet in the 100m, 200m and 400m, couldn’t get out of the preliminary races, finishing fifth in his heat in the 100m in 11.54 seconds, missing the top 9 cutoff overall by just 16 one-hundredths of a second.
“It was awesome to compete in this event today,” said Olson following his preliminary race. “The 100 has so much talent, so to even be part of this race was incredible. I think I did well overall; my start wasn’t the best, but I did my best.”
Following the miss in the 100m, Olson fought hard to crack the top 9 in the 200m to reach the finals, but the senior sprinter ran a 22.97, finishing just 19 one-hundredths off the pace. However, Olson did qualify in the 400m dash, grabbing the final spot in the final with a time of 49.99 seconds.
Teammate Kuba Bartnik also raced in the 100m and 200m dashes for the Demons, but he wasn’t able to grab a spot in the final in either race, finishing 19th in the 100m with a time of 11.83 seconds, and 16th in the 200m with a time of 23.65 seconds.
Senior pole vaulter Payten Spencer also experienced some frustration Thursday at the state meet, finishing 11th in the 4A pole vault, failing to clear 9’7”, narrowly missing the podium. Spencer also finished 15th in the shot put with a throw of 102-05.
Glenwood Springs seniors Bryce Risner, Wyatt Ewer and Sequoia Kellogg quickly turned things back in a positive direction for the Demons in the 110m hurdles and the 100m hurdles, as Risner blazed his way to a preliminary race win in 15.23 seconds, while Ewer finished third in the same heat with a time of 15.75 seconds, clinching finals spots for both seniors. Risner will be the second seed, while Ewer will be the eighth seed in the final.
Kellogg then finished second in her 100m hurdle preliminary race, clinching a spot in the state final with a time of 15.75 seconds. She’ll be the fourth seed in the final.
“Those are three seniors that have worked all four years as hard as they could to get to this point,” said Blake Risner, Glenwood’s longtime head coach. “They had to hold back the emotions today and take care of business. They had to get that top two or top three, whichever it is.
“They know what it’s all about now after the last three years being here, so they know what needs to be done in the final.”
Early on Thursday morning, the Glenwood Springs’ 800m sprint medley relay team finished 14th in the event with a time of 1:55.62, while the Demons’ 4x800m relay team of Sophia Vigil, Emma Barsness, Emily Worline and Ella Johnson placed as well with a time of 10:05.14.
Vigil later placed 14th in the 400m for the Demons with a time of 1:00.66, wrapping up a busy first day for the 4A Demons.
In the afternoon session, 1A, 2A and 3A got underway, and it was the Grand Valley Cardinals girls who got off to a fast start as junior Jordyn Pittman and senior Shaya Chenoweth grabbed finals spots in the 100m dash as Pittman placed second in her heat, and Chenoweth placed fourth in hers, getting into the final three spots of the final on time alone.
Pittman blazed a 12.74 100m, edging Coal Ridge’s Payton Garrison at 12.94 in the second heat.
“I’m just really excited to get to the finals,” said Pittman following her race. “There’s a lot of fast girls in that heat, but I’ve raced them before, so they’re familiar. We’re all friends.”
That friendship will go out the window in the final, at least for a few fleeting seconds as Pittman and Chenoweth will compete against Garrison and six others for the state championship in the 100m dash.
The 3A boys opened up with the 100m dash, but it wasn’t the best of starts for Rifle as seniors Tanner Vines and Dalton Pruett both missed finals qualifications as Vines finished 11th overall with a time of 11.52 seconds, while Pruett placed 16th with a time of 11.77. Coal Ridge’s Moises Contreras placed 15th in the 100m with a time of 11.70, narrowly edging Pruett.
The senior duo quickly righted the ship for the Bears, though, combining with Bryce Schanche and Embrey Marantino to place seventh in the 4x200m relays with a time of 1:32.05, clinching a spot in the finals.
In other relay events, Rifle and Coal Ridge’s 800m sprint medley teams missed out on the finals as Rifle’s team placed 10th with a time of 1:54.31, missing out on ninth by 3 one-hundredths of a second, while Coal Ridge placed 14th at 1:55.84.
Coal Ridge’s girls 4x200m relay team of Mary Bolitho, Ari Cornejo, Kara Morgan and Garrison won their heat with a time of 1:45.75 as Garrison outran the competition on the final stretch to claim victory. The Titans enter the final as the second seed behind Montezuma-Cortez, which ran a state-meet record 1:42.61.
Later in the day, Garrison and Rifle’s Delaney Phillips punched tickets to the final of the 200m dash as Garrison clocked a time of 25.64 seconds, good for the second seed in the final, while Phillips finished in 26.55, good for ninth.
The high jump saw Coal Ridge’s Marin Simons tie for third with three other jumpers as Bayfield’s Jordan Lanning won with a height of 5-8.00. Simons’ teammate, Morgan, placed 11th in the high jump, clearing a height of 5-0.00.
The boys’ shot put saw Grand Valley’s Justin Andrews — an alternate — earn a fifth-place finish with a throw of 47-1.00, while Rifle’s Duke Brady claimed seventh in the event with a throw of 45-07.50.
Friday’s action for local athletes kicks off at 9 a.m. as the 3A and 4A girls and boys 4x100m preliminary relays take place.
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