Kellogg ‘in step’ as 4-event state track & field qualifier
After making it to the Class 4A state track and field meet as a freshman in the triple jump and the 300-meter hurdles, Sequoia Kellogg decided to broaden her horizons during her sophomore year.
The result is a trip back to JeffCo Stadium this week, representing Glenwood Springs High School in four events. There, she hopes to improve on her 11th-place finish from last year in both the 300 hurdles and the triple jump, while adding the 100-meter hurdles and 4×200 sprint relay to her repertoire.
The Demons are sending 14 girls and boys state qualifiers and four sprint relay-team alternates to the all-class Colorado State Track and Field Championships, which kicks off today in Lakewood and continues through Saturday.
Also returning to the state meet for his senior year is Larry Flores, who scored a ninth-place 4A state finish in the 300-meter hurdles as a junior.
Kellogg’s break into the 100 hurdles came last summer when she spent some time working with GSHS Assistant Track Coach Mike Kishimoto to hone her sprint hurdling skills.
“That’s when I decided I really wanted to do both hurdle events,” Kellogg said. “I like the hurdles because it makes you think, especially the 100. You really have to have your steps down. Then in the 300 you just go for it.”
Her hard work paid off at the 4A Western Slope League meet at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction on May 6 when she won the 100 hurdles with a state-qualifying time of 15.82 seconds.
Last weekend, she won the 300 hurdles at the prestigious New Balance St. Vrain Invitational with a time of 46.28 seconds, which moved her up to the 11th qualifying spot for state.
Her triple jump mark of 36-4.25 at the April 28 Central Warrior Invite in Grand Junction was good enough to keep Kellogg in the third qualifying spot in that event.
And she’ll be joining Demon sprinters Kourtney Gasaway, Saylor Warren and Reese Prough on the state-qualifying 4×200-meter relay.
Kellogg credits senior teammates and co-captains Warren and Prough, as well as senior Gasaway and her older sister, junior Sedona Kellogg, in providing inspiration for her to keep at it this season.
“I had a couple of weeks where I had to rest and didn’t do much before I was able to get back into it,” she said. “It took a lot of practice and dedication, and my coaches and all of my teammates helped a lot. This year I’ve been trying a lot harder, because I really wanted to have a chance at state.”
Kellogg was the only female athlete representing the Demons at state last year, so Head Coach Blake Risner is pleased to see a much larger contingent of both boys and girls headed to the big meet this year.
Also among the state qualifiers is Warren in the girls long jump with a qualifying mark of 16-6.75.
For the boys, individual qualifiers include Flores in the 300 hurdles (40.76); sophomore Bryce Risner and senior Alex Cutright in the high jump, both with a qualifying height of 6-3; junior A.J. Crowley in the 110 hurdles (15.78) and 300 hurdles (40.38); and sophomore Benny Smith in the 3,200 meters (9:47.42).
Cutright and Flores also join sophomore Miguel Peralta and senior Ismael Villegas on the Demons’ state-qualifying 4×400-meter relay team. In addition, Peralta and Villegas are joined by sophomore Luke Gair and freshman Kuba Bartnik on the 4×200-meter relay.
Sophomore Gavin Olson was among the relay qualifiers, but following an injury leading up to the league meet, he is listed as a relay alternate for the Demons along with fellow sophomore Wyatt Ewer.
Alternates for the girls include sophomore Payten Spencer, and juniors Morgan Hollenback and Ellie Moser.
Coach Risner said the trip last weekend to the St. Vrain Invite was key in maintaining the qualifying standard for this year’s group.
Last season, the Demons took part in the Thursday-Friday Tiger Invitational, only to watch on Saturday as several of their performances got bumped from the top-18 by athletes taking part in the St. Vrain meet.
“We think we can put a few kids on the podium this year,” Risner said. “Last year we had one with Larry, but I really think we can have several individuals on the podium, and a couple of relays, as well.”
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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org