Mitchell: Strong final effort was in the nick of time
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Jaime Crowley likely started to develop arthritis in her right hand by the time Saturday night had ended. Maybe even carpel-tunnel syndrome.
The senior at Glenwood Springs High School, after her relay teams had finished their final regular-season track and field meets at the Tiger Invitational at Stoker Stadium in Grand Junction, maybe could have developed cataracts, too. That’s because Crowley was endlessly clicking the mouse on her computer to get up-to-the-second results of all of Colorado’s relay times.
“I literally just kept hitting refresh on MaxPreps over and over and over,” Crowley said. “It was pretty crazy.”
For these four girls — Crowley, Carly Setterberg, Lexi Montoya and Makena Warren — it turned out to be a crazy process that led to a crazy ending.
That crazy process dates all the way back to last year, when those same four girls were the runners on Glenwood’s 4×200 relay. That team’s best time in 2014 was 1 minute, 47.16 seconds.
When they ran it, Glenwood felt it was in the clear in regards to a state meet berth. After all, their times had been ranked among the state’s top 18 all season, and there was no way some other team could catch them, right?
Ponderosa caught them. Barely.
Ponderosa caught them with a time of 1:47.15. By one-hundredth of a second.
Keep in mind, times rule when it comes to state qualifications in Colorado. It’s not like the old days where state qualifications were determined simply by finish in the league meet. It was changed, however, because there would be times — no pun intended — when certain runner’s times or thrower’s marks or jumper’s jumps would be among the best in the state but wouldn’t qualify because of the previous placing criteria.
Now, fast forward to this season.
“We had taken nearly two seconds off of our previous season PR [in the 4×200],” Setterberg said. “We were really feeling something.
“And then we looked at the rankings when we got home,” she continued in reference to co.milesplit.com, which lists each and every prep track and field result in Colorado.
They were in 18th. Again. And one-hundredth of a second separated them from 19th.
“We seriously thought it was inevitable that we were going to miss it,” Setterberg said. “The fact that we were given this not only in the 4×200, but the 4×100 because we’re tied there is just a Godsend.”
Oh yeah, that is worth mentioning: Glenwood and Windsor couldn’t have been closer with their state qualifications in the 4×100. The teams finished tied with a time of 50.81. They both get to go to state.
Of course, when they were running those relays together in Junction this past weekend, they thought it was going to be the final relays they were going to get to run together.
As it turns out, going full bore got them another chance, a chance they never thought they’d have.
Then again, with the kind of effort they made, it was only a matter of time before that happened.
Jon Mitchell is the sports editor of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and The Citizen Telegram. He can be reached at 970-384-9123, or by email at email@example.com.
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The long-awaited Colorado State Track and Field Championships are underway at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, Colorado.