Prep roundup: Leap of faith pays off for Coal Ridge’s Paige Ryan
CEDAREDGE — Paige Ryan called her shot. Or, in a more literal sense, she called her jump.
It turned out to be a record-breaking leap for the Coal Ridge High School senior, whose mark of 17 feet, 8 1/4 inches not only shattered her own school record, but became the new top mark in the event among Class 3A athletes during the Bruin Invitational track and field meet.
“She’s just a freak of nature,” Coal Ridge coach Ben Kirk said, laughing.
The long jump wound up being one of two meet records she set, as Ryan also won the 200 meters in 26.07 seconds to break her previous school record. Her long jump, however, was the biggest surprise.
Ryan was ahead of eventual second-place finisher Kenzie Henderson of Cedaredge by 1 3/4 inches after preliminaries with a jump of 16-4 3/4, which had already beaten the meet record of 16-1 set last year. Kirk convinced her to jump in the finals, and she increased her distance by 1 1/4 on her fist finals jump.
She decided to go again and, right before she made her second attempt of the finals, Kirk said: “She told me, ‘Watch. I’m going to go 17-8 on this jump.’ And she was joking.
“Then she popped off that jump, saw her distance and just started freaking out,” Kirk recalled. “I couldn’t believe it either.”
Kirk added that she had a steady 3 MPH wind that she was running into, making her mark even more legitimate. The jump not only convincingly beat the school record of 17-1 1/2 Ryan set earlier in the season, but shattered Class 3A’s previous best long jump mark of the year set by Kylie Chavez of Sterling, who went 17-2 1/2 on April 12 at the Max Marr Spartan Classic in Sterling.
Ryan also finished second in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet. Kirk said she’d never competed in — or practiced for — the high jump in her life. Ashley Van Vleet of Paonia won the event with a jump of 5-3.
The Coal Ridge boys won the meet’s team title with 124.75 points, with Grand Valley (51 points) finishing seventh and Roaring Fork (10) taking 12th in the 14-team meet. On the girls side. Coal Ridge’s 125 points was good enough for second place behind Class 2A power Paonia (141.5).
Also earning a pair of wins was senior Andy Bowles, who won the 300-meter hurdles in 40.18 and the high jump with a meet-record mark of 6-7. Bowles set the classification’s standard at the Coal Ridge Invitational last month, going 6-10.
Trevor Kelly of Coal Ridge won the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.49. Grand Valley’s boys 4×100 relay team of Zach Steinke, Ivan Arizaga, Jared Parmenter and Ricardo Malta won the event in 45.13, and Coal Ridge’s Britini Allen won the shot put with a mark of 37-3 3/4.
Grand Valley 6, Aspen 0
PARACHUTE — Lauren Paskett had a banner day on the Grand Valley girls soccer team’s senior day, recording two goals and two assists for the Cardinals in their Class 3A Western Slope League shutout of the Skiers.
Hannah Cornelius scored goals in the third and eighth minutes, and Ashlynn Speakmann and Hayden Metcalf each added second-half goals for Grand Valley (13-2-0 overall, 8-1-0 league), which increased its school-record winning streak to 12 games.
“It was a really nice day for all of our seniors,” Grand Valley coach Scott Gregory said. “All of them started, and it was a nice way for them to finish the regular season.”
Grand Valley will join league champion Coal Ridge (14-1-0) and third-place finisher Roaring Fork (12-2-1) in next week’s Class 3A state playoffs. Pairings will be announced by the Colorado High School Activities Association on Sunday.
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