Roaring Fork’s Thompson takes state long jump title |

Roaring Fork’s Thompson takes state long jump title

Tyler Thompson from Roaring Fork flies through the air Saturday in the final flight of the 3A boys long jump at the state track meet in Pueblo. Thompson won the event with a leap of 22 feet, 2-1/2 inches, first place by 1/4 of an inch.

PUEBLO, Colorado ” With his last turn, Roaring Fork’s Tyler Thompson unleashed a school-record leap ” the best of the day in the 3A boys long jump competition at Saturday’s state track and field meet in Pueblo ” and then waited.

He watched as Olathe’s Wesley Byers unfurled a monster leap. As the officials measured out its distance, Thompson continued to wait.

Then came the good news ” Byers’ jump fell 11⁄4 inch shy of Thompson.

And that meant Thompson was officially a state champion.

“I was kind of nervous when he pulled that jump,” the Roaring Fork junior said by phone Saturday on his way back to Carbondale from Pueblo’s Dutch Clark Stadium.

Thompson’s 22 foot, 11⁄2 inch jump broke a school record he set only last week at the Western Slope Regional in Grand Junction.

Thompson wasn’t the only Ram to enjoy a big day in Pueblo.

Competing against the best thrower in the state ” Buena Vista’s Mason Finley ” Jon Araujo knew Saturday’s boys discus competition would be a battle for second.

And, with a school-record heave of 149 feet, 2 inches, he won that battle.

Araujo credited a quick study of Finley’s form to helping him cover the distance.

“It did help me a lot,” he explained. “I was able to look at his footwork and see what he does. I was able to incorporate that into my throws.”

Finley easily won the event, setting a state-meet record by topping 211 feet. Last week, Finley made big news by besting 222 feet at a regional meet in Bayfield.

Bryan Salinas joined Araujo and Thompson as state placers, nabbing seventh in the boys 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.73 seconds.

“Having three kids placing at state is a pretty big deal,” Araujo said. “We’re pretty proud of it.”

Led by freshman Brandi Krieg’s fourth-place run in the 3,200, Grand Valley boasted three top-five finishes Saturday at the Class 2A state track and field meet in Pueblo.

Krieg ran 12:10 in the two-mile, giving her two top-five state finishes in her freshman campaign. She took fifth in the 1,600 on Friday, clocking a 5:22.52 run.

Grand Valley’s 4×100 relay team, which consisted of Kendall Babler, Erin Vanderpool, Emmy Adkins and Natasha Segreto, ran to fourth on Saturday, clocking in at 51.6 seconds.

Babler was also on her game in the 100-meter hurdles on Saturday, taking fifth (16.13).

It was Babler’s first season of track since she was a freshman at Rifle High School back in 2005. The senior was more or less pleased with her run, especially after a two-year track hiatus.

“All the girls are good,” she said by phone on Saturday. “If you make one little mistake, it kind of costs you. I stumbled over one or two hurdles. I’m still happy with fifth.”

Babler’s glad she returned to the track in 2008.

“I’m glad I actually did track,” she said. “I really just kind of thought if I make it to state, that’s cool and if not, that’s cool.”

Colton Cowan also placed in Pueblo, taking eighth in the 110 high hurdles after banging a couple of hurdles. He clocked a 16.1-second run.

“I ran pretty good,” said the junior, who juggled both baseball and track during the spring season. “I hit the first two hurdles pretty square, but other than that. I wasn’t expected to do anything. No one thought I’d make it to the finals.”

Cheyln McCain did Coal Ridge proud on Saturday, taking seventh in the 3A girls 300-meter hurdles final. She clocked a run of 48.01.

All told, the Titans sent three individuals and five relay teams to the two-day meet. That’s third-year Coal Ridge’s highest number of state qualifiers in school history.

“It was good to get them all that experience,” Titans coach Meggie Kirk said. “All did really well. Most all of them ran their best times.”

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