State meet about school pride
Medals are just a part of the state track meet to area Class 2A/3A qualifiers. To those fortunate to reach this weekend’s two-day championships in Pueblo, it’s also about school pride.”I’m happy just getting to go and compete,” said Katie Bryan of Grand Valley High. “I just want to run my best race, and I really want to place because I want to earn some points for our school to show them what Grand Valley’s all about.”And Bryan has plenty of opportunities to display her talent.The junior is scheduled to compete in four events at Dutch Clark Stadium. Her first attempt at earning a state medal is at Friday morning’s 800 meter medley relay finals – an event the Cardinals ran in 1 minute, 56 seconds to win the 2A girls regional title in Grand Junction.Afterwards, Bryan will shift her focus to individual competition, where she’ll vie for state honors in the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter runs.It’s the second time in as many years Bryan has advanced to state in both distance events. She said experience she gained from running in the 2005 meet helps.”This time around, I know that there’s girls going right with my pace,” Bryan said. “I don’t know if I was really expecting that last year. But I’m expecting it this time.”Of the three individual races she’s qualified for, Bryan said her best shot of placing is in the 3200.”Going into this week, I’m more focused on the (3200) because it’s my best event,” she noted. The times Bryan’s posted in the event this year back up her claim.Last week, with no runner to push her, Bryan earned the regional title. Her fastest time of the year – 12 minutes, 15 seconds – came earlier this season.
She’s also a favorite in the 1600 after posting a best of 5:42.20. In last week’s regional 800 final, Bryan finished second.Emmy Adkins, one of Bryan’s relay team running mates, will see action in the girls 100 and 200, as will Cardinals junior Sam McKinley in the same events in the boys meet.Both sprinters participate in event prelims Friday. The top two runners from each of the three preliminary heats, plus the next two fastest overall times, move on to Saturday’s finals.Senior Jonathon Thompson, also making his second trip to state, lines up for action in the boys 1600 and 3200.Pride, along with earning the right to say they are the first in school history to reach the big show, has been a rallying point for first-year Coal Ridge.”I think school pride was a part of why they wanted to go,” said Titans head coach Donald Beecraft. “I heard a lot of them saying: ‘I wanted to be the first one.'” Rather than one, a contingent of eight Coal Ridge athletes advanced to the season finale.Amber Lyons is the only Titan who is scheduled to appear in two events. Besides running with teammates Mikaela Guettler, Mary Ellen Lyons and Matraisa Beecraft in the 4×400 relay, the Titan freshman has also qualified in the girls 400 meters.Three Coal Ridge runners – DaLin Murphy, Thomas Simmons and Kody Roper – run in the boys 1600. Another freshman, David Anderson, has qualified for the boys 400 meter dash. In his first year of organized track Anderson’s 51.92 time is the best among area boys in the event.
“He’s improved six seconds from the beginning of the season to now,” Beecraft said. Roaring Fork’s two state qualifiers for the 3A meet have posted strong marks throughout the year and should be in contention for a spot on Saturday’s awards podium in their respective events.Seniors Collin Stewart and Laura Wright compete in the boys 3200 and girls 200 meters, respectively.
Friday/Saturday at Dutch Clark Stadium, PuebloArea QualifiersClass 2A BoysCoal Ridge: David Anderson – 400 meters. DaLin Murphy, Thomas Simmons, Kody Roper – 1600 Meters.Grand Valley: Sam McKinley – 100 meters, 200 meters. Jonathon Thompson – 1600 meters, 3200 meters Class 2A GirlsCoal Ridge: Amber Lyons – 400 meters, 4×400 relay. Matraisa Beecraft – 4×400 Relay. Mikaela Guettler – 4×400 relay. Mary Ellen Lyons – 4×400 relay. Grand Valley: Emmy Adkins – 100 meters, 400 meters, medley relay. Katie Bryan – 800 meters, 1600 meters, 3200 meters, medley relay. Danya Rodgers – medley relay. Natasha Segreto – medley relay.Class 3A BoysRoaring Fork: Collin Stewart – 1600 meters, 3200 meters.Class 3A GirlsRoaring Fork: Laura Wright – 200 Meters
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Fans, players and coaches on both sides of Stubler Memorial Field seemed to know it would come down just the way it did, regardless of who had the ball at the end.