Titan girls dominant again on Day 2 of state track meet
On the final day of the 2017 Colorado High School Activities Association’s state track meet at JeffCo Stadium in Lakewood, the Coal Ridge Titans 4×100 and 4×400 girls relay teams turned in top 3 finishes, while Roaring Fork jumpers Jasper Germain and Justin Thompson turned in top 3 finishes as well on an exciting final day for local competitors, wrapping up the season for all.
One day after placing second in the 4×200 and the 800 medley relays, the Coal Ridge girls turned right around on Sunday in the 4×100 and 4×400 to place third in both events, finishing off a terrific season for the Titan girls.
In the 4×100, the relay team of junior Emily Wright, senior Dana Kotz, senior Faith Wood and sophomore Kara Morgan crossed the line with a time of 50.08 seconds, finishing just over one second behind Lutheran, which set a state meet record in the event with a time of 48.95 seconds.
Following the terrific showing in the 4×100, the Titans had a long break before running the 4×400 to close the state meet. In the event, the relay team of Wood, junior Paige Harlow, senior Gladis Sanchez and Morgan recorded a time of 4:05.89, finishing 89 one-hundredths of a second behind Salida in second place.
As the Coal Ridge girls stole the show in 3A for local schools, the Titan boys’ 4×100 relay team came through with one of the most exciting performances of the day.
With senior Jonathan Graf returning to New Castle for graduation Sunday morning, junior Brandon Herrera stepped in as an alternate and helped the Titans run their best time of the season in the event as Herrera, junior Ezequiel Contreras, junior Jacx Power and senior Jonathan Espinoza placed fifth with a time of 44.20 seconds.
“We were seriously so pumped about that performance,” Coal Ridge Head Coach Ben Kirk said. “That might be the highlight of the meet for us. We had to run an alternate in Brandon, and he just tore it up. He had been in the mix with the A squad all year, which has been a strength for us in terms of rotating guys in and out to make us deeper. But I didn’t expect Brandon to drop the hammer the way he did today.”
Riding high following some great relay performances, Coal Ridge turned its attention to individual events on the final day of the state meet.
In the 3A girls pole vault, a trio of Titans and two Rifle Bears competed in the event, with Rifle sophomore Ashley Manera leading the way for local athletes, placing seventh in the event with a height of 8-11.00.
Fellow Rifle sophomore Emilee Demann tied for eighth in the event with a height of 8-11.00, while Coal Ridge freshman Cipriana Dacuma and junior Samantha Dunn tied for 11th place with heights of 7-11.00.
Wright placed 15th for the Titans with a height of 7-11.00.
In the pole vault, Dunn actually cleared 8-5.00 on her first attempt after clearing 7-11.00 (the height increased by 6 inches at the state meet), but in true sportsmanship fashion, Dunn went to the officials and told them that she had, in fact, made contact with the bar, which hadn’t fallen off until a short time after Dunn hit the mat below. By letting the officials know, Dunn stayed at 7-11.00 and couldn’t clear it again.
In the 800m run, Rifle senior Jack Rubalcave, who missed his graduation due to the postponement of the state meet, claimed fourth in the event with a time of 1:56.34 before later placing sixth in the 1600m run with a time of 4:30.61. Reaching the podium in his final two races as a Bear is a heck of a way to go out for the great distance runner.
Grand Valley’s Kylyn Rigsby, in her final performance as a Cardinal, came through yet again, reaching the podium in the 100m hurdles with a fifth-place finish, clocking in with a time of 15.96 seconds. The fifth-place finish came on the heels of a third-place finish Saturday in the 4×200 relay and a fourth-place finish in the 300m hurdles.
Fellow Cardinal freshman Jordyn Pittman, placed third in the 400m run at her first state meet, clocking in at 58.36 seconds, which happened to be a personal best for the Parachute student.
Not to be forgotten for the Cardinals was sophomore Shaya Chenoweth, who placed 11th in the 100m dash with a time of 12.91 seconds, finishing just ahead of Coal Ridge’s Kotz, who placed 12th with a time of 12.97 seconds after stumbling out of the blocks ever so slightly.
Thompson turned in a fifth-place performance for the Rams in the 110m hurdles, clocking in with a time of 15.58 seconds, while Coal Ridge senior James Nalley placed 10th with a time of 15.82 seconds, bumping Roaring Fork’s Germain off the podium, who placed 11th with a time of 15.92 seconds. Thompson would later place second in the 3A triple jump with a distance of 44-8.00.
Germain would redeem himself later in the day in field events as the junior tied for third in the 3A high jump with a height of 6-3.00, while Thompson placed ninth with a height of 5-11.00.
The Coal Ridge duo of junior Connor Detlefsen and senior Hunter Gerber placed 12th and 14th, respectively, with heights of 5-9.00.
Over on the 4A side of things, Glenwood had some mishaps in the 4A girl’s 4×100 relay, resulting in a disappointing finish, but overall, the Demons won a combined 14 medals at the 4A state meet over two days under head coach Blake Risner.
In the 4×100 relay, Glenwood struggled with some baton passes early on before a drop resulted in a 17th-place finish for senior Kourtney Gasaway, junior Saylor Warren, sophomore Payten Spencer and senior Reese Prough.
“We talked before the start of the meet that we needed to get out faster in our starts and really push it if we wanted to turn in a season-best time,” Risner said. “That’s what we needed to do, and the girls understood that. But we had a couple of tough exchanges and then the subsequent drop. From there it was too hard to catch up. But that was a coaching decision that didn’t go well, and I feel bad for the girls. They ran their hearts out.”
Following the difficult 4×100 relay, junior A.J. Crowley had a mishap of his own in the 110m hurdles, essentially sitting down on the third hurdle of the race, causing him to struggle to get over the hurdle, which in turn slowed him down. Crowley finished 17th with a time of 16.18 seconds.
“A.J. got out to a great start like he always does, but right there at that third hurdle he seemed to try to get his front foot down earlier than normal,” Risner said. “Once he sort of sat on the hurdle, it made it hard to catch up to the rest of the pack. But, you know, stuff like that happens when you have to push the limits in a race like this, compared to what you’d normally do.”
Rounding out the meet for Glenwood, sophomore Sequoia Kellogg had a strong day for the Demons, placing fifth in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.41 seconds, a new personal record, before placing seventh in the triple jump with a distance of 35-7.00.
“Sequoia had two really great performances today,” Risner said. “It was just a really impressive job by her today in the two individual events. She reached the podium for the second straight year down here, and that’s all we can ask for.”
The final event of the day for Glenwood was the 4A boy’s 4×400 relay, in which the senior team of Miguel Peralta, Ismael Villegas, Larry Flores and Alex Cutright — the relay team that came through with a fourth-place finish at the multi-league championship meet at Stocker Stadium two weeks ago to give the Glenwood boys the 4A Western Slope League championship — left it all out on the track in their final performances as Demons, finishing fifth with a time of 3:25.99.
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