Two more state titles, records for Cretti
Caroline Cretti left her final mark on high school track Saturday and she left her competition behind – far behind.
Cretti, the record-setting Roaring Fork High School senior distance runner, completed her high school career with a state championship and a state-meet record in the 1600 meters Saturday at historic Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo.
The title in the 1600 came just a day after she won the 3200 in state-meet record time, giving her two state crowns at the 3A State Track and Field Championships.
Cretti successfully defended her state titles in both distance races at the 3A state meet, giving the decorated Roaring Fork standout four individual state championships in two years.
On a hot, dry Saturday afternoon in Pueblo, Cretti won the 1600 in 5:09, breaking the state-meet record set by Dana Boyle of Roaring Fork back in 1998. Boyle’s mark was 5:12.22.
The time was off of Cretti’s goal of a sub-5:00, but it still yielded the state title and state record.
“I thought I could try to get under 5 … but it didn’t happen,” Cretti said after the race.
“It was hot and it just wasn’t the day to do it,” she said of running under five minutes.
Cretti broke her own state-meet record in Friday’s 3200-meter run. She won in 10:52.49, well ahead of second-place Jackie Shaw of Bayfield (11:49.19).
Kari Mullen of Estes Park was third and Hotchkiss’ Erin Thayer was fourth.
Cretti’s previous state record was 11:19.27, set last year.
Roaring Fork coach Debby Macek advised Cretti to stay out of the hot, blistering sun on Saturday in Pueblo. And she encouraged the distance ace to hydrate.
“It was just too hot,” Macek said. “I knew probably she wouldn’t be under five minutes after the first two laps. But it was still a great time and it’s nice that she broke the meet record,” Macek added.
Chasing a legacy left by Roaring Fork alum Boyle, Cretti surpassed many of Boyle’s records, including the 3A state meet records at 1600 and 3200.
Boyle went on to the University of Puget Sound in Washington where she won national NAIA and NCAA Division III titles.
Cretti, an honor student like Boyle, will attend Williams College in Massachusetts next year where she will run cross country and track.
Eagle Valley’s Kim Smith won a sprint to the finish line and finished second to Cretti in the 1600 on Saturday.
Smith finished in 5:20.84, drawing the compliments of Cretti.
Buena Vista’s Ruth Giosicia was third in 5:21.05.
On Friday, Eagle Valley’s Smith won the 3A state title in the 800 meters in 2:16.12.
Ashley Eaton of Basalt, an all-conference soccer player for the Longhorns, finished fifth in the state in the 800 (2:23.88) and she broke Kate LeMaster’s Basalt school record in the process.
Chris Gamble of Eagle Valley, who finished third in the 3A triple jump on Friday, added a second-place state finish in the 110 hurdles on Saturday. Brother Brad Gamble was fourth.
Later Saturday, the Gambles were scheduled to compete in the 300 hurdle finals.
John Stroud of the Valley Journal contributed to this story.
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The 40th annual Demon Invitational track and field meet takes place Saturday, May 15 at Stubler Memorial Field.