— Rio Blanco County well represented at Colorado State Track & Field Championships —
Rio Blanco County was well represented in dashes, distances, jumps, throws and puts in Denver’s Jefferson County Stadium last weekend for the 2012 Colorado State Track and Field Championships. Many returned with medals, including two golds for Meeker senior Kathryn Doll, who also anchored and medaled in relays. Rangely junior Holly Lepro was one step away from the top of the podium in the shot put and placed third in the discus.
The Meeker girls’ team finished tied for seventh with Lutheran with 40 points and was the only RBC team to place in the top 10.
“We had a good team this year,” Doll said after winning the triple jump and waiting to stand on the podium for a 14th time in her four-year career. “Coach (John) Strate has been great, he’s been there the whole time helping us.”
Doll won the 2A triple jump title last year at the state meet and had the best distance of all qualifiers this year with a distance of 37-5 but had to compete in the rain Saturday, as the triple jump was one of the final events of the meet. The sun came out for Doll’s final attempt and she hopped, skipped and jumped a total of 37-1.25, less than four inches off the state meet record, to defend her title and win a third state championship.
“To see her pull off a 37 foot jump in her final jump, being so fatigued, going through the prelims and finals of both relays the last day and then come just four inches off the state record was impressive,” Strate said of his senior leader, who also won a gold medal in the long jump with a distance 17-10.75.
Doll also anchored the 4×100-meter and 4×200 relay teams, which improved their times in the finals and placed fifth in both. Also on the relay teams were Aly Ridings and freshmen Sydney Hughes and Linda Olivas.
Ridings, who Strate said has been fighting shin splints all season, also qualified in the 110-meter hurdles, as did Hughes. Hughes qualified in four events in her first year as she also ran in the 300 hurdles.
Meeker junior Bailey Atwood helped her team to a top 10 finish, scoring team points in the shot put and discus. Atwood finished fourth in the shot and sixth in the discus in rainy conditions.
Meeker senior Toby Casias strained his hamstring in the prelims of the 100-meter dash but still made the finals and finished sixth. Casias qualified in the 200 but did not make the finals but helped his team get on the podium in the 4×100 with a fourth place finish. Sebastian Clarke, Jake Phelan and Tala Atoafa stood on the podium with Casias for the 4×100 medal presentation. Alternate qualifier Lathrop Hughes stepped in for Casias in the 4×200 but the team did not qualify for the finals.
“We had good leadership this season,” State said, also mentioning Adrienne Wix, who was injured. “Our younger kids see them work hard, how they warm up and treat their bodies and they do the same. Our younger kids really improved a lot this season.”
Rangely coaches are also excited as they will return all their state qualifiers next year, including Lepro and William Scoggins, Andrew Morton and Colton Coombs, who all medaled at this year’s state meet.
Scoggins finished third in the 1,600 with a personal record of 4:39.72 and ran the 3,200 in the rain to a fifth place finish.
Morton recorded a personal record in the triple jump (42-.05) to finish fifth and cleared 5-8 in the high jump but did not place. Coombs placed ninth in the 100 with a time of 11.75.
Morton and Coombs were also on the 4×100 and 4×200 relays with Connor Phelan and Dylan McRory but did not place. Scoggins teamed up with Ethan Allred and twins Dale and Tanner Nielsen for the 4×800 relay and Aimee Hogan ran the 1,600 in her state meet experience.
“We could not be more proud of all of the athletes on our team this season and look forward to another successful season next spring,” said coaches Stephanie Kahler and Cody Brunton.