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— 12 state medals return to Rio Blanco County —
RBC I Meeker High School junior Kathryn Doll became the first lady Cowboy to win an individual state track title in the current century. Doll finished as a runner-up in the triple jump competition in 2010 and moved up a step on the pedestal, winning the 2A gold medal in the event at the 2011 Colorado State Track and Field Championships, held last week in Jefferson County Stadium in Denver.
“I wanted to improve on last year,” Doll, who also placed fourth in the long jump (placed fifth last year) and made the finals in the 100 meter dash to finish in eighth place, said. Doll’s hop, skip and jump, totaled 36 feet 4.75 inches. Doll qualified but did not make the finals in the 200.
“Kathryn set a goal at the beginning of the season to have the triple jump be her top event,” Meeker head coach Kris Casey said of Doll, who qualified in four events and medaled in three. “She showed that she made it a priority and was not only able to place higher this year in the triple jump but became a state champion. We are all very excited about her accomplishment. My hope for next year is that she continues to strive in this event and adds another event to her list of goals next year.”
Casey credited assistant coach Kristin Henderson for Doll’s jumping success. “Coach Henderson deserves a lot of the credit for Kathryn’s accomplishments, she is our jumps coach and worked with our long and triple jumpers, with great success,” Casey said.
Casey looks forward to junior Toby Casias returning next year. Casias also qualified in four events and finished in the top five in all four, leading his team to a top 10 finish. Meeker’s boys’ team finished in seventh place.
“Toby had a great weekend and we are extremely excited about his accomplishments,” Casey said. “If he continues to work hard, his senior year could be even better.”
Casias earned bronze medals in the 200 and 4×200 relay, was fourth in the 100 and member of the 4×100 relay team that placed fifth.
Four of the seven state-qualifying Cowboys were seniors and all earned medals. Ryan Wix was on the 4×100 relay and finished eighth in the discus and ninth in the shot put. Alema Atoafa placed fourth in the long jump and classmate Jared Frantz was on both relay teams and competed in the open 400. Senior Jake Nieslanik was also on both relay teams and also qualified in the 100 and 200.
Freshman Kevin Eli was a member of the 4×200 relay and classmate Jake Boesch qualified in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
Rangely qualified four athletes for the state meet and were led by senior Marie Morton’s eighth place finish in the discus and ninth place finish in the shot put.
“Although the weather was an on-again-off-again rain storm, all of the Panthers found success in their events,” head coach Stephanie Kahler said of Morton, senior Victoria Phelan, sophomore William Scoggins and freshman Andrew Morton. “Marie got to experience the podium twice and Victoria achieved a PR (personal record) in the triple jump. Andrew jumped 5-10 in the high jump and William ran his fastest two mile (10:41.25) and took 10th.”
Meeker will also return junior Jordan Brown, who qualified in the high jump and sophomore Bailey Atwood, who qualified in the shot put and discus but did not place.
Both Rio Blanco County coaches were pleased with their seniors and looking forward to next year.
“We wish the seniors well with their future journey and can’t wait to work with the team again next year,” coach Kahler said. “We hope to increase the number of state meet athletes every year and believe we will be successful with hard work and dedication.”
“Our seniors have been great this year, they have been incredible leaders and will be greatly missed next year,” coach Casey said. “As for next year, for the girls we will be losing no one and gaining freshmen. We have half of our 4×200 (Toby and Kevin) and Jake will also be returning. We also had some great performances by younger kids by the end of the season and are expecting to see great things from them as they grow and mature between now and next season.”