MEEKER I “We had a great state meet this year, both the boys’ and girls’ teams had numerous personal bests and every girls’ relay made the finals,” Meeker track coach John Strate said.
One of the girls’ relay teams set a new Meeker High School record at the 2016 Colorado State Track and Field Championships, held in Jefferson County Stadium in Denver Thursday through Saturday.
The Cowboys also qualified several individuals, including juniors Maggie Phelan, Austin Russell and Caleb Bradford, who each won medals.
The top 18 times and distances qualify for the “Big Show,” where all Colorado schools, from all classifications compete, and coach Strate said the girls’ 800-meter medley relay “started the whole thing off well.”
Madi Russell, Sierra Williams, Loran Casias and Maggie Phelan qualified in the 15th spot of the 2A 800-meter medley event and they took two seconds off their best time in the preliminaries and qualified for the finals with a time of 1:57.
“Maggie ran her best split of the year in the 400 (meter) leg of the medley, with a 61,” coach Strate said of Phelan and the medley team, which finished ninth.
The 4×400-meter relay team ran to a personal best, taking more than six seconds off their qualifying time to set a new school record at 4:15 and claim a sixth-place spot on the podium at the state meet. Running on the school record-setting team were Phelan, Williams, Gracie Bradfield and Julia Eskelson.
The girls’ 4×200-meter relay team, consisting of Russell, Williams, Bradfield and Loran Casias, entered the state meet at the 11th seed.
“They ran a season best by more than two seconds with their time of 1:49 and finished in fourth place,” coach Strate said.
The girls’ 4×100-meter relay team also ran a season best (51.93) at the state meet, putting them on the podium in eighth place. Russell, Casias, Bradfield and Peyton Burke were the Cowboy sprinters used to make up the 4×100 relay team.
Phelan also got on the podium with a “fantastic performance,” according to her coach, with a personal best (33-7”) in the triple jump.
“Maggie hit her season best on the last jump of the finals to secure her podium spot,” coach Strate said. “It was great to see her at her best when the pressure was on.”
Meeker freshman throwers Sydnie Main and Megan Shelton along with junior hurdler Peyton Burke did not make the podium but gained valuable state experience.
“Peyton hit one hurdle that made the difference in an incredibly tight race,” coach Strate said. “Megan and Sydnie gained valuable experience as freshmen at the state meet. They both have a bright future and will be key components to our team next year.”
Members of the Meeker boys’ team also recorded personal bests and earned state medals.
Cowboy juniors Austin Russell and Caleb Bradford stood on the state podium, Russell by running and Bradford by throwing.
Russell cut 20 seconds off his personal best in the 3,200-meter run and finished the two-mile run in 10:08, earning him an eighth-place finish. Bradford tied his personal best (129’) and made the last spot on the podium in the discus.
“Caleb added 30 feet to his best throws throughout the season,” coach Strate said. “It should be fun seeing what he can do next year.”
Junior Cole Brown missed the finals by one spot in the long jump and he was on the 4×400-meter relay team with Russell, Josh Cochran and Gavin Garr.
“Although the boys’ 4×800-meter and 4×400-meter relays missed the finals, they ran well,” Coach Strate said . The 4×800-meter team took 10 seconds off their best time and narrowly missed the podium.” That team was made up of Russell, Cochran, Tannen Kennedy and Marshal Pool.
Coach Strate also commented on Meeker’s only senior qualifier, Marshal Pool.
“Marshal has been so dedicated, his hard work and leadership will be missed,” Strate said.