State high school track meet off to fast start
The Aspen Times
The annual festival of Colorado high school track and field kicked off Thursday at historic Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.
Athletes from all school classifications are competing over three days to determine the Colorado state champions for 2014.
Basalt and Aspen tracksters qualified in the Class 3A division. They opened competition Thursday afternoon.
Basalt junior Zach Walsh set the pace for the area competitors when he finished fourth in the Class 3A boys 3,200-meter run. Walsh finished in 9:47.92.
Classical Academy senior Conner Wilburn won the race in 9:44.02.
Second place went to Manitou Springs senior Marcus Rodholm (9:44.61).
Chris Baker, a senior from Frontier Academy, finished third (9:47.19), just ahead of Walsh.
In the girls 3,200-meter finals Thursday evening in Lakewood, Aspen’s Ryley Sutton finished 14th in the field of 18 state qualifiers. Sutton was timed in 12:32.61 on the track at Jeffco Stadium.
Senior Eva-Lou Edwards of Bayfield, the two-time 3A state cross county champion, won the girls 3,200 in 11:06.15. She won by six seconds over Kelsi Lasota, a senior from Estes Park.
Makayla Santos, a senior from Frontier Academy, was third in 11:37.19.
Emily Womble of Moffat County, a sophomore, led the Western Slope League finishers. She was seventh (12:08.75).
Basalt senior Ivano Del Piccolo advanced to the finals in the 3A boys 110-meter hurdles.
Del Piccolo posted the sixth-best qualifying time among the nine finalists. He crossed in 15.59.
He’ll race in the 110-hurdle state championship race Saturday at Jeffco Stadium.
Ryan Younggreen, a junior from Holy Family, led qualifying with a 14.76.
Two Coal Ridge hurdlers qualifed second and third — Andy Bowles and Trevor Kelly, both seniors.
Other state finalists hail from Strasburg, Classical Academy, Jefferson Academy, Florence and Salida.
Aspen freshman sprinter Sunday Abarca qualified for the finals of the 200-meter dash.
He was timed in 22.68, the fifth-fastest time among the nine finalists.
In the girls 4×800 relay Thursday, the Aspen Skiers finished 13th in a time of 10:25.50.
Peak to Peak (Lafeyette) won the event in 9:36.74.
Salida finished second (9:41.94).
Moffat County of the Western Slope League finished sixth (9:58.38).
Aspen’s team included Dara Schenck, Ryley Sutton, Tierney Sutton and McKenna Woodrow.
Basalt’s Hunter Ash qualified for state in a pair of individual events again this year.
She won the Western Slope League championship last weekend in the girls 100-meter hurdles at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
She struggled in her preliminary race at Jeffco Stadium in the 2014 State Track and Field Championships. She did not advance to Saturday’s championship final, finishing 18th among the qualifiers.
Manitou Springs sophomore Taylor Finn led the qualifiers Thursday with a time of 15.55 seconds.
Sarah Yocum, a freshman from Faith Christian, was second-fastest among the qualifiers with a 15.58.
Gunnison senior Marisa Danos also advanced to Saturday’s finals with a third-place finish (16.34).
Amber Bowles, another athlete from the Western Slope League (Coal Ridge), also advanced to the finals. She was fifth among qualifiers at 16.56.
Earlier, Basalt’s Ash finished 12th in the girls 3A high jump at state. She went 4-101/2.
Taylor Strohecker of Pagosa Springs repeated as the 3A state champion. She cleared 5-61/2 for first place.
McKayla Bauer of Greeley University jumped 5-51/2 for second place.
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