Briefs: Sports State Track May 17, 2009

jefferson county stadium in lakewood hosted all four high school classifications for the state track & field championships this year. With hundreds of athletes competing, the neutral site has created a track-crazed environment.

LAKEWOOD — As usual, there are those in
favor of change and those who like the status quo.

Officials helping conduct this week’s state track & field championships have, in general, given positive reviews to this year’s new format with all four classifications competing at Jefferson County Stadium. So have the athletes.

Some coaches have grown accustomed to the previous format of having the Class 5A and 4A state meets at Jeffco Stadium and the 3A and 2A meets at Pueblo’s Dutch Clark Stadium.

“For people who love the sport, this is the epitome of track,” said Rhonda Blanford-Green, the assistant commissioner of the Colorado High School Activities Association in charge of conducting the state track meet.

Using Buena Vista record-setting discus thrower and shot putter Mason Finley as an example, Blanford-Green note, “(He) pulled 1,900 people at that (discus) venue,” she said. “There’s no other place you can do that.”

There will be some tweaking, primarily of the schedule, after this year’s three-day meet is evaluated. The overall evaluations, however, seem to be thumbs-up.


“(The three-day format) gives me more time to get myself together.

I think (having the top 18) is the best way to do it.”
— Herman Gutierrez, Grand Junction hurdler and relay runner

“I talked to several (Class) 2A boys and girls and they just loved it.
(Jeffco Stadium) is such a nice facility.” — George Ryan, shot put judge

“It’s just such a different format. You’ve got so much down time.
That’s the one thing we don’t like about it, (but) they’re pulling it off well.”
— Kelly Cowan, Hotchkiss coach

“(Thursday’s preliminaries) felt just like you were doing another prelim day. It doesn’t really matter (if it’s a two-day or three-day format.)”
— Palisade 400-meter relay runner Zach Adair

“If I had to give us a grade, I’d give us a B+ or an A-.”
— Rhonda Blanford-Green, CHSAA assistant commissioner


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