Class 4A jumpers not happy with results

Holly Odneal finished fifth Thursday in the high jump at the state track meet, but she questioned her strategy afterwards. “I was jumping every inch in this meet and I should not have done it. I would have been better to have passed after making the first lower heights,” she said.

LAKEWOOD — Delta high jumpers Phillip Decker and Katie Chapman did not have the day in the Class 4A state track meet they had hope for. Nor was it for Palisade’s Holly Odneal.

The trio were the only individual athletes from the Western Slope to place in the first day of competition at Jefferson County Stadium in the classification. There were only four final events contested for the boys on the first of three days of competition and three for the girls.

Decker was the only boy to stand on the podium with his sixth-place finish in the high jump and Odneal and Chapman stepped up for medals, also in the high jump, with their fifth- and eighth-place finishes, respectively.

Decker, a junior, said he had a much better idea of what to expect after qualifying for state last year in the high jump, but failing to place. He had a season best of 6 feet, 4 inches at the regional, but couldn’t make the height Thursday.

“There were a bunch of guys qualified at 6-2 and another good bunch at 6-4,” Decker said. “I knew that I had to get with it on my first and second jumps if I wanted to place. I was over 6-0 pretty easy, but missed at 6-2 on my first try.  I made it on my next try, got over 6-3, but couldn’t make 6-4.

“As a sophomore, I had just been satisfied that I made it to state. This year I had a better idea of what I needed to do. Next year I’m coming back wanting to win it.”

Chapman felt she was facing a good day with good weather and a chance to excel. But in the end, she said she just could not contemplate her troubles in her first event of the day, the triple jump. She finished out of the medals with a 10th-place finish. However, she was able to make up for her earlier bobbles with her eighth in the high jump.

“I don’t know if was my speed, but something just didn’t seem right,” said Chapman, who leaped 34-11 in the triple. “The high jump wasn’t my best either. I’ll be looking for a better finish (today) in the long jump. ”

Odneal, who had her best effort of the season when it counted most, still questioned her strategy for her state competition.

“I made the finals and that was really important for me,” said Odneal, a senior, who also is qualified for today’s finals in the 100-meter hurdles. “But I think I could have done better. I was jumping every inch in this meet and I should not have done it. It would have been better to have passed after making the first lower heights.”

Although Odneal, Chapman and Decker would have been much happier with their efforts,

Delta sprinter Alicia Gieck could not have been more pleased with her qualifying time for Saturday’s finals in the 400. She ran a fleet 57.77 qualifying time, one of seven of the nine finalists to run in the 57-second range.

“I’m really proud as I wanted a 57-second effort and I finally broke into it,” Gieck said. “I’m disappointed in my 100, though because I felt I should have gotten into the finals. I was 10th, like I was last year in the 400, not making the final. I’ve never made finals in an event and I finally did it. I’ve put in a lot of work and I think I deserve it.”


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