Derrieux comes through in 300m hurdles

Grand Junction High School’s Brianna Jones, center, heads toward the finish line for a first place finish as she runs the last leg of the girls 400-meter relay Saturday during the finals of the Tiger Invitational track meet at Stocker Stadium.

Grand Junction High School track coach Darrell Simonton had spent all season trying to get Jamie Derrieux to run the 300-meter hurdles.

The freshman was already running the 100-meter hurdles in addition to the
200-meter dash and legs on two relay teams.

This week, Simonton finally got Derrieux to try the longer hurdles race.

“I’m glad I did it,” Derrieux said. “It’s fun.”

Derrieux won the finals at Saturday’s Tiger Invitational at Stocker Stadium. Not only that, she won the race in convincing fashion, finishing in 48.66 seconds to win by 1.11 seconds.

“I always wanted to try it,” said Derrieux, who began running the high hurdles in middle school.

She ran the 300 hurdles for the first time (including practice) at last Monday’s freshman/sophomore meet and won it. In her second time running it, during Friday’s Tiger Invitational preliminaries, she posted the fastest time, 47.59. That counts as a state-qualifying time and was faster than all but 10 times posted through last weekend in the official Colorado High School Activities Association Class 5A rankings.

With the top 18 performances during the regular season earning qualification for the state meet, that puts Derrieux on track to compete in at least three events at the state meet.

She was tied for seventh in the 100-meter hurdles rankings heading into the weekend.

Derrieux also runs a leg of the Tigers’ 800-meter relay team, which was ranked seventh in the state last week, as well as a 100-meter leg of their medley relay team, which has an outside shot of qualifying for state but is ranked 24th.

“Hurdles is my main priority,” she said.

In fact, she had to drop one event in order to run the hurdles this weekend and chose to forego running the 200 meters.

Her steps between the hurdles and her technique are her main concern about learning how to run the 300 race.

“Now that I’ve run a couple of (meets) we’ll definitely work on them in practice,” she said.

Used to running the shorter distances, she had to adjust to one of the tougher races in track.

“You’ve just got to be tough,” she said. “It’s just mental.”

The Tiger sprinters were impressive throughout the two-day meet, helping Grand Junction place second in the girls meet behind Wheat Ridge.

Breanna Jones took the titles in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

Jones was also on two winning relays, joining Allie Grasso, Stephanie Ryken and Traci Rolbiecki on the winning 400-meter team and Derrieux, Ryken and Rolbiecki on the 800 team.

Annie Kunz helped Wheat Ridge to the title by winning the 100 hurdles and the triple jump.

Grand Junction won the boys meet by two points over Ralston Valley.

The Tigers’ lone victory came from Stuart Shrum in the 200 meters.

Herman Gutierrez took second in the 300-meter hurdles and the Tigers got second-place points from their 400- and 800-meter relay teams.

Randy Brown placed third in two events, the long jump and triple jump.

Central got first-place finishes from Nolan Curtis in the 400 meters and from its 400-meter relay team of Curtis, Josh Buniger, Jarrett Higginson and Blaine Jackson.


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