GJ’s Marsh finishes 7th in high jump
LAKEWOOD - Madi Marsh brought home the Western Slope’s first medal in the Class 5A State Track and Field Championships on Friday.
The Grand Junction junior finished in a tie for seventh in the high jump. She cleared 5 feet, 2 inches, tying her best mark of the season. She just clipped the bar with her heel on her third and final attempt at 5-4.
After missing out on qualifying for last year’s state meet by one spot, she said she was happy to be on the podium.
Neither the Grand Junction nor the Fruita Monument girls 400-meter relay teams qualified for today’s finals.
The Grand Junction team of Jill Payne, Whitney Jackson, Natalie DeRush and Sydni Brandon placed seventh in its heat.
The Fruita quartet of Ali Jameson, Joelle Lefevre, Niki Hunt and Katie Werman, running in the lane next to Grand Junction, tripped during the second exchange and did not finish the race.
Michaela Hoffman of Fruita Monument ran in a heat of the 300-meter hurdles but did not advance to the finals.
Nelson fifth in triple jump
In a light day of finals for area Class 3A schools, Olathe’s Katie Nelson led the way with a fifth-place showing in the girls triple jump. She topped out at 34 feet, 4.75 inches.
Cedaredge teammates Rachael Latta and Rebecca Deal finished in a tie for 11th (32-3.5). The two also ran legs for the Bruins’ sixth-place girls 800 relay team. They linked up with Summer Herman and Mackenzie Kehmeier to record a time of 1 minute, 48.37 seconds.
In the girls 800, Cedaredge’s Nellie Freeman finished seventh (2:23.86), and in the boys shot put the Bruins’ Austin Williams threw 45-9 to place sixth. The sophomore took the top seed (51-2) into the competition.
Western Slope domination
The 2A girls 3,200 was nearly an all-Western Slope event.
Telluride senior Rachel Hampton won the day’s first race in 11:13.06, setting a personal mark in the event by one second in winning by 15 seconds.
Amber Scott of Crested Butte was third, Natalie Anderson of Hotchkiss fourth, Mae Anderson of Hotchkiss fifth, Tabor Scholl of West Grand sixth, Anna Fake of Telluride seventh and Taylor Polson of Paonia eighth.
Hampton missed last year’s state meet after breaking her foot shortly after spring break. She couldn’t resume running until last July but went on to win last fall’s 2A state cross country title.
Running isn’t even her best sport. She will attend Harvard this fall on a Nordic skiing scholarship.
Track and field must be a sport for the smart kids.
Ivy League track and field programs are becoming popular destinations for western Colorado athletes.
Delta High School twin sisters Cleo and Clarissa Whiting, both distance runners, will compete at the University of Pennsylvania next school year. Rifle thrower Joey Kuheim is headed to Columbia University, and Telluride’s Hampton will attend Harvard.
As for the Whiting sisters, who both finished in the top five in Friday’s 3,200 meters, they never planned to go to same school. It just worked out that way.
But the practically inseparable sisters are taking steps to give each other a little space to grow as individuals.
“We’ll be in separate dorms, separate rooms, to individualize as much as we can,” Clarissa said.
“We’ll still see each other at practice,” Cleo chimed in.
As for their studies, both are planning to focus on biology.
“We might differentiate,” Cleo said. “We’re not sure. There are so many types of biology.”
The Whitings are eagerly anticipating their new adventure, even though it means they’ll be a long way from home.
“It’ll be hard not to be here in Colorado,” Clarissa said. “It’s so beautiful running here, so it’ll be different.”
Said Cleo: “It’ll be a new adventure.”