Grand Junction’s Ryken has stellar day

Grand Junction’s Stephanie Ryken crosses the finish line Saturday during the finals of the
100-meter dash at Stocker Stadium. Ryken won both the 100m and 200m dash.

Stephanie Ryken has more than held her own in the individual sprints for the Grand Junction High School girls track team this season.

Ryken takes more pride, however, in being part of two Tiger relay teams that are all but assured of competing in this week’s Class 5A state championships.

Ryken had good day Saturday as the two-day Southwestern League championships wrapped up at Stocker Stadium.

In the morning, she won the 100-meter dash in 13.03 seconds, her fastest time of the season, defeating teammate Allie Grasso by .35 seconds.

She capped off her day by winning the 200 meters in 26.83, also her season best, and also defeating another Tiger teammate, Eva Dalichau.

“We have these Monday workouts,” Ryken said. “It’s called peaking.”

Sprinters work up to a certain distance, then taper back down during the workout.

“Just pushing yourself makes you better,” Ryken said.

Of course, she’s got enough teammates to push her in practice.

Breanna Jones, who only ran on two relays during the weekend because of illness, has posted faster times than Ryken this season in the 100 and 200.

“We push each other hard in practice,” Ryken said, with a little help from Grasso, Dalichau, Tracy Rolbiecki and Jamie Derrieux, who are also part of the relay crew.

“They’re really a lot of fun,” Ryken said of competing in both the 400- and 800-meter relays, which also won league titles on Saturday.

As for her individual goals at state, “I don’t know if I’ll place this year but I’m just happy to go to state,” she said.

The Colorado High School Activities Association will determine the top 18 individuals in each event today; those are the 18 who will qualify for the 5A state meet, which begins
Thursday at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.

The Grand Junction girls finished second to Durango in the SWL championships. The Demons won with 137 points; Grand Junction was second with 126.

Durango swept the day by also winning the boys meet, scoring 130 points to outdistance Fruita Monument by 10 points.

Derrieux pulled off an individual double by winning both hurdles events. The Tigers’ Kelsey Slauson, after winning the 1,600 on Friday, also earned a double by taking the 3,200 on Saturday.

Central’s Jamie Pomaski won in two events as well, taking the discus title on Friday and the shot put title on Saturday.

Central also got first-place finishes from Amanda Chaffin in the high jump and Amy Kame in the triple jump, her first such victory of the season, and from its medley relay team.

Kacey Mortenson earned Fruita Monument’s only girls title, winning the 400.

After being passed on the sixth lap, Woody Seagren of Fruita Monument retook the lead on the final curve of the final lap in the boys 3,200 to help Fruita Monument to its second-place finish. The Wildcats also got a victory from Josh Valdez in the long jump, his second victory in as many weeks.

Grand Junction’s Herman Gutierrez took the league title in both hurdles events, helping the Tigers to a third-place finish, three points behind Fruita.

The Tigers also got victories from Stuart Shrum in the 100, Jonathan Wright in the 200, and Rafael Cote in the 800 and from their 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams.


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