McCain savors top competition
Many track competitors avoid what are considered by many to be the two toughest events in a meet — the 400-meter dash and the 300-meter hurdles.
Coal Ridge’s Chelyn McCain embraces them.
“I guess it’s (a matter of) if you like the event,” McCain said. “(They take) drive and determination.”
Though she passed on running the open 400 in the Class 3A Region 6 meet at Stocker Stadium on Saturday, she showed plenty of drive and determination in her other three events.
The Titan junior won the 300 hurdles in 46.57 seconds, taking the victory by more than half a second.
For good measure, she finished second in the 100 hurdles to Gunnison’s Lindsay Hart and ran the 400-meter leg of the second-place medley relay team, earning her a spot in three events at this week’s 3A state championships at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.
After taking seventh in last year’s state finals of the 300 hurdles, McCain is looking for an even higher finish this week. Her time this season is a full second faster than her best time of last year.
“That’s hard in a sprint,” she said of cutting that much time in a short race.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” she said of her chances at the state meet. “I think I’m going in seeded pretty well.”
McCain got some bragging rights in the hurdles but Hart helped Gunnison get the overall bragging rights. The Cowboys won both the girls and boys regional titles, both winning by comfortable margins.
The top three finishers in each event earned state-qualifying berths, as did athletes who had achieved a pre-set standard during a qualifying meet this season.
Gunnison wasn’t the only school to sweep team titles in a regional meet. Paonia took the girls and boys championships in the 2A Region 4 meet, also at Stocker Stadium.
The Paonia boys got a boost from sophomore sprinter Adrian Penny, who won the 200 and finished second in the 100.
“I kind of push myself, pace, then I go all out the last 100 (meters) to see what I can do,” Penny said.