Paonia girls finish third in two relays at 1A state meet

LAKEWOOD — Neither the Paonia, Meeker nor Plateau Valley boys and girls came away with a championship in Friday’s state track meet at the Jefferson County Stadium. But it wasn’t for a lack of effort for the trio with Paonia and Meeker competing in Class 2A, Plateau Valley in 1A.

The top finish for the second day of competition was turned in by the Paonia girls as the Eagles came through with third-place finishes in the 800 and sprint medley relays.

The Eagles quartet of Chelsey Reed, Lindsey Russell, Taylor Poloson and Morgan Hartigan clocked in at 1 minute, 48.5 seconds in the 800 relay, and Meeker placed fifth in 1:50.84.

In the medley relay, the Eagles were nipped by Vanguard (1:51.63) and Akron (1:52.03) while clocking 1:52.39. “We are an odd mix of short and distance runners,” Poloson said. “And since we are all back next year, I hope we can do this again, but of course only better.”

Individually, Reed added an eighth-place finish in the 800 meters with a 2:25.64 effort.

“We certainly were a lot more solid today,” said Reed of the relays. “We were a lot closer to Dolores this time than when we went against them last weekend.”

The Meeker girls 800 relay — Sydney Hughes, Aly Ridings, Linda Olivas and Kathryn Doll ­­­— were pleased with their effort.

“We really saddled up, as we were seeded ninth coming in,” Hughes said. “Fifth is such a great improvement. But we were all inspired by Kathryn for helping us to come around.”

Those were the thoughts of Ridings and Olivas, too. Doll, on the other hand, was short on words, blushing from her teammates comments.

“I just want to thank my team for making my senior year just great,” Doll said.

The top individual finish for the Paonia boys Friday went to Trevor Walters in the 800, placing sixth in 2:01.85. The event was won by Crested Butte’s Matt Galley in 1:58.34. The Eagles’ Ben Justman placed 11th in the event (2:05.08).

“It felt pretty good,” Walters said. “The leaders got out front, I got caught up and went with them. I tried to stay close behind then go for it. This race had some really good people, but I feel good about this one overall.”

Justman said his time was a personal record, “and that certainly is a good way to finish my career.”

Plateau Valley’s Kara Hill placed fifth in the Class 1A girls high jump, clearing 4-8, and helped the Cowboys finish fifth in the sprint medley in 2:00.08.

“I was seeded fifth, and that’s the way it finished,” Hill said of the high jump, which Morgan Howard of Cheyenne Wells won with jump of 5-1½. “I was excited, but it was a bit overwhelming, and I freaked out this morning. I just had to find a mental state and know that I could do it. I actually PR’ed by an inch.”

Hill teamed with Raja Wright, Julia Currier and Audrey Rose Kachin in the sprint medley relay.

“It was fun, and we had a good push from everyone,” Rose Kachin said.

Plateau Valley’s Fernando Enriquez placed fourth in the Class 1A discus with a throw of 130 feet and teammate Carlito Ronnebaum was 10th (98-5). Teddy Grundy was fifth in the triple jump at 39-2¾, for Plateau Valley and its boys 800 relay team placed fifth (1:36.70), and the 3,200 relay team was 12th (10:01.97).


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