Paonia girls capture 3,200 relay crown
LAKEWOOD — The Paonia High School girls 3,200-meter relay team had the top time entering the Class 2A state track championships, but the girls were still amazed when they won the title.
“Last year, our best was 9:57, so we were going for that,” Johanna Reed said. “We did great, though. These two (Grayson Pipher and Lindsay Russell) haven’t run it at all.”
The Eagles won a second consecutive state title and broke the 10-minute mark with a time of 9 minutes, 59.31 seconds.
Paonia leads the team race with 17 points.
Although they had the top time entering the state meet, their achievement was still a little surprising.
Pipher was running the relay for the second time this season and Russell, a freshman, ran it for the third time. Last weekend at regionals was the first time the four ran it together.
“I don’t know how to pace myself well,” Pipher said. “I just kicked it in at the end.”
Pipher usually runs sprint events and Russell never ran more than a 200 until this year.
“I joined track and Coach put me in the 400,” Russell said. “I was surprised. Then, he put me in the 800.”
Chelsy Reed, also a freshman, was thrilled.
“Being able to come to state as a freshman is cool, but to do this was amazing,” she said.
The Paonia boys relay team placed second thanks to Taylor Bradford’s effort in the final 100 meters. The Eagles finished in 8:31.23, less than a second ahead of Wray. Rocky Ford was first in 8:27.17.
“Everybody got us into good position,” said Bradford, who collapsed to the ground after he crossed the finish line. “Rocky Ford was fast. I might have kicked it in too early, but I’m happy we got second.”
“I wanted to win it, but second isn’t bad,” Thayne Clement said. “We had a pr and beat our (third) ranking.”
The relay team included Alex Flynn, Trevor Walters, Clement and Bradford.
Paonia’s 800 relay team and the 400 relay team qualified for finals.
Meeker’s Kathryn Doll placed in the long jump for the second consecutive year, but it wasn’t as high as she hoped. The sophomore finished fifth with a jump of 15-8.
“I scratched three of my jumps,” Doll said.
Doll took second last year with a jump of 16-9. She qualified ninth for the 100-meter finals with a time of 13.14 seconds.
Norwood’s Lindsey Stindt, also a sophomore, won the long jump (16-6¾) and qualified for the finals in the 100 hurdles (15.69 seconds).
Paonia’s Jordyn Rienks placed third in the shot put with a throw of 35 feet, 6½ inches. Norwood’s Mollie Lane was ninth (31-7¾).
Paonia’s Steven Voight won his 100-meter dash heat race to qualify for the finals.
Grand Valley’s Brandi Krieg took sixth place in the girls 3,200 run in 11 minutes, 50.33 seconds.
It is the second year in a row Krieg placed sixth in the two-mile run.
“I didn’t do as good as I hoped,” Krieg said. “It’s been that way all year. I think I’ve plateaued.
“I went out fast. I thought my best chance was to go as hard as I could the whole way.”
Krieg will compete in the 1,600 final Saturday.
Although she qualified for state in the 400, she isn’t competing in that event.
“I thought I had a good chance to do well in the two mile and the 1,600,” Krieg said. “I thought I’d save myself for those.”
Grand Valley teammate Sam Whalen finished 15th in the boys 3,200 run.
Cedaredge Jheri Gates felt like she had a shot at the girls high jump state title. Instead, she finished 10th with a jump of 5 feet.
“I was sure I could get (5-2),” Gates said. “I hit that height all year. I felt good, but I hit the bar.”
Coal Ridge’s Chelyn McCain and Hotchkiss’ CeCe Pieper qualified for the 100 hurdles finals. McCain had a second-best time of 15.46 seconds. Pieper is fourth in 16.27.
The Coal Ridge girls 800 medley relay and its 800 relay qualified for finals, as did Cedaredge’s 800 relay and the Hotchkiss 400 girls relay team.
On the boys side, Cedaredge’s Geordan Brewer won a 110-meter hurdles heat race to qualify for the finals. His brother, Ben Brewer, Zach Browning and Taylor Browning of Roaring Fork qualified for the 400 finals. Ben Brewer also qualified in the 200, as did Colby Fauser of Coal Ridge and Taylor Browning of Roaring Fork.
The Olathe boys 400 relay team won its heat race to qualify for the finals. The Pirates and the Cedaredge 800 relay teams made the finals.