Plateau Valley’s Grundy wins 2 state titles
LAKEWOOD — Plateau Valley’s Teddy Grundy admits he’s not all that fond of the 400-meter dash, and he likes the high jump a lot better. Regardless of preferences, he delivered championship efforts in both Saturday during the Class 1A boys state track and field championships.
He cleared 6 feet to win the high jump and circled the Jefferson County Stadium track in 51.49 seconds to win the 400.
“It turned out to be a very good day despite the weather,” Grundy said, referring to the day’s bountiful rain. “The key was to stay focused and to stay warm. I had a couple of fast guys in the 400. I held back a bit in the first 300, then went for it. Before the race, I was mainly thinking about getting a good time.
Meanwhile, the high jump bar was placed at 5-8 to start the event, not the 5-5 or 5-6 most meets begin with, Grundy said.
“A lot of guys went out quickly, and when we got to 6-0, there were only two of us left,” he said. “I was actually startled by the way I did today. I was able to stay focused and warm. The height doesn’t matter when you come through to win.”
Plateau Valley came through with another title in the sprints on the girls side, as junior Rayarenee Wright won the 100. However, she couldn’t pull a double in the rain, finishing a disappointing seventh in the 200.
“I just didn’t seem focused in the 200,” said Wright, who also finished seventh in the long jump with a 14-6 effort. “I think I could have done better without the rain, but we were all in it. As for the 100, that was good. It was just a case of running hard for the team.”
The Paonia girls had their fair share of place winners. The Eagles’ Morgan Hartigan placed fifth in the 300 hurdles, Lindsey Russell took fifth in the 200, Taylor Polson was sixth in the 400, and Ce’rra Carsten placed seventh in the triple jump and eighth in the high jump.
Hartigan ran a leg of Paonia’s 1,600 relay, which placed second, and its 400 relay, which placed third. She was joined by Chelsey Reed, Russell and Polson on the 1,600 relay, which was nipped by 0.66 seconds by Vangard. Teammates Brookland Erickson, Gabrielle Moet and twin sister Easton Hartigan joined her on the 400 relay.
“This was just awesome,” said Moet, an exchange student from Holland. “I was excited all the way. We don’t have high school track in Holland, and just being able to participate with these girls is fantastic.”
Meeker’s boys and girls 400 relays earned medals, with the boys (Tory Casias, Tala Atoafa, Sebastian Clarke, Jake Phelan) finishing fourth and the girls (Aly Ridings, Sydney Hughes, Linda Olivas, Kathryn Doll) placing fifth. Doll also won the triple jump with a leap of 37-1.25.
Meeker’s Bailey Atwood also came through with a fourth in the girls shot put and a sixth in the discus.
“I’m definitely disappointed with my discus,” Atwood said. “I didn’t throw as well as I could have. We had to sit through the weather a long time. I’ve thrown for over 110 feet, but today only 100. Not real good on my part.”