Connor Turnage and Ashley Miller both posted new state-leading marks in the last week of competition before state. Contributed photo/Photo by Paul Jaeger.
It was finally time for the league meets in Colorado last weekend. All around the state, athletes put in their last efforts to solidify positions at the upcoming state meet and as always there was an assortment of impressive performances. Yet on that penultimate weekend of competition, there were two performers who stood out among the crowd. This week Colorado Track XC singles out Ashley Miller and Connor Turnage as the athletes of the week.
At the Centennial League meet, Ashley Miller of Cherry Creek walked away with league titles in both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles winning the 100 in a 14.54 and the 300 in 42.70.
“My goals going into league were to go out and run for time,” said Miller. “I’m very pleased with my performance in the 300 hurdles. I was trying to run below a 43 second race and I successfully ran my 42.7.”
Miller now approaches the state meet as the state leader in both events. “Honestly, it doesn’t feel real,” she said. “I have just been working hard and training to run my goals. I’m going into state optimistic and prepared to run my best races.”
What makes Miller’s performances this season even more impressive, however, is that she is just a freshman. “Being successful as a freshman only excites me for the future,” said Miller. “I am really looking forward to where my times will be as a senior. At this point, the sky is the limit.”
And now as Miller approaches her first high school state competition, leading a field of extremely talented hurdlers, she is cool and confident about the way her season has gone and where it can go in this last weekend. “I really couldn’t have asked for a better season,” Miller said. “I’m just hoping to end it on a good note at state.”
At the Continental League meet, Connor Turnage of Highlands Ranch was having impressive performances of his own. The junior won both the long jump and the triple jump in a 22-9.25 and a 48-8.75.
“The goals were to win, obviously,” said Turnage. “I was trying to go 49’ in the triple, but came up a little short, waiting for this weekend I suppose. I set a long jump goal for 22-6 and broke it. I was really hyped about that!”
Turnage has been on a very successful streak recently, but his season surprisingly started out a little slow. “This season was very frustrating at the beginning,” said Turnage. “I was hitting lots of 45’s and 21’s mid season, but these last few weeks I have been going huge. I hit two 48’s at Liberty Bell and four 48’s last weekend. I also scratched 2 23’s last week.”
The state competition is now looking very promising for Turnage. As the reigning state champ in the triple jump from last year where he won in a 47-3.5, Turnage has progressed a lot this season and is excited to see what this weekend holds. “Coming of last week, I feel very confident about this weekend,” said Turnage. “I am definitely peaking at the perfect time. I’ll need to push it hard, but I feel that if I jump how I know I am capable, I can go home with medals in both the long and triple.”
And so now all that’s left for Miller, Turnage, and everyone else is the highly anticipated state competition. Congratulations to athletes of the week Ashley Miller and Connor Turnage on their standout league performances and best of luck to everyone at the 2013 Colorado Track & Field State Championships!