Shining Mountain's Ginger Hutton passes Dove Creek's Kristin Knuckles en route to winning the 1A 3200. Photo by Alan Versaw.
It was supposed to be close. And it was.
Although Shining Mountain Waldorf prevailed in the end, Dove Creek fought like their namesake mascot to the very end. Shining Mountain capitalized on the enormous contributions of Ginger Hutton, but--in the end--it was about so much more than Ginger Hutton. SMW needed much more than Hutton's production to pull this one off.
And, keeping both teams honest was a very impressive crew from Vail Christian. The numbers at the 1A level are obviously a challenge, but there is considerable talent to be found within the classification's ranks.
For much of the meet, it seemed as if SMW's Ginger Hutton and Vail Christian's Taylor Alexander were simply trading points. Hutton won the 400, 800, and 3200, and placed eighth in the 1600, earning at least a week of uninterrupted sleep in the process. And, she paced herself carefully through her events. It was more than evident in Thursday's 3200 that Hutton was not pegging her personal speedometer. Even so, she was clearly worn down a little by Saturday's 1600.
Taylor Alexander kept Vail Christian in the title hunt with seconds in the 100 and 200, a first in the pole vault, and I'm pretty sure I saw her flowing blonde hair toting a relay baton around the track when I was hurrying from one event to another. In any case, VC set a new 1A state meet record in the 4x100 at 51.99.
But the persistent accumulation of points by Shining Mountain and Dove Creek was ultimately more than Vail Christian could keep pace with.
Shining Mountain got decisive contributions from Tea Speek and Katharine Wilson in the 200, from Paisley Sheehan and Sarrah Claman in the 1600 and 3200, from all four sprint relays, and from Chloe Weber in the pole vault. Field events? Well, other than the pole vault, who needs them? Or so it would seem.
To their credit, Dove Creek battled to the very end. Dove Creek is one of Colorado's more isolated schools, and more than once this weekend I overheard bit and pieces of a conversation where one person was trying to explain to another where Dove Creek is. It's simple, really--Dove Creek is just a little south of Egnar!
Dove Creek's tenacity was impressive. Junior Corissa Guynes won the 300 hurdles and took a second in the 100s. Fellow junior Madison Young took seconds in both throws. Four relays amassed 25 points altogether. You get the hint there might be some unfinished business to attend to next year for the Bulldogs.
But, SMW and VC both have a lot coming back, too. As does a certain fourth-place team from Heritage Christian Academy. If you enjoyed this year's 1A girls state meet, next year's just might be even better.