Photo coming soon to this space.
Teams come from all corners of the state, many from places we've barely heard of, to contest this thing. In the virtual meet the boys favorite appears to be Vail Christian over Heritage Christian and the girls favorite looks like Shining Mountain Waldorf with Plateau Valley and Vail Christian not far behind.
But virtual meets really only tell a small part of the story.
1A teams only qualify nine athletes to the state meet in the laned events, meaning that 1A has no prelims sessions for sprint and hurdle events. As a result, the 3200m run as the first event on the track for the smallest schools.
Both Shining Mountain and Heritage Christian qualified three girls for the race's field of 12. Rebekah Rairdon did not come into the race as the number one seed, but she and her sister Rachel did run side-by-side, 10 or 20 meters behind Shining Mountain’s Ginger Hutton, through almost the entire final five laps. Just at the moment that Hutton seemed to have the race safely in hand, Rebekah unleasehed a furious final kick that nudged her just past Hutton at the line, winning by .05. Twin Rachel was five seconds back in third.
“I didn’t think I could catch her, but I told myself I had to try or else I would be disappointed with myself. So I didn’t think I had it in me, but I wanted to try.” Trying, as Rebekah Rairdon reminds us, is always the first ingredient in success.
Paisley Sheehan from Shining Mountain was fourth. Kyla Bruxvoort from Heritage Christian was eighth and Ella Baca from Shining Mountain was 9th. So, while Shining Mountain advanced their title hopes in the 3200, they gave up some unexpected ground to a very dangerous team from Fort Collins.
In the boys 3200 the crowd was treated to a new 1A meet record when Bryce Grahn the freshman from South Baca dropped the record by .02 to 10:14.46. Grahn took the title over Ryan Dollerschell after a long series of lead exchanges with the Praire senion. Vail Christian's Ethan Pence took third. Helping to keep the team scoring honest and balanced. Heritage Christian also placed Daniel Palmer and Luke Gilliland in sixth and seventh.
The crowd turned up the volume in its encouragement of Vail Christian sophomore Taylor Alexander as she broke the old 1A state record in the pole vault, raising the bar by over a foot to 11-8.
Avery Marzolf from Hi-Plains captured the shot put title at 46-8. Just across the grass at the discus circle, his teammate Michaela Keeler won the discus with a new meet record of 108-11. Morgan Hightower from Plateau Valley also broke the old record with a 108-7 toss.
In the department of broken records Kyle English from Stratton claimed the 1A long jump record, taking it out to 21-10.5, more than seven inches beyond than the former record.
With three events scored for the boys, South Baca is in the lead with 20 points followed by Hi-Plains and Heritage Christian both at 17. The team scoring for the girls was Shining Mountain 20, Heritage Christian 19, Vail Christian 18. There is a lot more to be learned about what cards these teams are going to play over the next two days.