A monster throw, an 11-year-old racing over mountains, and a speedy descent

Jared Leblow was the top high school finisher in Saturday's Monument Downhill 5K with a blazing 15:44. Colorado Track XC file photo by Alan Versaw.

We'll close out the weekend here with a quick wrap-up of three significant running sport events that took place on Saturday...

USATF Mountain Running Championships (Bend, OR)

As you might have expected, Colorado was well represented at the USATF Mountain Running Championships. What you probably didn't expect was 11-year-old Alayna Szuch finishing seventh in the women's race--one place and 34 seconds ahead of Del Norte High School coach Laura Haefeli. For context, Haefeli is a veteran mountain runner and won the Mt. Washington Road Race a couple of years ago.

In the men's race, there were four with strong Colorado ties in the top ten: Andy Wacker (2nd), Joe Gray (3rd), Josh Eberly (6th), and Kenyon Neuman (10th).

(Colorado National) Monument Downhill 5K

This race is said to be just enough downhill to offset the altitude disadvantage. I can't speak for the verity of that statement, but the times were fast.

Veteran Colorado road racer Adam Rich took the win, but the results we're most interested in are the high school age results. A sampling of those includes Jared Leblow in second at 15:44, Nate Fedel in fourth at 15:59, Joey Fedel in 6th at 17:15, and Greta Van Calcar as the first female finisher in 17:46.

Rocky Mountain State Games

In what probably ranks as the largest participation ever for the track meet of this event, there are plenty of results we could pass along. We'll just try to hit a few of the highlights here.

One highlight was a discus throw of 212-0 for Mason Finley. With a 2kg implement, that appears to be an all-time best mark for Finley. In any case, it is a monster throw--and on the same ring the give him difficulties back in high school, no less. Perhaps there was a score to settle there for Mr. Finley?

Alex Cutright of Glenwood Springs found himself a PR in the high jump at 6-0. Sierra Suazo dominated the 15-16 throws, while Claudia Valenzuela did the same in the 15-16 sprints. Beau Gordon and Sydney Marr followed suit in the 17-18 throws.