Alex Mead took the 3A 100 meter record down to 10.62 in rainy conditions. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Smaller school sprints are no longer synonymous with slower sprints. Over this past weekend, Alex Mead and Sierra Williams staged a three-day assault on the 3A sprint record books. Now that the dust has settled, 3A has an entirely new set of sprint records, leaving us to mark 2012 as the year of the sprint.
Alex Mead reset the 3A boys sprint records to 10.62 and 21.66. Sierra Williams reset the girls sprint marks to 11.82 and 24.13. Interestingly, in both cases, the 200 marks are probably better than the 100 marks, suggesting that both of these sprinters may have still greater potential at the longer distance of 400 meters. It should prove interesting to follow the careers of these two sprinters through the coming years.
As part of their legacy, both Mead and Williams helped their respective teams to set new state meet and classification relay marks as well. The Mead boys took the 4x100 relay record down to 42.62 in finals. The Cedaredge girls posted new 4x100 and 4x200 marks of 49.32 and 1:42.91, respectively.
Williams takes her talents to Florida State next year. Mead's talents travel to 4A. So, it could be a year of starting over with sprints in 3A next spring, though it's hardly starting over when you have Platte Valley's Rachael Moralez and Eaton's Aimee Ledall and Chad Foos coming back.
While the short sprints stole the headlines, for both the season and the state meet, there were many more memorable moments at the state meet. Most of the new state meet records were noted in the Thursday recap article, but one more came later in the state meet: Eaton's Karli Jelden bumped the 3A all-time best pole vault mark up to 11-2 with her title-winning vault.
A much anticipated showdown in the 300 hurdles was heading to a close finish as Eaton's Ryleigh Haynes was closing on TCA's Alexa Chacon over the last two hurdles of the race, but Haynes stumbled and fell to the track just a few short feet of the finish. Chacon's time of 44.41 missed the 3A all-time mark held by Peak to Peak's Margaret Weingart, but did signal a new, and more competitive era for the 300s in 3A nevertheless.
Eaton's Mel Herl enjoyed a great day in the shot put, taking a best throw of 43-2 and chasing away a large piece of her disappointment from Friday's discus event.
The 4x400 is, arguably, the most exciting event of a track meet and the 3A 4x400s did not disappoint. For the boys, it was CSCS, a team nobody knew about until last weekend at the league meet, taking the title at 3:22.95, only a half-second off the meet record. Middle Park, another entry that came into the picture late in game, took second. TCA, University, Coal Ridge, and Rifle, the consensus favorites going into the meet, settled for places three through six. For the girls, Eaton's win could scarcely be classified as a surprise as the Reds have been running solid times all season, by Jennifer Celis of Hotchkiss made it a very interesting race over the final 100 meters.
The team titles were in doubt well into the afternoon, but that doubt died away at some point between the times when TCA's Allison Kropkowski and Nathan Weeks swept both 400 titles and when TCA posted 31 combined points in the 1600 on the efforts of Regan Mullen, Shelby Stableford, Adam Avischious, and Conner Wilburn.
The face of 3A will change substantially next spring. After a short sojourn into 3A that brought both teams state titles in 2011, Berthoud and Rifle will be returning to 4A next school year. Moffat County more or less replaces Rifle on the 3A scene, with the enrollments of the two western slope schools heading in opposite directions--at least for the moment. Weld Central moves up to 4A, more or less swapping places with Sterling who comes down from 4A. Long-time 3A power Hotchkiss moves down to 2A next year.