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Delta County tracksters earn state accolades

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This year's track and field athletes from Delta County have proven themselves beyond a doubt. Many have achieved goals set prior to commencing their track season.

With Delta County track championships being earned in both boys' and girls' competitions, a large number of outstanding athletes were selected for all-state accolades.

According to Cedaredge High School head track coach Kirby Henderson, there are basically two ways athletes may be selected to all-state teams.

Colorado MileSplit is one organization which has selected coaches from around the state who vote for 20 athletes per classification per gender; 20 Class 1A boys, 20 Class 1A girls, and on through the Class 5A classification. Of those 20 selected, every state champion is an automatic placement. The remaining selections are athletes, who in the opinion of those select coaches, are deserving of the award. Cedaredge's Bryce Klaseen and Paonia's Jeramiah Hillman are examples of this process. There are more who may possibly earn similar selections as a more detailed list is released.

The second method of earning all-state honors is through MaxPreps/CHSAA. This organization bases its selections solely on the state champions for each event throughout the five state classifications.

There is a short list for Colorado MileSplit at this time. On that list are Lily Lockhart of Delta (shot put) and Cedaredge's Shane Gates (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and high jump) and Bryce Klaseen (sprints and relays).

Paonia's Jeramiah Hillman is also on the boys' list.

The list for MaxPreps/CHSAA is more comprehensive. At the 4A level is Delta's Lockhart (shot put).

Paonia's state champion team has several girls listed, mostly from its stellar relay teams.

The 4x200 relay team members honored include senior Marisa Edmondson, junior Emily Pieper, junior Brianna Van Vleet and sophomore Shira Woods.

Members from the 4x400 relay team so honored include sophomore Randi Rapke, Brianna Van Vleet, senior Ashley Van Vleet and Shira Woods.

The all-state 4x800 relay team members include sophomore Brooke Hillman, freshman Poppy Lightfoot, senior Chelsea Meilner and Randi Rapke.

Paonia's 800 sprint medley relay team also was an all-state selection. Members of that team include Marisa Edmondson, Emily Pieper, sophomore Kassidy Rapke and Shira Woods.

Individual all-state selections went to Brianna Van Vleet in long jump, and Ashley Van Vleet was honored for her win in the high jump competition.

The Cedaredge Bruins' 4x100 relay team broke several records in 2016, including the state record, to earn all-state status for 2016. Members of the winning team include junior Shayna Dale, senior Kenzie Henderson, senior Amber Jenkins and senior Kendall McHugh.

Sophomore Katie Hyke is also on both 2016 all-state lists (MaxPreps and Colorado MileSplit) with her individual victory in shot put.

Hotchkiss senior Katy Parsons gained all-state honors for her win in the 800-meter run.

On the boys' side, Cedaredge's Shane Gates was an all-state athlete in the 110 meter high hurdles, 300 meter hurdles and the high jump.

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