Running in the rain, Sierra Williams of Cedaredge sets a new state 3A meet record in the finals of the 100-meter dash. Williams also won the 200m and anchored two winning relays. Her name is now on four 3A state meet records.
After two tough seasons and so-so performances at state, Cedaredge senior Miguel finally got on the podium.
On Thursday, Barajas had his best throw of his career in the discus.
"I finally got a little bit of air on it," said Barajas after placing fifth in the discus. "I was able to get some height on it and it went out to 140-06, so I was pretty excited, especially because it happened at the state meet."
Photo by Tamie Meck
Jumping in the wind and rain, Cedaredge senior Danny Martinez clears the high jump bar at five feet, 10 inches last Saturday at the state track meet. Martinez cleared six feet, three inches to win his first state title.
Barajas said he was feeling pretty good about placing fifth, "Because I haven't done that great in past years, so to do this good is pretty nice. This is my last year."
On Friday morning, he threw the shot put 50-03.00 for the gold. "I guess I was just ready today," said Barajas, whose distances improved in recent weeks after he added a spin to his technique.
While he faced tough competition from Faith Christian and Eaton, "I was under no pressure to win. I'm not ranked first." Barajas had finished poorly at state the last two years, so he relaxed. His first throw of the finals was all he needed for the win. "It's a great way to finish," he said. "Just feels awesome."
While he wouldn't be the last, Barajas was the first male to win a Bruin state championship since 1994, according to 14-year head coach Kirby Henderson. "No one can say they work harder than Miguel, so watching him win this weekend was one of the greatest moments of my coaching career."
On his fourth state appearance in the high jump, Danny Martinez claimed his first state gold on Saturday morning after clearing 6-03 in a highly competitive jump-off, and in the pouring rain. Cedaredge qualified four high jumpers, with sophomore Reid Gates placing second, and senior Dagan Smith ninth.
Luke Wieben was the fourth to qualify. The senior first-year team member had never participated in track before. "I just started trying everything," he said. His second week he tried the high jump, and placed. As a thrower, he also qualified in discus. "I made it to state," said Wieben after going out in the high jump at 5-10. "I've had fun this whole season."
Photo by Tamie Meck
Miguel Barajas throws in the finals of the 3A state discus competition on Thursday. Barajas had his best performances of his career to place fifth in the discus and first in the shot put.
Dante Markley wasn't too happy after failing to make finals in the 100 and 110 hurdles. But after qualifying for the finals in the 300 hurdles on Friday and giving some thought, he was feeling better. He's a junior, after all, and has another year of competition. "I'm not so depressed anymore," he said with a smile. On Saturday, Markley finished seventh.
Even in the cold and pouring rain, Sierra Williams was at her best.
On Saturday morning, under rainy skies, the Cedaredge senior broke the 3A meet record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.82.
The race was fairly even after about 10 yards, but after about 20 yards, Williams started to pull ahead. In lane six was Platte Valley junior Rachael Morales, who was neck and neck with Williams going into the last 20 meters, but Williams outpaced her to finish a full stride ahead.
"I was not expecting that," said Williams, whose record she broke, set just a week earlier at the Western Slope League meet in Grand Junction, was her own.
At league, she said, she was hoping to hit a 12-seconds flat area, "And then I just had a really good day." She went 11.94 in the finals, and, "It just keeps dropping from there," said Williams.
Williams said she didn't consider the cold, wet weather as a factor in the outcome. "Everybody's running in it, and there's no advantage in it for one person or another," she said after the win.
With the 200 just two hours away, Williams said she wasn't looking to break another record, even though she'd broken the meet record in Thursday's preliminaries. I want to run it for the time and for myself, and for all my friends and family, and just have fun."
Williams broke her own record again with a time of 24.13. She was more than a second ahead of the No. 2 placer.
As a junior, Williams won the 100 and placed second in the 200. In 2010, she was injured but still placed fourth in the 100; she didn't run the 200 that year. As a freshman, she posted the 13th fastest time in the 100.
"I think just all the hard work and the time I've put in is just paying off," said Williams, who will run for Florida State University beginning this fall. "I let my body do what it knows how to do, and be confident in myself. I think that's all it takes."
Being the defending champion has its price, she said. "It's a little nerve-wracking knowing that the target is on your back, and everyone is aiming for you. But you have to train even harder and not let up."
Williams now has her name on four state records. The 400-meter relay team of Summer Herman, Tani Zamarripa, Savannah McIntire and Williams also broke the meet record in preliminaries. The 800 team of Rebecca Deal, McIntire, Zamarripa and Williams also broke the meet record by almost a second in preliminaries.
"That was amazing," said Williams. "We've been working towards this for a long time."
McIntire and Zamarripa are also seniors, and Deal and Herman are sophomores. Williams referred to Herman as a little sister. "We've kind of taken her in," said Williams. "It's just great having her out there with me and experiencing something like this together."
Deal was ranked third in the long jump and edged out senior Makenna Linn of Bennett 1⁄2 inch on her final jump to place second.
The sprint medley team of Herman, Mackenzie Kehmeier, Rachel Latta and Zamarripa placed eighth.