If Lindsay Russell was a little nervous going into Saturday's Gunnison Invitational track meet, she can rest easy now.
The senior sprinter for Paonia signed to run track for Western State Colorado University.
The finals for the school's annual Western State Open meet were run in conjunction with the high school meet. Russell said at last Thursday's practice that she didn't want to make a poor showing.
"I'm excited ... and a little nervous," said Russell. "They have a really good team."
It didn't help that the team spent much of last week training indoors due to snowy and muddy conditions, said Russell.
WSCU coaches likely weren't disappointed. Russell finished second in the 200 with a time of 27.37, and ran on the 1600-meter medley relay team with Ashley Van Vleet, Chelsy Reed and Taylor Polson that finished 10 seconds ahead of the second-place team. Russell also ran on the 2012 team that set the meet record in that event.
Russell, a three-year state placer, also ran on the winning 400m relay team with Brooklynd Erickson, Easton and Morgan Hartigan. Their time of 51.16 broke the 2006 school record set by Jami Reed, Brittani Venard, Jamie Meck and four-time 100-meter state champion, Halley Parks, who also ran for Gunnison.
And college coaches also likely took note of the Paonia girls' first-place finish with 157 points at the 30-team meet — 60 points ahead of second-place Cedaredge. The girls' team is poised to qualify for state in all five relays, which would be a repeat of its 2012 season, and in throwing and jumping events. The team has athletes ranked in the top 10 in state 2A competition in 15 of 18 events.
The Paonia girls won eight events at Gunnison. Morgan Hartigan demonstrated her versatility with three first-place finishes.
In addition to the 400m relay, Hartigan claimed the shot put with a distance of 37 feet, 9.5 inches and the 300m hurdles with a time of 48.69 seconds.
Van Vleet fell just shy of re-setting the school record of 59.77 in the 400m, breaking the 1-minute mark to win in 59.79; Taylor Plymale placed third (1:04.64).
Ce'rra Carsten hit the best mark of her 4-year career to win the triple jump (33 feet, 7.75 inches); Easton Hartigan cleared 32-06.5 to place second.
And freshman Taylor Carsten let loose a throw of 114 feet, 7 inches to win the discus. Carsten also placed third in the shot put (35-10).
Erickson cleared 16-07 to win the long jump, with Easton Hartigan placing second with a personal best distance of 15-2.
Polson also placed third in the 800m (2:30.85), fifth in the 100m hurdles (18.50), and second in the 300m hurdles.
The boys team earned 61 points to place fifth at Gunnison. Ben Linnell placed second with a distance of 40-08.75 in the triple jump.
Also placing second was the 1600m relay team of William Austin, Josiah Spano, Jeramiah Hillman and Taylor Walters.
The 800m relay team of Austin, Jesse Reed, Spano and Walters finished third out of 13 teams with a time of 1:38.14.
In other individual events, Hillman placed third in the 800m. Jason Sturgis placed fourth in the 3200m and 1600m runs, and Jacob Helleckson finished sixth in the 1600m. Austin had a fourth-place finish in the 300m hurdles (44.2), and Cameron Van Vleet placed eighth (46.97).
Walters finished eighth in the 200m dash (24.57) and sixth in the long jump (19-02.75). And in the shot put, Josh Kimball hit the 40-foot mark to place fifth. The distance places the sophomore thrower in the top 18 in state 2A competition.blog comments powered by Disqus