Jennifer Celis knew that a repeat win in the 800-meter run wouldn't be easy. Celis, who won the event in 2012 as a sophomore, had Tabor Scholl of West Grand to contend with.
Both girls entered the race Friday with times that topped the Class 2A meet record in the event.
Celis, who was favored to win, opened with the lead and slowed her pace at the 200-meter mark, but Scholl tried to pass her on the first lap. "I saw her coming and I picked up the pace," said Celis, who wanted to "make sure I had a little more (in the final lap), just in case."
Scholl overtook Celis in the second lap. "Once she passed me, that's when I knew I couldn't take it easy anymore," recalled Celis. She regained the lead just before the final curve and sprinted the last 100 meters, with Scholl on her heels, finishing the two-lap race in 2 minutes, 13.46 seconds, breaking the state meet record by more than 2 seconds. Scholl's time of 2:15.06 also broke the existing record.
"It was a fun race," said Celis. "I knew I had a shot at the record. I just focused on winning. I figured winning would help me get the state record."
Her time also topped her existing school record in the event. Celis also ran a 400m time of 56.34 to claim a second state record, and re-set her own school record in the event.
The 800-meter relay team of Kelli Buhrdorf, Sophia Schelle, Celis and Katie Parsons also claimed gold, breaking the 1997 school record to win the event in 1:46.15. And the 1600m team of Parsons, Schelle, Natalie Anderson and Celis broke the 2000 school record to place second with a time of 4:08.06.
The 3200m team of Parsons, Schelle, Mae Anderson and Natalie Anderson posted a time of 9:44.26 to place second, squeaking by the 2000 school record by 2/100ths of a second. Anchor runner Natalie Anderson held off Lyons down the stretch to place second, 4/10ths of a second ahead of Lyons.
The Hotchkiss girls' team scored 79 points to place third, trailing first-place Paonia by just 8 points.
"I'm really happy with our four by eight," said Natalie Anderson, a junior, who placed fourth in the 3200m (11:54.20) and fourth in the 1600m (5:24.05). Mae Anderson, one of three freshman state qualifiers for Hotchkiss, finished sixth in the 1600m (5:27.44) and fifth in the 3200m (12:00.64).
The medley team of Buhrdorf, Arial Duncan, Schelle and Parsons nailed its exchanges and ran to a fourth-place finish with a time of 1:52.33.
Buhrdorf, a junior, finished sixth in the 100m and eighth in the 200m. She ran the 200m finals in the outside lane where other runners don't come into view for the first 100 meters. "So I just have to really take the corner hard," said Buhrdorf, who was seeded sixth after preliminaries.
"It's been a really good meet. My goal was to make it to finals in all of my events, and I did. So I'm happy however I place."
"The team's been awesome," said Natalie on Saturday morning. "Everyone works hard and puts everything they have into it. It's awesome. No one's quit, no one's given up."
The boys' team also placed third with 56 points, with Lyons dominating the meet with 142.5 points for the team win. Telluride placed second with 60 points.
On Thursday, the team of Andrew Tiedeman, Alex Smith, Kurt Katzdorn and Cody Bartlett dominated to win the 3200m relay in 8:11.76.
They knew they had a state champion team "... the first time we all ran together," in March at the Cedaredge meet, said Tiedeman, a sophomore and first-year runner. They also had a shot at the state meet record, set in 2011, but fell 2 seconds shy.
Bartlett claimed the team's only individual win, outpacing Lutheran senior Ryan Schoene to win the 800-meter run in 1:59.47.
"I could feel him breathing down my neck," said Bartlett, who ran a conservative first lap. "I wanted to have a kick," since he knew Schoene would try to overtake him in the final 200 meters.
Bartlett, who was favored to win the event, said he was aiming for a time of 1:57, but the wind down the back stretch slowed him down. "I still took a second off my time," said Bartlett. "Tough race. Tough pack."
Teammate Andrew Tiedeman was ranked third and finished eighth.
Bartlett and Tiedeman also placed third and fifth respectively in the 1600m.
Keegan Palmer finished seventh in the 110-meter hurdles (16.68) and third in the triple jump (42 feet, 6 inches).
Mason Oxford was seeded fifth and placed fifth in the discus. Oxford made the top nine "by the skin of my teeth there," hitting 133 feet, 6 inches on his final preliminary throw. He left preliminary competition to run in the 400-meter relay, and alternated his throws with one other athlete, rather than standing in line with eight other throwers. "I like that more, not having to watch other people," said Oxford, a second-year qualifier. "It was easier to focus."
Oxford was one of four Hotchkiss seniors to qualify for state. "I'm done," said Mason after learning where he placed. "I improved all four years. It's been a good career."blog comments powered by Disqus