Defending her title |

Defending her title

Peters earns chance to defend her state title

Melinda Mawdsley

Steamboat Springs junior Jessica Peters is guaranteed a shot at defending her state title in the 400 meters after pre-qualifying for the state meet during the North Park Invitational, held Thursday in Craig.

Peters finished first in the 400 in 59.1 seconds. The electronically timed standard for state in Class 4A is 60.53 this season.

All times must be electronically kept to be valid for state at this point in the season.

Unfortunately for the Sailors, the electronic timers at Moffat County High School weren’t operating for the sprint medley at the beginning of the meet, costing Steamboat an automatic spot in the state sprint medley field.

On Thursday, the quartet of Missy Chotvacs, Hannah Bowers, Patricia Henderson and Jessica Peters ran a 1:52.51, according to hand-held timers. Steamboat coach Andy Reust said that hand-held time would have been near 1:53 electronically, which would have been good enough to qualify the relay.

Chotvacs and Hannah Gary took first and second in the triple jump Thursday, as well. Katie Conrath finished second in the 800 and 1,600 meters. Gary also finished third in the 100-meter hurdles, and Chotvacs was fourth in the long jump.

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Steamboat’s 400-meter relay team of Kristyn Bradbury, Bowers, Gary and Henderson took third. The 800-meter relay team was second behind Soroco.

A small number of girls made the trip to the North Park Invitational on Thursday to get in more races before spring break.

The Sailors have a meet scheduled for today in Glenwood Springs, but most of the girls, particularly the sprinters, will not be in attendance.

Peters is the only athlete from Steamboat who has pre-qualified for the state meet to be held May 21 to 22 in Denver. She qualified in the high jump earlier this season. Steamboat’s athletes will have two more chances to pre-qualify for state during their May 1 meet in Moffat County and May 7 and 8 in Grand Junction.

Regionals, the meet that determines who goes to state unless already qualified, is May 14 and 15 at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.