Fast-moving Starr leads Sailors at Palisade |

Fast-moving Starr leads Sailors at Palisade

InvitationalSailors heading to Meeker next

Steamboat Springs’ Rachel Starr wasn’t thinking about goals or times Saturday when she stepped to the starting line of the 400-meter run at Grand Junction’s Stocker stadium.

This was the finals: if she beat the other seven runners to the finish line in the race, she would win the meet.

“I had finished second in the preliminaries and I was ranked third in the finals,” Starr said. “So I didn’t expect to win.”

But Starr bolted out of the starting blocks and completed the race in a time of 61.1 seconds to win the event and post the best Steamboat finish at the Palisade Invitational in Grand Junction.

“Yeah, it felt pretty good,” Starr said of the win. “I was pretty comfortable in the race.”

Less than 20 minutes later, Starr lined up again and finished third in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:26. It was the first time since she was in eighth grade Starr had competed in the event.

Sailors head coach Mike Hill was happy to see his runners do well in Palisade. He said the team made a few strides and hit a few pit falls. But overall he was happy with what he saw on the track.

“Rachel had a gutsy performance,” Hill said. “To win the 400 and then come back and do that well in the 800. Well, that’s gutsy.”

Hill also liked what he saw in freshman Will Zimmerer who didn’t place, but set a personal best time with a 6:50 in the 1,600-meter run.

Hill also praised Jennifer Cantway who continued to improve her time in the 100-meter hurdle event. Kudos also went to the 400-meter relay team of Joe Marias, Patrick McMahon, Kyle Svendsen and Ryan Wattles. That team finished with a new best of 45.8 in the race.

The Sailors will head to a meet in Meeker on April 15.

“I’m just looking at the meets leading up to regionals as warm-ups,” Starr said.

–To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail

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