Hayden’s Counts hurdles her way to bronze at state | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden’s Counts hurdles her way to bronze at state

AnnMarie Counts leaps over the final hurdle of the 2A 100-meter hurdles final at the track and field state championship on Saturday. Counts finished third.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

As the clock struck 10 a.m. and the sun began to poke out at Jeffco Stadium on Saturday, AnnMarie Counts was just 16 seconds away from closing out her high school track and field career at the state tournament. 

The Hayden senior had the fourth fastest 100-meter hurdles time in the preliminary round on Thursday night. Her 16.85-second time was almost a full second of where she wanted to be, but she recognized what went wrong. 

“I did not eat well enough on Thursday and did not drink well enough,” Counts said. “I was hurdling late at 4 p.m., so I came in today and ate a big breakfast with a lot of carbs. I drank a lot of water, got a good hour warm-up with stretches and I felt good.”

Despite the hiccup on Thursday, Counts was able to find herself in lane three. According to her, the middle lanes are more desirable. 

The outside lane is up against a fence and the inside lane does not keep you focused down the line. It has a lot to do with comfort and confidence. 

When the gun went off, all nine 2A hurdlers pushed off their blocks and the race was on. Counts was aggressive from start to finish and did exactly what she came to accomplish. She was a bronze medalist with her 15.98 time. 

“My goal for this was to come in and get third or higher and break my personal record, which I did,” Counts said. “I broke into 15, so I am really happy with that and really happy with how I did.”

This was the perfect way for Counts to end her high school track career. She moved to Hayden last year after attending a boarding school in Texas for the last few years. 

Having already graduated, Counts said she will miss seeing her friends every day at school and in practice. She is preparing to attend the University of Arizona in the fall and plans to get a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. 

“This track season really meant a lot to me because all my best friends are here with me,” Counts said. “Jenna Kleckler and Bella Simones have helped me all throughout the season. They are the best.”

Counts, Kleckler and Simones are just three of the nine Hayden Tigers to reach the track and field state championships this season. The team was a 2A juggernaut all year and the Hayden girls finished 28th at state as a team. 

Routt County State Track and Field Results
2A Girls 200 — 18. Isabella Simones, H, 27.87.
2A Girls 100 Hurdles — 3. AnnMarie Counts, H, 15.98.
2A Girls 300 Hurdles — 12. Larhae Whaley, S, 50.57.
2A Girls 1×100 relay — 13. Hayden, 53.18.
2A Girls 4×200 relay — 14. Hayden, 1:53.44.
2A Girls Pole Vault — 2. Larhae Whaley, S, 9-1.
2A Girls Long Jump — 11. Jenna Kleckler, H, 14-7.
2A Girls Triple Jump — 8. Isabella Simones, H, 32-10. 13. Kiera Faucet, H, 31-1.
4A Girls High Jump — 15. Rachel Spitzley, SS, 4-8.
2A Girls Discus — 16. Dakota Munden, H, 98-7. 18. Bella Svoboda, H, 89-3.
2A Girls Shot Put — 10. Bella Svoboda, H, 33-2.
2A Boys Triple Jump — 11. Kodi Ingols, H, 39-11.
4A Boys High Jump — 9. Brandon Kolb, SS, 6-1.
2A Boys Discus — 13. Wesley Gioia, H, 119-4.

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