Sailors get legs back at Clint Wells Invite |

Sailors get legs back at Clint Wells Invite

Matt Hill competes in the 1,600-meter run on Friday at the Clint Wells Invitational in Craig. Hill won the event.
John Henry

— While some of the Steamboat Springs track and field team took the beaches for spring break, others took anything but rest and relaxation.

Distance runners Matt Hill and Brittany Long decided to sample a taste of some of the nation’s best competition, traveling during the break to run at the Flying Tiger Invitational in San Jacinto, Calif.

“There was so much more depth,” Hill said of the sprawling California field in the 3,200 meters, where he ran his personal best time. “It was more that everyone was so close the whole way through, ten guys just cruising the whole way.”

Despite the 20-hour drive back to the Clint Wells Invitational on Friday in Craig, Hill still managed to cruise to victory in the 1,600 meters, with a time of 4 minutes and 43.31 seconds.

But the road fatigue started to show in the 800 meters, where Moffat County’s Jeremy Bird took first. Hill took seventh in 2:06.03.

“I just didn’t have the gear I needed after that 20 hours, I tried but my legs just wouldn’t turn over,” said Hill, who recently signed a letter of intent to run next year at Western State College of Colorado and is now gunning for the Steamboat school record in the 1,600 at the Sailors’ next meet, May 4 to 5 in Grand Junction. “I’ll get my legs back. Last year, this was my first meet back from injury and then the next week I ran my personal best in the mile, so hopefully I stick to that pattern.”

For Steamboat’s athletes that spent the break sticking around town and practicing, Friday’s 16-team meet was just another step in building momentum toward the May 11 to 12 regional meet.

“It’s like any other meet, but it kind of motivates more as the season goes on,” said Steamboat long jumper Colby Kostur. “It’s getting pre-pre-prepared to get stuff locked down for regionals and just keep building hopefully.”

Kostur had no trouble locking down a 19-foot, 6-inch jump that tied his personal best and earned him fifth place.

For Lee Wren, who ran in the 400 and 800, the meet provided the right practice for testing his times for relay teams once the entire track team returns from break – Steamboat fielded only 12 athletes and included no relay teams.

“You just do the best you can with what you’ve got,” Steamboat coach Andy Reust said.

Other notable Sailors who took advantage of the opportunity to compete with the best of what they had included Brittany Long’s eighth-place finish in the 1,600, freshman Shane McLean, who took ninth in the girls 1,600 and blazed to victory in her 800 heat to take 11th overall, and Jay Hanley, who also won his heat to take 17th overall in the 200.

– To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail

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