Sweet six: Local athletes capture six more state medals

Local athletes capture six more state medals

Joel Reichenberger

— Hayden High School’s Jack Redmond exorcised his state track demons Thursday when he leapt above and beyond all his own expectations to place second in the Class 2A triple jump competition at the state track and field meet in Lakewood.

His problems with long jump at state, however, appeared Saturday to be on the verge of another wildly frustrating chapter.

This was Redmond’s third shot at long jump at state, and he didn’t come anywhere close to his potential in his first two.

He entered Saturday with one final chance, but quickly found himself in trouble. He scratched on his first jump, then came up well short of the mark he needed on his second.

He wouldn’t be denied on his third.

With his back to the wall, Redmond soared to 20 feet, 4 inches. It was his best jump of the competition, it put him in finals and, eventually, it slotted him in fourth place, good for his second medal of the weekend.

“I’m happy. It wasn’t my best day, but I’m just happy to be here and get a good jump off,” he said. “The last two years I couldn’t hit my mark, but I did this time, and it felt really good to prove to myself I could.”

Redmond’s medal was just one among what was a winning day for local track teams.

The Tigers pulled in three medals as Thomas Rauch placed seventh in high jump and was ninth in the 110-meter hurdles.

Soroco’s Mattie Rossi scored two medals of her own, placing ninth in the 100 hurdles and seventh in the 300 hurdles.

Fellow Soroco freshman Ben Kelley then brought the weekend of action to a thrilling close for local athletes. He was stuck back in the pack early in the 1,600, but turned it on early in the final lap. He ran the final 300 meters at a near sprint and bridged the gap from back-of-the-pack finisher to medal contender.

He ended up sixth, earning the sixth medal of the day for local athletes and capping the weekend’s haul for Steamboat, Soroco and Hayden athletes at an even dozen, 12 medals.

Rauch podiums twice

For Rauch, the final assessment of the weekend and his two events was that it could have gone a little better but that there was nothing to complain about.

He won a pair of medals at the Class 2A state track meet in Lakewood on Saturday, leaping to 8th in the high jump and running to ninth in the 110-meter hurdles.

“I’m pretty excited,” Rauch said. “I’m just happy to be on the podium.”

But afterward, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he left a little on the table.

He cleared 5 feet, 11 inches in the high jump, short of his season and career best, but good enough to get him in a three-way tie for eighth.

He came close several times in his attempts to clear 6-1, but couldn’t quite get over the bar cleanly.

In the hurdles, he finished in 16.73 seconds, again short of his season’s best.

But leaving state with two medals did a lot to put the “could have beens” out of his mind. He made it in one event a year ago and didn’t medal at all. He made it in two this year, and brought home two medals.

That’s not a bad day.

“I did my best and I’m happy,” he said.

Rossi gets back up

Rossi, a freshman, came into Saturday facing the two biggest races of her career.

Things didn’t get off to a very good start. She fell behind in the 100 hurdles finals and grew desperate trying to catch up. That cost her when her foot clipped the final hurdle and she tumbled to the track.

She got back up in the race and quickly finished, but in ninth of the nine racers.

She “got back up” in a larger sense for her next race, the 300 hurdles. There, she ran to seventh.

“After the 100s, I really wanted to fight hard and come back,” Rossi said. “I take away great memories. State track, freshman year; it was amazing.”

Another medal for Kelley

Kelley capped the day with his long sprint in a long race.

It was his third race of the meet, and his results in the previous two races were a mixed bag. He set the school record in the 3,200 Thursday, but didn’t place as high as he hoped.

He got his first state medal a day later in the 800 and was happier.

He felt boxed in early in Saturday’s 1,600.

Once he got out, he took off, making up 40 yards to catch up to a group well in front of him. He passed six runners and got into medal position, finishing sixth.

“The first couple of laps, I got cut off, and I had some slow times, so I had a lot of energy for the last lap,” Kelley said. “It was a good race. This was really fun. It was really great to come run against this really good competition.

“I think I did pretty well for my first go around. I’m looking forward to next year.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.