The playoff picture: Steamboat tennis and Routt County track teams gear up for state
Last weekend, the Steamboat Springs High School girls tennis team competed in the 3A Region 8 Championships, and while all surpassed expectations, the No. 1 doubles players Liesel Wilkinson and Amanda Dietrich were the only Sailors to earn a trip to the Colorado High School Activities Association State Tennis Championships.
Wilkinson and Dietrich are in their first year of playing together and quickly developed great chemistry. They are formidable at the net, and can find a rhythm and ride it for many sets.
That helped the pair make it to the finals at the regional championships. There, they faced Gracie Allen and Jesse Allen from Vail Mountain. The Gore Rangers won 6-4, 7-5, but that still sent the Sailors to state.
“They played really well. They were in it the whole time,” said coach Bill Conway. “It was real interesting to watch because neither one of them played their best at one time. One would play great, and then the other one would step it up. It was up and down that way. If they would have been able to put it all together at one time, they would have won the region.”
Additionally, Sloane Speer took third, making her an alternate to compete at state in the No. 3 singles slot. Kelsey Norland also just missed out at No. 1 singles, taking fourth.
Even with just five of the seven lines filled, the Sailors were only one point away from fourth place out of eight teams.
“The whole team went beyond every coach’s expectations on how well they did,” Conway said. “Even the teams that didn’t place, it was neat to see how far they’ve come.”
Dietrich and Wilkinson will compete at state beginning on Thursday, May 12, at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs.
Track and Field – Hayden
Meanwhile, Routt County track teams were competing in Rifle at the multi-league championships, where Hayden High School senior Jillian Bennett won the 400-meter dash and the regional title with a time of 1:02.49.
Looking to three-peat in triple jump at state, senior Alison Rajzer lost her first competition of the year. She finished second with a distance of 33 feet, 10 inches, the same distance as victor Mary Scoggins of Rangely.
Teammates Isabella Simones took third with a jump of 32-5. Additionally, Rajzer was sixth in the 100-meter dash finals.
Freshman Dakota Munden earned fourth in discus with a throw of 92 feet, 6 inches and Jenna Kleckler and Simones were sixth and seventh in long jump.
Brayden Dale led the Tiger boys with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.79 seconds. He was also fourth in the 200-meter dash.
“It was windy, windy, windy — tough conditions. Track times were impacted by that a little bit,” said coach Joe Knez. “But overall, it was a great meet for us.”
Junior Jake Lindley, who is new to the track team this year, also had a pair of top 10 finishes, taking fifth in the discus finals with a heave of 105 feet. Teammate Wesley Gioia finished sixth. Lindley was eighth in shot put.
“He’s a great athlete. He’s strong and he’s very coachable,” said Knez. “We got some new throws coaches this year, actual throws coaches, and that’s really helped our throws program out. Jake, he’s big, fast and strong, so he took right to it.”
What: CHSAA State Track and Field Championships
Where: Jeffco Stadium, 500 Kipling St, Lakewood, CO
When: May 19-21
Senior Kale Johnson earned seventh in the 800 with a time of 2:14.66, and Logan Silva was sixth in the 3,200.
The Hayden girls were second in the 4×200 and the 800 sprint medley relay. Both relay teams will compete at state, as will Bennett in the 200 and 400. Rajzer and Simones will also compete in triple jump.
“I feel like we’re right where we need to be heading into state next week with those relays,” Knez said.
The Soroco High School girls team finished third in the 2A standings thanks to some big performances from the relays and powerhouses Marissa Martindale and Kayedence Bruner.
The Rams combination of Eden Mayer, Isabel Medina, Hailey Minnick and Larhae Whaley took second in the 4×800.
Bruner won the high jump and broke a school record she set the weekend prior with a height of 5 feet, 2 inches. She was also third in the 100-meter hurdles.
Martindale earned third in the 400 and second in the long jump, while teammate Irene Hoff was third in long jump.
Minnick had a career day, taking sixth in the 400 and second in the 800.
“Hailey was kind of a surprise,” said coach David Bruner. “I knew she could run a decent 800. She’s had some foot problems, so she hasn’t been able to run track for a couple years.”
Whaley finished second in the pole vault and has qualified for state in the event. Senior Sophia Benjamin also qualified for state in pole vault, as well as triple jump.
Mayer was sixth in the 1,600 and finished third in the 3,200, while Trinity Delto took sixth. Mayer was also seventh in shot put finals.
Every Soroco girls relay has qualified for state. Martindale and Kayedence are part of many, so the coach and athletes will have some careful consideration to do ahead of state. Likely, Kayedence and Martindale will compete in two individual events each, while helping in two relays.
“We always try to do what’s best for our kids, relay wise and what fits them individually with the highest chances to medal at state,” David said.
Alan Mayer had the best finish among the Rams men at regionals, taking sixth in pole vault.
Steamboat was led by Kelsey Hamilton and Connor Prost, who won individual victories in the girls 200 and boys 400.
Additionally, the boys 4×400 relay won the conference title, helping the Sailor boys earn second in the 4A team standings. The girls sprint medley of Margaux Shea, Evan Quinn, Kelsey Hamilton and Elise Colby was the fastest among all 4A teams.
Colby was second in the 100 hurdles, while Autumn Oslowski was sixth in both the 1,600 and 3,200. Aspen Bennett-Manke took fifth in pole vault and Tayla Kemry was eighth in discus. Additionally, Märta Joseffson was eighth in the 100-meter dash.
In addition to winning the 400, Prost was third in the 100 and 200 races. Nik Keyek was second in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, while Bowden Tumminello was second in the 800.
Casey Wolf finished third in the 400, and teammate Olin Webster was fifth.
Brandon Kolb was a force in the jumps, taking third in triple jump and fifth in high jump, while teammate Tommy Hagney was third in high jump. Layton Morrison dominated the throwing events, earning third in discus and fourth in shot put.
Michael Lake took fourth in pole vault as teammate Jace Rabesa earned sixth.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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