Rajzer repeats as triple jump champ on day 1 of state track and field championships
LAKEWOOD — Alison Rajzer rarely smiles when competing. The Hayden High School junior takes every sport she competes in very seriously, and that attitude shows on her face. Be it basketball or track, she’s there to be the best, and until she is, she isn’t happy.
On Thursday, the first day of the state track and field championships, Rajzer’s smile made an appearance. She used a jump of 35 feet, 7 inches to win her second straight triple jump title.
The defending state triple jump champion almost went home without a mark.
On her second jump of preliminaries, the official said “scratch” for the second time that evening. Rajzer sat for a moment in the sand, disappointed and cringing from a lingering thigh injury. She had one last chance to fight for her title. All she had to do was make it to finals, where she’d have three more jumps to climb to the top.
“I looked at my mom and dad, and they said, ‘Shake it off,’” Rajzer said. “Everybody was cheering for me, so I said, ‘OK I got one more jump.’”
From her reaction upon hitting the sand, Rajzer knew her third jump was good. She didn’t know how good, though. When the official read off her distance, she leapt into the air, smiling and bounding toward teammate Isabella Simones, who finished sixth in triple jump.
“It felt good; everything looked good,” Rajzer said. “I didn’t know it was that good, but I knew it was a bit out there.”
The Hayden boys 4×800 relay team decided to dye their hair black for the track and field state championships. Instead, it came out blue. Unlike their hair dye, the Tigers refused to fall short of expectations.
Kale Johnson, Brayden Dale, Andrew Kleckler and Keaton Knez each gave everything they had, earning a fourth place finish with a time of 8 minutes and 49.53 seconds.
“That was beautiful boys,” said Knez after finishing.
On the line, before the gun, Johnson closed his eyes and breathed deeply.
“I try to clear my mind,” Johnson said. “I don’t run when I have things on my mind. I have to be completely calm.”
That mindset was more necessary than ever, since Johnson has been battling kidney issues for the past week, an ailment he’s yet to get answers on. He passed the baton to Dale, who proceeded to run his second-ever 800 meter.
Seniors Kleckler and Knez ran the last half of the race, moving the Tigers closer and closer to the front. Knez passed one more at the line to take fourth.
Hayden qualified for many finals as well. Jillian Bennett will compete in the 200 finals and the 400 finals. She’s ranked No. 3 in the 400 and No. 5 in the 200.
The girls 800 sprint medley team of Rajzer, Mia Mikos, Simones and Bennett qualified in first place. The Tiger girls also qualified in the 4×200.
“I hope we can keep our legs and do well in the finals,” said Knez, who was thrilled with how well the Tigers competed on day one.
The Hayden girls are in third after day one.
The Soroco High School girls qualified first in the 4×200, with a school record time of 1:50.16. They also will run in the finals of the 800 sprint medley.
Larhae Whaley, Isabel Medina, Eden Mayer and Rose Karrow combined to earn eighth place in the 4×800 relay final. They finished with a time of 11:05.38.
In 4A action, the Steamboat Springs boys 4×800 team broke a school record that has stood since 2005. With a time of 8:08.10, Bowden Tumminello, Jeremiah Kelley, Jaydon Fryer and Thomas Lewer finished fifth place.
“Obviously, a super competitive field of 18 different really strong teams,” said Steamboat Springs head coach Lisa Renee Tumminello. “Our guys, they had it on their minds and in their hearts. It was a carrot that was out there after running an 18:14 at St. Vrain. They were four seconds off the school record. They had that in mind. I think that was their focus. … The clock just came with it. It just happened as it does.”
The Sailors girls relays were hot all day. Elise Colby, Kelsey Hamilton, Marcada Baker and Aliyah Reimer finished third in their heat in the medley relay and the 4×200 relay, automatically advancing to the finals.
Baker finished 14th in the long jump finals, Josh Hamilton was 14th in the 200, and Reimer was 13th in the 100.
Thursday, June 24
100 prelims: 1. Kaleah Ruff 12.01. 13. Aliyah Reimer, SS, 12.79.
800 sprint medley prelims: 1. Longmont 1:48.59. 2. Palmer Ridge 1:51. 3. Niwot 1:49.79. 4. Mountain View 1:51.53. 5. Steamboat Springs (Elise Colby, Kelsey Hamilton, Aliyah Reimer, Marcada Baker) 1:52.4. 6. Widefield 1:52.53. 7. Erie 1:52.73. 8. Battle Mountain 1:53.06. 9. Windsor 1:53.38.
4×200 prelims: 1. Niwot 1:39.72. 2. Mesa Ridge 1:44.16. 3. Mullen 1:44.74. 4. Longmont 1:45.85. 5. Steamboat Springs (Colby, Baker, Hamilton, Reimer) 1:45.98. 6. Denver South 1:46.87. 7. Golden 1:47.59. 8. Roosevelt 1:48.08. 9. Mountain View 1:48.42.
Long jump: 1. Argur Dwol 18-11.25. 14. Marcada Baker 14-08.25.
200 prelims: 1. Justin Blanton, GJ Central, 21.72. 14. Josh Hamilton, SS, 23.0.
4×200 prelims: 1. Air Academy 1:29.31. 12. Steamboat Springs (Jameson Tracy, James Lahrman, Connor Prost, Josh Hamilton) 1:32.84.
4×800 final: 1. Niwot 7:59.25. 2. Longmont 8:03.52. 3. Centaurus 8:06.13. 4. George Washington 8:06.64. 5. Steamboat Springs (Bowden Tumminello, Jeremiah Kelley, Jaydon Fryer, Thomas Lewer) 8:08.10. 6. Cheyenne Mountain 8:10.91. 7. Durango 8:17.85. 8. Eagle Valley 8:18.28. 9. Green Mountain 8:20.37.
100 prelims: 1. Mikayla Hutchinson, Banning Lewis, 12.44. 10. Lexi Vandenberg, Soroco, 13.33. 16. Isabella Simones, Hayden, 13.76.
200 prelims: 1. Jordan Burnett, South Park, 25.42. 2. Mikayla Hutchinson 26.01. 3. Kylee Terry 26.79. 4. Emma Dikken 26.79. 5. Jillian Bennett, Hayden, 26.87. 6. Dixie Rhea 27.23. 7. Bailey Nelson 27.15. 8. Hannah Turpin 27.27. 9. Kacie McCollum 27.41.
400: 1. Jordan Burnett 57.32. 2. Emma Dikken 59.87. 3. Jillian Bennet, Hayden, 1:00.41. 4. Brigid Neuheardt 1:02.06. 5. Kiley Geiser 1:02.52. 6. Payton Kutz 1:02.67. 7. Madison Cook 1:04.13. 8. Tayla Martin 1:04.17. 9. Alexis Tafoya 1:04.44.
800 sprint medley relay prelims: 1. Hayden (Alison Rajzer, Mia Mikos, Isabella Simones, Jillian Bennett) 1:54.26. 2. Paonia 1:55.22. 3. Cedaredge1:54.3. 4. Limon 1:55.36. 5. Hotchkiss 1:55.3. 6. Yuma 1:55.39. 7. Dayspring Christian 1:55.76. 8. Soroco (Larhae Whaley, Kayedence Bruner, Lexi Vandenberg, Marissa Martindale) 1:55.88. 9. Rangely 1:56.25.
4×200 prelims: 1. Soroco (Whaley, Martindale, Vandenberg, Bruner) 1:50.16. 2. Hoehne 1:50.36. 3. Cedaredge 1:50.49. 4. Hotchkiss 1:50.93. 5. Sedgwick County 1:50.95. 6. Highland 1:52.07. 7. Paonia 1:50.95. 8. Hayden (Mikos, Simones, Kleckler, Bennett) 1:52.72. 9. Golden View Classical Academy 1:53.39.
4×800 final: 1. Wray 10:30.38. 2. Golden View Classical 10:43.12. 3. Olathe 10:43.41. 4. Buena Vista 10:44.3. 5. Yuma 10:46.45. 6. Burlington 10:50.75. 7. Limon 10:57.13. 8. Soroco (Whaley, Isabel Medina, Eden Mayer, Rose Karrow) 11:05.38. 9. Peyton 11:14.21.
Triple jump: 1. Alison Rajzer, Hayden, 35-07. 6. Isabella Simones, Hayden.
4×800 final: 1. Peyton 8:29.76. 2. Ouray 8:32.54. 3. Banning Lewis 8:49.32. 4. Hayden (Kale Johnson, Brayden Dale, Andrew Kleckler, Keaton Knez), 8:49.53. 5. Vail Christian 8:49.64. 6. Grand Valley 8:50.2. 7. St. Mary’s HS 8:52.85. 8. Lyons 8:53.16. 9. Denver Christian 8:54.31.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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