Sailors hurdler hoping to break out in Craig


Steamboat Springs hurdler Darren Lucas continued to post impressive results at the Rifle Invitational track meet.

"I feel good with where I'm at right now," Lucas said. "I'm going to put some pressure on myself to do well in Craig this week. If I have a solid meet there I like my chances of making it to state."

The Steamboat Springs senior said he is putting some pressure on himself to make the state cut this year. Last year, he was fifth in the 300-meter hurdles and just short of making it to the state meet in Colorado Springs.

"I'm going to be disappointed if I don't make it to state," Lucas said. "I know I'm good enough. Now I just have to go out and qualify."

Lucas placed fourth in the boys 300-meter intermediate hurdles in Rifle April 29 with a time of 44.41 seconds. He also was eighth in the boys 110-meter high hurdles, and despite taking a tumble at the start, finished at 20.80 seconds.

The results highlighted the local track team's results at the meet. The Sailors' numbers were down as many of the athletes elected to skip the meet which fell at the end of Steamboat Springs High School's spring break.

Steamboat had 14 athletes competing 11 boys and three girls.

The boys placed 16th out of 20 teams at the meet with six points. Hotchkiss topped the team standings with 120.5 points. Dakota Ridge was second and Moffat County and Montrose tied for third place.

The 300-meter hurdle event was won by Glenwood Springs runner Robbie Cable. Cable finished the race in a time of 43.50. John Nielsen of Roaring Fork was second at 44 seconds and Dakota Ridge runner Kevin Kirby was third with a time of 44.36. Lucas' fourth-place showing was the best individual finish for the Sailors at the meet.

Lucas also was strong in the 110-meter hurdles. That event was won by Steve Mueller of Dakota Ridge with a time of 15.83. Dakota Ridge runner Josh Fletcher was second with a time of 16.32 and Rifle's Ryan Enright was third at 16.46.

"The key for me in the next couple of meets is going to be getting out of the blocks faster. I'm a slow starter, so I've got to pick it up in the 110-meter hurdles."

On the girls' side, Steamboat finished 18th out of 19 teams with three points.

Dakota Ridge won the meet with 142 points and Moffat County was second with 104.

All of the Sailors' points came from Jessica Flores who placed sixth in the 300-meter low hurdles with a time of 52.53.

Steamboat Springs track coach Mike Hill said several Steamboat athletes posted personal best times at the meet.

Cody Firestone (5:02), Jeremy Hays (5:04), and Will Zimmerer (6:28) all had personal bests in the 1,600-meter run. Ed Van Baak (12:24), Daniel Ward (12:14) and Kyle Jespersen (12:20) all had personal bests in the 3,200-meter run.

A larger group of Steamboat Springs athletes is expected to compete in Craig May 6 at the final regular season meet of the year for the Sailors.

"I told the kids in practice today that things get a lot more serious from here on out," Hill said. "We are planning on working right through the Moffat County meet, and hopefully, peaking at regionals."

The following week, the team will head to Grand Junction for the regional meet.

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail


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