Steamboat Springs The members of the Steamboat Springs high school track team will take a huge step toward the state track meet this weekend in Grand Junction or at least that is what the members of the coaching staff are hoping for..
The top three finishers at the meet will qualify to move onto the state meet the following week at the Air Force Academy. Those runners, thrower and jumpers not meeting the state criteria or posting a top regional finish will be done for the year.
"This is pretty serious stuff," Sailors track coach Mike Hill said. "This is what we have been working for all season long."
The Sailors are coming off of a ho-hum showing at a meet in Craig last weekend.
While the Sailors coaching staff had been pushing the local runners toward peak times, Hill admits that prom may have set the team back a stride or two last weekend.
"We had some very good finishes, but overall the kids (athletes) were not focused on the track meet," Hill said.
Several Steamboat athletes did travel to Craig to compete, however, including Steamboat's Kyle Svendsen, who won the triple jump, hurdler Darren Lucas, who posted personal best times in the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, and a couple of Steamboat relay teams.
Svendsen soared 40-feet in the triple jump to win Saturday's event. Hill said the Steamboat athlete could have done even better, but left the meet a bit early, missing the finals at the Invitational. His preliminary distance held up, however, and he won the meet.
Other top individuals included Lucas in the 110-meter high hurdles. The Steamboat runner was fifth in the event with a personal best time of 15.8 seconds. Lucas was also fifth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.2 seconds. Ryan Wattles placed sixth in both events.
Lucas Nykamp has a personal best distance of 121 feet in the shot put and Jessica Flores also reached a personal record in the 300-meter hurdles.
Steamboat's 800-meter girls relay team placed fourth in Craig. The squad was made up of Jenny Stanford, Cameron Draper, Mackenzie Little and Jennifer Cantway.
Steamboat's 800-meter boys relay team placed fifth at the meet. That squad was made up of Joey Marias, Patrick McMahon, Svendsen and Ryan Wattles.
The Sailors will put it all on the line this Friday and Saturday at Grand Junction's Stocker Stadium.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.