The Steamboat Springs 400-meter relay team used a strange strategy Saturday, May 13, at the regional meet in Grand Junction.
"It was pretty surprising that we qualified for state," Steamboat's Kyle Svendsen said. "Our team goal going into the race was not to finish last. But we were able to put one together."
The team of Ryan Johnson, Patrick McMahon, Svendsen and Wattles cruised to a third-place finish in the race with a time of 46.83 seconds. The race was won by Moffat County at 45.19. Rifle came in second with a time of 46.83.
The Sailors got a helping hand from the No. 1 seed, Palisade. That team false-started and was disqualified from the race.
Joining the team at the state championships this Friday, May 19, at Jeffco Stadium will be hurdler Darren Lucas, triple jumper Svendsen and middle-distance runner Rachel Starr.
"Almost everybody had personal bests," Sailors head coach Mike Hill said.
Lucas placed second in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.98.
Glenwood Springs' Robbie Cable won the event with a time of 15.8 and his teammate Adam Lowell was third at 16 seconds flat.
"I didn't think I was going to make it in the 110-meter hurdles and I did, and I thought I would make it in the 300-meter hurdles and didn't," Lucas said. "Things don't always go the way you think they will."
Lucas, who has been on the team for two years, however, said he is just happy to get a shot at state.
Last year, he just missed placing fifth in the 300-meter hurdles.
"I don't really know what to expect," Lucas said. "But I would have gone to state just to watch the other runners if I hadn't qualified. So it's just nice to be included."
Svendsen made the state cut in the triple jump on his effort of just more than 40-feet. That event was won by Jake Collette of Cortez with a jump of 40-2.5.
Starr will make her run at a state title in the 400-meter dash. She finished that race in second place with a time of 1:00.90. She was the only member of the girls team going to the state meet.
Several members of the Steamboat girls team came close to making the state cut, however.
High jumper Jenny Stanford placed fourth in her event with a jump of 4-8. She was also sixth in the long jump with an effort of 14-5.
Jessica Flores was fifth in the 100-meter hurdles with an effort of 16.99. She also was seventh in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 31.33.
Steamboat senior Jenny Fuller also just missed in her final shot at a state berth. She was sixth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:28.33.
Members of the Steamboat boys team coming close, but not making the cut, included Svendsen in the long jump. He was sixth, teammate Ryan Johnson was seventh and Lucas Nykamp was 10th.
Lucas also just missed in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing in fifth place with a time of 42.72.
The Sailors who made the state cut will head to Denver Friday for the start of the state track meet at Jeffco Stadium. For complete results please see results on Page 3C.
The meet will continue all day Saturday with the finals taking place in the afternoon. The state track and field championships will bring an end to the 1999-2000 Steamboat High School sports season.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.