Pueblo Hayden's Jaclyn Etzler may only be a freshman, but she already has her state title sights set high.
Etzler didn't bring home a title in her first trip to the 2A state title meet last weekend at Pueblo's Dutch Clark Stadium, but she did manage to advance to the finals in all three of her events.
"It's fun, but there is a lot of tough competition," Etzler said after competing in the 100-meter dash finals on Saturday. "I thought it was just going to be like regional, but there are some girls here from the eastern side that are fast real fast. "
Etzler finished eighth in the state in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.36. West Grand's Shonda Brown won the race, setting a blistering pace on the new all-weather surface at Dutch Clark with a time of 12.58.
"I'm happy," Etzler said. "I'm just a freshman so I have three more tries. I was one of the youngest runners here and it showed a little in the 100."
Hayden's top finish came in the 400-meter relay where the team of Kristin Brown, Etzler, Jeanette Miller and Jessi Babish climbed to the fourth position on the podium with a personal best time of 52:49. Julesburg won the race with a time of 51.33. Liberty was second at 52.01 and Springfield came in third at 52.14.
Hayden's 800-meter medley team, which was made up of the same four girls, finished sixth with a time of 1:55.50. Merino won with a time of 1:52.26.
The team came from behind in the final leg on Saturday behind a gutsy showing from anchor Jeanette Miller.
"It was pretty tough because I'm a short-distance runner. Most of the other teams had strong middle-distance runners in there that are pretty used to the 400," Miller said. "I always try to kick it in at about the 100, but I didn't have much left today."
The Hayden girls team, which only has a total of five members, made the strongest showing at Dutch Clark on Saturday.
The Hayden boys 800-meter relay team also competed in Saturday's finals. The Tigers placed eighth in the state with a time of 1:36.17. Holyoke won the race with a time of 1:32.27.
Tiger Joel Wixson, who had qualified to race in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, just missed his chance at the finals in both events during Friday's preliminaries. He did get the chance to race with the 800-meter relay team on Saturday. Other members of that team were Jacques Denker, Glen Frentress and Matt Walden.
Holyoke won the overall team title at the state 2A finals on Saturday. The school scored 47 points and was followed by Swink (44) and Haxtun (43). No final points were available for Hayden, on either the boys or girls side.
Julesburg topped West Grand in the girls title race with 77 points. The Mustangs had 70 to finish second and Akron was third with 35.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org