Emotions run high at meet

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— It couldn't have been much closer, but Steamboat Springs middle-distance runner Rachel Starr wouldn't have had it any other way.

"It was my best race ever," Starr said after finishing second in the 400-meter dash. "I can't think of a better way to end it."

It took everything Starr had in the final meters of the race to earn second place in the race that was won by Fort Morgan's Lauren Matthews.

The top five finishers in the race all finished within a fraction of a second of one another. Just more than two seconds separated all nine runners in the event.

Matthews finished at 59.27, Starr was at 59.75 and Mullen's Ashley McCall was third at 59.78.

"I didn't know where I finished after the race was over," Starr said. "It could have been as high as second and as low as fifth."

Starr was all smiles when she found out that it was second as she arrived at the awards stand.

"It was a total surprise," Starr said. "But it was a good surprise."

In fact, Saturday was a pretty good day for all the seniors on the track at Jeffco Stadium.

Sailor Brienna Combs placed third in the disc and Kyle Svendsen placed 11th in the triple jump.

"I'm happy; it's pretty cool," Combs said of her bronze-medal showing.

If there was any regret on her part it was that she only got to compete in the regional and state meets this season because of an injury. "I will always have to wonder 'what if,'" Combs said.

Combs took part in only 12 practices this season and hasn't been lifting weights this spring. She was only cleared by doctors to throw the disc a week and a half before the regionals.

The girls disc was won by Danielle Smith of Mullen, who tossed the disc 128-06. Damarah Rhymer of Widefield was second with a throw of 118-05 and Combs was third at 116-07.

Svendsen was also wondering "what if" as he sat in the stands watching the second flight on the triple jump Saturday morning.

The Sailor just missed qualifying for the finals by one spot. It was the second year in a row that Svendsen has finished 11th in the state.

"I can't complain," Svendsen said. "I didn't make the finals, but I improved my personal best by a foot. I'm happy with my performance."

But as the senior watched the second flight it became obvious that his jump of 42-6.5 wouldn't be enough.

Svendsen held his breath, but in the final round of the second flight, he was bumped back to 11th and just missed making the final cut the qualifying distance was 42-8.25.

The event was won by Jacob Benson of Glenwood Springs who jumped 47-10.50.

Steamboat sent 11 athletes to the state track and field championships which came to a close on Saturday afternoon in Lakewood. The event brings an end to the Steamboat Springs High School's prep season.

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