Gypsum For the second straight week, Steamboat's Ian Ramsay turned in a mile time of 4 minutes, 55 seconds, and this time it was good enough for first place.
Ramsay, who was the only local athlete to take first at the Eagle Valley High School Invitational, outpaced a Middle Park runner as he sprinted to the finish line to take his first top finish of the year in the boys 1,600-meter run.
More than 20 teams came to Eagle Valley High School to compete in Saturday's overcast and windy conditions. Ramsay, who took an eighth place in last week's meet with the same time, was hoping to improve that finish heading into the meet.
"(My 4:55) was the same time as last week. I wanted to knock a few seconds off today, but with the wind, I'm happy with that time," Ramsay said.
While Ramsay led his heat the entire race, his closest opponent was just a step behind when the gun sounded the last lap. With 200 meters left in the race, Ramsay turned on the juice to earn a sizable distance and sprinted the last 100 meters to be well ahead of the Middle Park runner when he crossed the finish line.
"I could hear him (behind me) and knew the last 200 I wanted to pick it up. But I wasn't sure how far behind me he was," Ramsay said.
The Sailors started out strong, when the quartet of Jessica Flores, Katie Carter, Katey Hale and Lennae Jenkins took second in the 800 medley relay.
With the Sailors practicing their hand-offs for the first time just minutes before the race, Jenkins said the team was surprised by a second-place finish.
"We didn't even know we were going to run the medley until this morning," Jenkins said. "We just figured we'd have fun."
Flores came out of the blocks strong for the first 100-meter leg, but a shaky hand-off from Hale in the second 100-meter leg to Carter in the 200 leg put the Sailors in second to last place heading into the final stretch.
But when Jenkins got the baton for the last leg, she blew by three racers in her 400 meters around the track to bring the Sailors in second. Jenkins finished the day with three other places, earning a fourth place in the last leg of the 4x200 relay, a fifth in the 200-meter dash and a sixth in the 400-meter dash.
Hayden's top finisher came from senior hurdler Kristin Brown as she place second in the 300-meter hurdles and fourth in the 100-meter hurdles.
In a down-to-the-wire 300-meter hurdle race, Brown leaned across the finish line just hundredths of a second faster than Rifle and Cedaredge runners to take second place. A hurdler from Hotchkiss led the pack to take first.
In her first meet of the season, Brown said she felt a little intimidated by her opponents that had two or three meets under their belts. But Brown's performance in the 100-meter hurdles picked up where she left off last year at the Colorado State Track Tournament. Taking fourth place, Brown turned in a time 17 seconds faster, something she didn't achieve last year until the final race of the season.
"I was expecting to do a lot worse," Brown said. "I ran as fast as I did at state last year."
Brown said part of the reason for her success in the 100-meter hurdles was using just three steps in between the hurdles, something she had been working on in the offseason.
Hayden's Kayla Kostur worked through some freshman jitters to earn a third and a fifth in the jumping events. In the first high school meet of her career, Kostur finished third in the high jump and fourth in the triple jump.
While her high jump of 4 feet, 9 inches and triple jump of 29 feet, 11 inches were not personal bests, Kostur was pleased with the day's results.
"Last year I cleared 5 feet, but I was a little nervous. I wasn't even expecting to place with so many people far more experienced than me," Kostur said.
Hayden's Lauren Branstetter rounded out the locals who took top-three finishes. Branstetter took a third in the 400-meter dash.
Soroco's best place finisher came with junior Jessie de Ganahl, who took sixth in the 300-meter hurdles.
"It's just been a good day," Soroco coach Kate Hayne said. "It was time to have a meet. We've been practicing for a few weeks and it was time that we got out and had some competition."
Two area teams placed in the top 10. The Hayden girls took seventh with 33 points and the Steamboat boys placed ninth with 19 points. Fruita Monument won both the boys and girls competitions.