Starting blocks

Steamboat tracksters open season at Fort Lupton

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— Freshman runner Jessica Peters got her first taste of high school track Saturday in Fort Lupton at the Mercury Classic.

She seemed to like it.

Peters posted a first-place finish in the 400 meters, one of the most grueling events in track and field.

"It's tough because in order to win it you have to go all out for the entire lap," Peters said. "It's a full minute of sprinting."

Peters said that the 400 meters is probably her strongest event right now. She said she wasn't able to give 100 percent the whole way Saturday, but that's something she hopes to change as the season moves along.

"I think I will be able to do that when I get into better shape," Peters said. "I came out of the blocks for the first time this weekend ... it wasn't my fastest start. But anyway you run it, you're just going to die at the end, so you just go all out."

While the 400 provided her best result at the Mercury, Peters said she is hoping to gain strength in her other individual events in the upcoming weeks.

She also brought home second-place finishes in the 100-meters (13.29) and the high jump (5-feet, 2-inches). She was also a part of the girls 400-meter relay team, which finished seventh with a time of 55.41. Her teammates included Missy Chotvacs, Hannah Gary and Amy Fox.

The finishes highlighted a solid weekend for the girls.

Gary recorded a fourth-place finish with a throw of 85-9 in the discus. Shelly Dunlop earned a fifth in the shot put with an effort of 30-2 and a sixth in the discus at 84-6. Chotvacs was eighth in the triple jump at 31 feet.

"Our girls did very well," coach Andy Reust said. "Our boys team was missing four or five key members, but we also had some solid finishes there.

The boys' best result came in the 400-meter relay. The team of Lonny Radford, Ryan Proffitt, Tyler Johnson and David McDonald finished fourth with a time of 46.17.

Johnson also had a sixth-place finish in the 100 meters with a time of 11.78.

"It was a tough day to run," Reust said. "It was cloudy and windy. It never really warmed up. That's a hard thing for our runners to deal with. Track is really a hot weather sport. That's where runners post the best times."

However, the coach said it was a good start for the Sailors.

He had 46 athletes at the meet and all of them were enthusiastic to get the 2003 track season under way.

"It wasn't too bad for the first meet of the season," Reust said. "Hopefully it will warm up this week and we will have warmer conditions."

The team's next meet is Saturday in Eagle Valley. Reust said he will lose several athletes to college testing, but he is expecting a good number of runners to make the meet.

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