Jessica Peters never lost during her middle school track career, but she wasn't really threatened either, so she was a little uncertain about what to expect from her first high school season.
Peters hasn't finished every race on top this year, but she has come close.
This weekend's regional meet was no different, as the freshman took two firsts and one second at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction on Saturday.
Peters now has qualified for state in all four of her individual events -- the high jump, the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races.
"That was the goal," she said.
Coming into the high school track season, Peters' favorite event was the 100 meters because it was fast and over quickly. The 200 is her favorite race now, but the 400 is probably her best event, she said.
Steamboat coach Andy Reust agreed.
"To be honest, I knew she would be a good 400 runner," Reust said. "She was running 61 (seconds) in middle school."
Saturday, Peters won the 400 in 58.46 seconds. She won the 200 in 25.99 and finished second in the 100 in 12.56. She did not high jump at the regional meet, but is eligible to enter the state Class 4A field.
"It's amazing," Peters said. "I can't wait to see the atmosphere. I've heard the stands are full."
Reust wasn't surprised Peters qualified in all three sprint events. He was pleasantly surprised, however, that Ryan Proffitt and Tyler Johnson both finished in the top three in the 100.
"That is huge," he said. "That is huge for them to qualify."
Proffitt edged out Johnson in the final standings, finishing in 11.16. Johnson came in at 11.19, sending both to Jeffco Stadium for the Class 4A State Track and Field Meet this weekend.
Johnson followed his 100 performance by winning the 200 finals in 23.10 -- much to his surprise.
"I'm really excited I qualified," Johnson said. "I didn't think I was going to. There was good competition."
Peters, Johnson and Proffitt will join Friday's state qualifiers: Hannah Gary (high jump), Missy Chotvacs (triple jump), Jennifer Hooper (3,200 meters) and Tyler O'Leary (3,200 meters) in the state field.
"The distance kids have been working hard and it paid off for them," Reust said. "Two kids that weren't given much of a chance ran their best."
The Class 4A/5A state championship meet opens Friday in Denver.
Also placing for the Sailors but not qualifying for the state meet individually were: Katie Conrath, sixth in the 1,600 meters; Matt Haltom, seventh in the 300 hurdles; Shelley Dunlop, fifth in the discus and sixth in the shot put; Chris Dombey, seventh in the long jump; and David McDonald, eighth in the triple jump.
Steamboat relays that finished out of the top three but placed at the regional meet were the girls 800-medley team of Kristyn Bradbury, Gary, Chotvacs and Bailey Draper (sixth at 2:03.94), the girls 3,200-meter relay team of Conrath, Lauren Lightfoot, Tara Wernig and Hooper (fourth at 10:27.85), the boys 1,600-meter relay team of Marsh Gooding, Lonny Radford, Shea Hurley and Jeremy Hays (fourth at 3:38.43), the girls 1,600-meter relay team of Draper, Chotvacs, Wernig and Hooper (seventh at 4:43.70).