Freshman shatters Tigers record

Hayden cuts through field at Eagle Valley


— Delanie Vedepo set the Hayden High School record Saturday for the girls 1,600-meter run, a part of the Tigers' stellar day at the Eagle Valley Invitational track meet.

If school officials want to save themselves some trouble, they'd be wise to hold off on etching her record-breaking time into anything permanent.

There were 20 other schools competing, including many larger Class 3A and 4A programs, yet Vedepo won the race and shattered the record, finishing in 5 minutes, 50.36 seconds. It was three seconds faster than the previous record.

"That was exciting. I know she'll keep going and keep reducing that time," Hayden coach Barbara Manzanares said. "She's just a good little athlete. She has the heart and drive, and she's very competitive. She's a very focused young lady."

The meet featured more than 600 athletes, and the Hayden girls emerged sixth. It was a breakthrough powered by a couple top finishes and plenty of depth.

Holli Salazar and Maddison Kopsa joined Vedepo in first place. Salazar won the shot put, while Kopsa grabbed the title in the triple jump. She jumped to a personal best of 32 feet, 5 inches.

"She came out last year and was lukewarm, but came out this year with a little more fire under her," Manzanares said. "The school record is 33-8, and if she doesn't get it this year, she's going to come darn close."

Caitlin Mahanna and Kirsten Miller both scored for the Tigers in the 100 hurdles, Manhaan finishing seventh and Miller eighth. Bryanna McFadden was seventh in the 300 hurdles, and Laura Zirkle seventh in the 3,200 meters.

The boys, 13th at the meet, were led by third-place finishes from Jake Walker in the 100 and Rene Valdez in the high jump.

Walker also added a sixth-place showing in the triple jump. Murphy Smartt scored by finishing fifth in the high jump, and Chris Zirkle was eighth in the 3,200.

The team travels Saturday to Glenwood Springs, its final performance before prequalifiers.

Distance runners lead Steamboat

Charlie Stoddard finished third Saturday at Eagle Valley in the 3,200 meters, the best finish for a Sailor at what Steamboat Springs coach Luke DeWolfe termed a long, cold and unforgiving meet.

Stoddard has been a regular in the 3,200 but dropped several of his normal events to focus Saturday on the race. He couldn't have picked a worse day to lay off the activities, DeWolfe said.

"He still ran in the (3,200 relay), but after that he sat for seven hours," DeWolfe said. "The conditions were rough - cold, damp and windy the whole time - but the kids did good. A lot of teams had given up and gone home."

Stoddard and Gus Allen, sixth in the same race, made the most of their opportunity once they finally shed the jacket and got on the track.

"We really wanted to see where Charlie was in the 3,200. He really stepped up and showed us," DeWolfe said. "Two Battle Mountain kids finished ahead of him, but he was tight with them the whole race. He's developing his speed, is a lot quicker and that's good to see."

Tyler Hutson was fourth in the 400, and both of the boys 1,600 and 3,200 relays were fourth as well. John Cutter was sixth in the 1,600.

Brittany Long led the girls team with her fourth-place 1,600 finish. Emily Rabbit also placed, finishing sixth in the 300 hurdles.

"It's tough battling the weather at meets like that, but we're in a good spot," DeWolfe said. "Still, we need to keep progressing and getting better. We talk all the time that it's really about that last meet, the regional meet we're focused on. As long as the kids keep that in mind and keep working, I'm happy."


handyman 8 years, 11 months ago

If Delanie Vedepo is a freshman and broke the record early in the season, what can we expect from her in the future? You go girl!


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