Soroco sophomore Alex Estes takes off for his final leap in the long jump Friday at the state track meet in Pueblo. Estes, competing for the first time at state, finished third in the event.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco sophomore Alex Estes takes off for his final leap in the long jump Friday at the state track meet in Pueblo. Estes, competing for the first time at state, finished third in the event.

Locals leap to points

Hayden, Soroco athletes shine in long jump at state meet

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Class 2A state track results

Sprint medley

1. Akron, 1 minute, 41.56 seconds

6. Soroco, 1:55.14

Finals: 10 a.m. today

Girls 3,200 relay*

1. Lyons, 10:12.00

12. Hayden, 10:58.53

Girls 800 relay

1. Lyons 1:46.99

10. Soroco 1:53.12

Girls 1,600 relay

1. Akron, 4:07.04

4. Soroco, 4:18.11

Finals: 3:35 p.m. today

Girls 400

1. Shaylee Robinette, Crowley County, 57.85

8. Sarajane Rossi, Soroco, 1:02.48

Finals: 1:05 p.m. today

Girls 300 hurdles

1. Lindsey Grasmick, Fowler, 44.82 seconds

10. Traci Schlegel, Soroco, 49.99

Boys long jump*

1. Kyle Carper, Holyoke, 22 feet, 4-1/2 inches

3. Alex Estes, Soroco, 20 feet, 4 inches

5. Jake Walker, Hayden, 20 feet, 3-1/2 inches

Boys 100-meter dash

1. Jake Toney, Simla, 10.96 seconds

5. Walker, Hayden, 11.4

Finals: 11:25 a.m. today

*Final results

— Hayden High School's Jake Walker showed little emotion Friday when it was announced that he had qualified for today's Class 2A state championship finals in the 100-meter dash.

Walker was a regional champion a week ago and has had one of the state's top times all season. At Friday's state track meet at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo, he finished the race in 11.4 seconds, another of his best times, good for fifth place in the 17-runner race and easily fast enough to include the sophomore in today's eight-runner field.

That Walker earned an opportunity to stand on the award podium Friday, however, came as a lot more of a shock. He placed fifth in the long jump, behind third-place Alex Estes of Soroco High School but well ahead of any pre-meet expectations.

"It was a lot better than I was hoping for," Walker said. "I improved by exactly a foot. I just got pumped. I quit thinking so much because that's what really messes me up."

Walker only picked up the long jump last week, he said, after he saw an opportunity to qualify in the event. He did, placing second at regionals. The 100 still dominated his attention, however, taking up at least 90 percent of his practice time.

Walker reeled off his best jump of the day early, leaping to 20 feet, 3 inches in the preliminaries. His best in the finals was 20 feet, 1 3/4.

"I haven't practiced enough for long jump," Walker said. "My main focus is still the 100. I want to place in the top three."

In the Tigers' only other event, the girls 3,200 relay, Hayden finished 12th, well out of the points.

The relay team of Delanie Vedepo, Laura Zirkle, Krista Tomke and Calla Manzanares started out strong, hanging at the head of the race's second wave, usually in fifth or sixth place. The pace took a toll, however, and the Tigers slipped further back, finishing in 10:58.53, 11 seconds out of 11th place and 15 seconds away from a medal.

High, lows for Rams

Estes was thrilled with third, but couldn't hide his disappointment. He leapt 20 feet, 4 inches, two inches short of his school-record leap that made him a regional champion a week ago. He scratched on the first two jumps of his flight, making finals only by sacrificing precision to ensure he at least recorded one legitimate mark with his third and final opportunity.

Once qualified for the three-jump final flight, he continued to struggle. Finally, with his last jump of the competition, he added 11 inches to his best mark from the preliminary flight to earn the third-place finish.

"I know I could jump farther, but I'm happy," Estes said. "In the beginning, I was struggling to get my mark, then finally I got a good one on my last jump."

Elsewhere, Soroco put itself in position to load up with points today, but didn't do so comfortably.

The girls sprint medley relay team of Tatum Lombardi, Glenda Long, Traci Schlegel and Sarajane Rossi qualified for the finals in sixth place with a time of 1:55.14. The top eight teams qualify.

Rossi also cut it close in her only individual event, the 400. The top two performers from each of Friday's three heats advanced automatically, along with the next two top times.

Edged into third in her own heat, she had to wait and watch, her fate dependent upon the races behind her. She ended up as the last competitor into today's finals, her time of 1:02.48 allowing her to advance by just 0.36 seconds.

"I knew I hadn't run a very good race," Rossi said. "Basically, when I crossed the line I said 'I don't deserve to go.' I was shocked when I was still up there."

Soroco's girls 800 relay failed to qualify. It avoided disqualification despite dropping the baton on a handoff early in the race, but couldn't catch back up to qualify. The team finished seventh in its heat and managed the 10th-best time overall at 1:53.12.

Schlegel, in her only solo event, came up short in the 300 hurdles, finishing 10th in 49.99 seconds.

The 1,600 relay did help Soroco end the day on a high note.

Ceanna Rossi's last-minute substitution into the lineup for Tatum Lombardi did little more than temporarily unnerve the team. Sarajane Rossi put the Rams near the front with her opening leg and her teammates held that real estate, finishing in 4:18.11, good for fourth entering today's finals.

"We were pretty nervous in the beginning because of the last-minute switch-ups," said Schlegel, who took the third leg of the race.

The Kim high school squad, which won Soroco's heat, was later disqualified for cutting in from its assigned lane too early, bumping the Rams into second.

"We were definitely bummed we didn't make it in the (800 relay)," Sarajane Rossi said. "We knew we had to get it back. We put a lot of heart into this one."

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