Photo by John Vandelinder
Steamboat Springs coach Quint Friesell offers some words of advice to junior Jaime Winter during the 4A track and field state championships in Denver. Winter - the lone Sailor at the meet - placed 14th in pole vault.
Lakewood She wasn't even supposed to be there.
Before Friday's preliminaries at the Class 4A state track meet, Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Jaime Winter had competed two times in the girls pole vault - an event added to the Sailor program this year after a more than 20-year hiatus.
"And we started the event midway to the end of the season," Sailors pole vault coach Quint Friesell said. "Unfortunately for us, this year we only had one athlete make it this far. It's tough for (Winter). There's a lot of pressure to do well and represent her team."
Winter was the lone Sailor track athlete to qualify for the state competition.
But during her fourth time of the year at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, Winter didn't wilt.
She set a new personal record.
Her vault of 8 feet eclipsed her previous personal record of 7 feet, 6 inches, which she set at regionals.
She was eliminated in the preliminary round, but the sophomore said she's come a long way.
"I'm really excited about getting 8 feet," she said. "This is my third time ever doing it. We started with a beat-up used pit and two old sticks. I'm proud to be here. I just wish more of my team was with me."
Winter entered as the No. 15 seed. She finished 14th.
Although Winter was left out of the championship round, Friesell said he was more than content with the meet's outcome.
"It worked out just like we were planning," he said. "We wanted 8 feet, and we got it.
"This is a really good educational experience for Jamie. This is a huge meet, with the best of the best athletes. She's definitely learning from this."