Steamboat track team eyes 4A Showcase

New qualifying format a challenge for Sailors athletes

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Tiger Invitational results

- Girls

100-meter dash

10. Kimberly Heald - 13.56

200-meter dash

9. Heald - 27.76

3,200-meter run

8. Brittany Long - 12:29.24

300-meter hurdles

15. Emily Rabbitt - 53.63

400-meter relay

12. Steamboat (Claire Tegl, Morgan Bessette, Corinne Landy and Kimberly Heald) - 55.62

800-meter relay

11. Steamboat (Tegl, Bessette, Landy and Heald) - 1:59.14

Long jump

3. Bessette - 16-01 ½

- Boys

100-meter dash

19. Dylan Pivarnik - 11.74

200-meter dash

14. Pivarnik - 23.60

3,200-meter run

9. John Cutter - 10:09.35

800-meter relay

13. Steamboat (Kaelen Gunderson, Jeff Sperry, Jacob Brenner and Dylan Pivarnik) - 1:36.96

— The reality of the new state qualifying format for Class 4A is about to set in on the Steamboat Springs High School track and field team.

Whereas in previous years a top-three finish at regionals or a pre-qualifying mark would put an athlete into the state competition, this year, the top 18 times in all events qualify.

So although Steamboat came away from Friday and Saturday's Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction posting many personal bests, most of the Steamboat athletes still are on the outside looking in.

A trio of athletes led the way for Steamboat on Friday and Saturday. Brittany Long placed eighth in the girls 3,200-meter run with a time of 12 minutes, 29.24 seconds. Morgan Bessette was third in the long jump, jumping 16 feet, 1.5 inches, and John Cutter ran a season's best in the boys 3,200, finishing with a time of 10:09.35.

Still, none of those times or distances were good enough to land any of Steamboat's athletes in the top 18.

Cutter is 23rd in the 3,200, six seconds away from the 18th position, while Bessette is just three inches short of the No. 18 spot.

Steamboat's lone qualifier as of Tuesday is pole vaulter Jaime Winter, whose mark of 8-6 is good enough for 16th place.

Still, Steamboat athletes have one more chance to qualify: the Class 4A Showcase meet Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Grand Junction.

"We hope so," Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe said about Sailors qualifying for state. "We talked about it all year long that hopefully our kids realize that the goal is to have their best meet be this meet. We've trained toward that and talked toward that so hopefully, our kids perform."

DeWolfe said the boys 800-meter relay team of Kaelen Gunderson, Jeff Sperry, Jacob Brenner and Dylan Pivarnik, as well as the boys 1,600-meter relay team of Sperry, Brenner, Lucas Stover and Pivarnik, have a shot at qualifying.

The 800-meter relay team finished 13th at the Tiger Invitational with a time of 1:36.96. The 1,600 relay team didn't register a time.

"If they run perfect races and run what they're capable of, they can get in there," DeWolfe said. "Again, it's a matter of putting it all together."

The Class 4A Showcase begins at 3 p.m. Thursday with the pole vault event. The meet continues Friday and Saturday with all other events.

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