Hayden High School senior Holli Salazar throws the shot put at Saturday's regional meet in Grand Junction. Salazar won the event and set a meet record with 41 feet, 8.5 inches.

Photo by Luke Graham

Hayden High School senior Holli Salazar throws the shot put at Saturday's regional meet in Grand Junction. Salazar won the event and set a meet record with 41 feet, 8.5 inches.

Hayden's Foster wins triple jump

Senior takes regional title; Rams, Sailors also make state

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State qualifiers

Hayden:

- Girls triple jump: Maddison Kopsa

- Boys high jump: Murphy Smartt

- Girls discus: Holli Salazar

- Girls shot put: Salazar

- Boys 100-meter dash: Jake Walker

- Boys 200-meter dash: Walker

- Boys 400-meter relay: Walker, Billy Zehner, Coy Letlow and Braylin Wertenberger

- Boys 800-meter relay: Walker, Zehner, Letlow and Wertenberger

- Boys triple jump: Logan Foster

Soroco:

- Boys long jump: Alex Estes

- Boys discus: Matt Watwood

- Boys triple jump: Estes

- Boys shot put: Watwood

- Boys 800-meter relay: David Strait, Cody Miles, Ryan Tibbetts and Estes

- Boys 1,600-meter relay: Strait, Miles, Tibbetts and Estes

- Girls 800-meter relay: Lauryn Bruggink, Sarajane Rossi, Traci Schlegel and Ceanna Rossi

Steamboat (unofficial - pending results finalized at 1 p.m. today):

- Girls pole vault: Jaime Winter

- Girls long jump: Morgan Bessette

— Hayden High School athlete Logan Foster had no expectations of traveling next weekend.

But whether it was Saturday's weather, less pressure at the regional meet or a change in his approach, Foster earned a trip to the state meet Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Lakewood.

The senior, who bounced back and forth from long jump to triple jump this season, won the triple jump at Saturday's Class 2A regionals in Grand Junction, jumping a personal best of 42 feet, 2.5 inches. Steamboat and Soroco athletes also competed at the meet.

"No, I did not (expect to win)," said Foster, who propelled the Hayden boys to a third-place finish overall. "I didn't expect to qualify. It just kind of happened - a minor miracle, I guess."

Foster credited a change in his run down the runway to helping him win the regional title. He also found a good balance in the second and third phases of his jump. He said he's more powerful off his right leg - which he uses in that second phase - but jumps farther off his left.

"Now I want to medal at state," Foster said. "I want to be in the top four."

Foster wasn't the only Tigers athlete to come away from Saturday with a regional title. In what's become almost a formality, Hayden senior Holli Salazar won the shot put, breaking her own meet record with a throw of 41-8.5. Salazar now will look to repeat as a state champion in the shot put. Her best throw of 42-2.5 in Class 2A is more than three feet better than her next-closest competitor and currently the second best in all classifications.

Hayden also qualified the boys 800-meter relay team of Coy Letlow, Jake Walker, Billy Zehner and Braylin Wertenberger. The team finished second Saturday in 1:35.90. The Tigers' 400 team of the same runners already had qualified.

Other finishers from Hayden on Saturday included Walker at 11.61 seconds and Letlow at 12.11 seconds in the 100, Taylor Petersen at 4-10 in the girls high jump, Aubree Haskins at 30-11 in the shot put and Chris Zirkle at 4:58.92 in the 1,600.

Rossi leads Rams

Nobody can ever question Sarajane Rossi's toughness.

The Soroco High School senior has proven it for four years. So when Rossi turned her ankle at the conclusion of the 800 sprint medley - the first relay of the day - there was a collective sigh from the Rams faithful.

"I was going to run no matter how painful it was," Rossi said. "This could have been my last opportunity."

Still, Rossi did her best, helping propel the girls 800 relay team of Lauryn Bruggink, Traci Schlegel and Ceanna Rossi to a regional title for the third straight year.

The boys 800 relay team of David Strait, Cody Miles, Ryan Tibbetts and Alex Estes finished third in 1:37.47, to qualify.

The same team also qualified in the boys 1,600 relay, finishing second.

The Rams, however, just missed making the state competition in several other relays. The girls 800 sprint medley, boys 3,200, girls 400 and girls 1,600 teams all finished fourth, just one spot out of qualifying.

Individually, it was another good day for Matt Watwood and Estes. Watwood, already qualified in the discus, made state in the shot put. He finished second with a throw of 46-11. Estes, who finished second in the long jump Friday, finished third in the triple jump, jumping 41-8.

"Overall, we're taking 10 kids to compete," Soroco coach David Bruner said. "Last year, we took seven. The kids are disappointed when they get fourth, but that's what you want. I was proud of all of them."

Bessette at qualifying mark

The decision is over for Morgan Bessette.

The Steamboat junior, who started the season playing soccer, made it known Saturday that she's officially a track and field athlete now.

Bessette bested her personal record in the long jump, jumping 16-5.25 Saturday to finish third.

Bessette's jump, for the moment, has her in the 18th position in Class 4A and holding onto the last spot in state. The top 18 places in all events in Class 4A and 5A advance to the state meet.

As of Saturday night, Bessette and pole vaulter Jaime Winter were the only two Steamboat athletes in the top 18.

Full state rosters won't be official until 1 p.m. today.

"These past couple weeks it's really taken off," said Bessette, who hadn't long jumped since eighth-grade. "I don't know. It's just repetition. : (Waiting for state) is nerve-wracking. If I go, that's really cool. If I don't, I know I finished off the season really well."

Steamboat got a strong finish from Kimberly Heald, who finished seventh in the 100, running a 13.57. The girls 800 relay team of Claire Tegl, Bessette, Corinne Landy and Heald finished third with a time of 1:54.84, while the boys 800 team of Kaelen Gunderson, Jacob Brenner, Jeff Sperry and Dylan Pivarnik finished sixth with a time of 1:40.51.

In the boys 1,600, John Cutter finished eighth at 4:45.65, and Peter Daley finished 10th at 4:48.61. Daley finished eighth in the 800 with a time of 2:07.14. Brittany Long ran strong in the girls 1,600, finishing in 5:41.20. Katherine Lynch finished in 5:52.35.

The girls 400 relay team of Long, Bessette, Landy and Heald came in fifth with a time of 53.75.

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