Steamboat Springs The Routt County high school track and field teams will be represented at the state track and field championships by fewer athletes in years past, but what the entire contingent might lack in sheer numbers, it makes up for in acumen.
The Hayden and Soroco teams may be poised for a serious medal haul at the meet, which begins Thursday in Lakewood.
The Tigers are sending four athletes to the three-day event, that group led by senior Aubree Haskins, who will set her eyes on defending her championship in the Class 2A shotput competition.
Haskins was listed as the No. 3 seed in the event when the Colorado High School Activities Association announced the state qualifiers Sunday. She will be right in the mix at the top, sitting less than a foot off the leader.
Haskins also will compete in the discus, where she’s seeded eighth.
Tigers distance runner Savannah Williams also qualified twice over, as the seventh seed in the 3,200-meter run and as 14th in the 1,600-meter run. Jorge Valdez will be a top threat in the high jump, where he’s fifth, and Colton Jenson made the field in the 110 hurdles, seeded 16th.
The meet actually won’t be lacking in Rams. Soroco is sending 12 different athletes in 13 different events.
The Rams girls relay teams anchor the squad. There, eight girls — Lauryn Bruggink and Jaelyn Whaley four times over, Haley Johnson and Jessica Rossi in three, Josie Rossi and Micaela Meyer in two and Leah Walorski and Lindsay Miles in one — hope to score big.
Combinations of that lineup are qualified in the 400, 800, 1,600, 3,200 and sprint medley relays. The 400, with Bruggink, Johnson, Meyer and Jessica Rossi, is the highest seeded, at sixth. The 800, with that same lineup, and the 3,200, with Leah Walorski, Josie Rossi, Jessica Rossi and Jaelyn Whaley, should also be right in the fight for a medal, seeded ninth.
On the boys side, AJ Anderson will be the busiest Ram. He’s set to compete in three events. He’s in fifth in the pole vault and 16th in the high jump. He’ll then join Nic Paxton, Carl Rossi and Micah Gibbons in the 3,200-meter relay. Paxton’s also qualified 18th in the long jump.
“I was real pleased with those and hopefully we can go down there and bring five or six medals home,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “That’s our plan.”
Hayden and Soroco competitors begin their meet at 12:30 p.m. Thursday and have competitors scheduled in events 4:35 p.m. Saturday.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com