Hayden, Soroco likely to send 15 to state track

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Problems reporting times and distances from track meets across the state prevented the Colorado High School Activities Association on Sunday from releasing an official list of competitors in the looming state track and field meet. Still, local coaches were convinced when that list is made official, presumably Monday, more than a dozen local athletes will make the cut.

The state track meet begins Thursday in Lakewood and as many as 15 athletes — 12 from Soroco and three from Hayden — figure to be included. The group will make for a veteran contingent capable of a pile of medals.

“I’m really pleased,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “We had a small group of kids this year, but they worked really hard. To have 12 kids run down there is great.”

Soroco is hoping it will have four relay teams get the call, along with athletes in a number of individual events.

Senior Nic Paxton should be included in three events. He’ll be there in the event he medaled in last year, the long jump, as well as triple jump. He also is on the 1,600-meter relay team, with Carl Rossi, Bjorn Carlson and Micah Gibbons.

Carlson, Rossi and Gibbons also will run in the 3,200 relay at state, along with Chance Beaty.

Jaelyn Whaley, Jessica Rossi, Josie Rossi and Hayley Johnson likely qualified in both the 1,600 and 3,200 relay races.

Whaley and Josie Rossi qualified in the 800 and Kali Constine in the high jump.

Hayden’s trio of three state qualifiers will be led by veterans. Jorge Valdez should challenge to win the Class 2A boys high jump competition. He also qualified in the long jump, thanks in large part to his performance Saturday, when he added a foot to his personal best in the event.

Savannah Williams, meanwhile, will return to state to race in the 3,200 and 1,600. Jack Redmond came back from a knee injury to compete this weekend and earned a spot at state in the long jump.

“I’m pretty confident,” Hayden coach Patrick Moore said. “ Jorge has been high jumping very consistently, and in the long jump, he’s improving every weekend. Savannah is looking really good in the 3,200.”

The top 18 athletes in each event from across Colorado qualify for the state meet. Hayden just missed with two more athletes. Jewel Vreeman just missed out in the long jump, and Carlos Valdez was a near miss in the shot put.

A strong weekend of competition from both teams will send them to state with some momentum.

Competing at regionals, Soroco got top performances from Leah Walorski, who was fourth in the triple jump, and Alex Bryant, who was sixth. Johnson was fourth in the 100.

Whaley, Johnson, Jessica Rossi and Josie Rossi earned points in a trio of relays. The 1,600 girls relay was second, the 800 relay third and the 400 relay fourth.

On the boys side, Paxton was fifth in both the long jump and triple jump while Carlson was fifth in the high jump. Gibbons was eighth in the pole vault.

The boys 1,600 and 3,200 relays were third, the 3,200 relay was third and the 400 relay, with Paxton, Gibbons, Beaty and Carl Rossi, was fifth.

For Hayden, Williams was fourth and Laura Johnson was sixth in the 1,600. Williams also was sixth in the 3,200. Emma Johnson was fifth in the high jump, and Vreeman was fourth in the long jump. The girls sprint medley relay was fifth.

Liam Delaney was eighth in the boys 1,600. The boys 3,200 relay was fifth and the 800 relay sixth.

Jorge Valdez was second in the high jump and 10th in the discus.

“For a very young team, I couldn’t be more excited,” Moore said. “They worked hard all season long, and most of the athletes saw that pay off this weekend.”

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