Soroco senior Nic Paxton runs Friday in the boys 1,600-meter relay at the state track meet in Lakewood. The Rams didn't qualify for the finals, but the team still was happy with its performance at the meet.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco senior Nic Paxton runs Friday in the boys 1,600-meter relay at the state track meet in Lakewood. The Rams didn't qualify for the finals, but the team still was happy with its performance at the meet.

Soroco happy as it rounds out state track meet

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— The Soroco High School track team’s season ended at the back of the pack, buried in a heat of the Class 2A 1,600-meter relay at the state track meet in Lakewood.

The Rams qualified both boys and girls teams for the race, and on Friday, both fell short of advancing to Saturday's 1,600 relay finals, ending the team’s stay in JeffCo Stadium.

Those final results, however, didn’t do anything to dilute the team’s overall performance at the meet in the eyes of Soroco coach David Bruner.

The Rams’ season is over, but it ended with a flourish.

“We had a great meet,” Bruner said.

Most of that enthusiasm dates from Thursday, when the Rams repeatedly outperformed their seeds and came away with medals in two events. The girls 3,200 relay team sliced eight seconds off its time and set the school record.

On Friday, the team couldn’t do that again, and it would have needed to in order to place in the 1,600 relay.

“I knew yesterday they had to break the school record to medal, and I told them today that’s what it would take to medal again,” Bruner said.

Soroco’s girls entered the meet as the No. 17 seed, and that’s where they finished the race, Hayley Johnson, Josie Rossi, Jessica Rossi and Jaelyn Whaley coming together in the event.

The boys team, with Nic Paxton, Carl Rossi, Micah Gibbons and Chance Beaty, finished 15th after entering with the 18th-fastest time.

“They ran really well,” Bruner said.

Paxton wasn’t able to follow up on his sixth-place finish in Thursday’s triple jump Friday, when he competed in the long jump. He ended up in 14th, leaping 38 feet, 6.5 inches.

“We didn’t come down here in the top nine in anything, but we were still able to take a couple of medals home,” Bruner said. “That’s always good. When you come down here, all you can ask is that the kids get their personal bests in everything, and they did that.”

Hayden senior Savannah Williams wasn’t thrilled with her start to the meet.

She was strong early in the 3,200 but questioned later if she was too strong. She hung in the top nine through the first four laps but gradually slipped back during the next three. She finally solidified her place with a strong final lap, finishing in 13th in 12:54.24.

“I should have run for pace the whole time instead of going for a place at the start,” she said. “It was a rough race. It’s disappointing to come to state four years and not place.”

She’ll get another crack at a medal Saturday in the 1,600.

“I’m excited and hoping I’m going to make some noise,” she said.

Hayden also will have a strong chance at a high finish as Jorge Valdez competes in the high jump.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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