Record-breaking Sailors aim for state
May 16, 2017
2017 state qualifiers
800, 10th, 2:21.15
1600, 8th, 5:22.62
800, 11th, 2:22.25
1600, 4th, 5:14.02
3200, 18th, 12:31.18
4×800 relay, 7th, 10:10.83
Pole vault, 8th, 12-3
High jump, 14th, 5-11
1600, 3rd, 5:27.08
800, 4th, 2:24.6
3200, 4th, 11:44.09
300 hurdles, 7th, 49.38
100 hurdles, 1st, 15.93
300 hurdles, 1st, 47.35
200, 14th, 27.37
Triple jump, 8th, 33-0.75
Sprint medley, 8th, 1:55.46
4×200 relay, 9th, 1:51.63
4×100 relay, 7th, 52.59
800, 1st, 1:56.81
1600, 1st, 4:23.47
3200, 6th, 10:15.89
High jump, 1st, 6-6
High jump, 15th, 5-8.5
High jump, 15th, 5-8
Pole fault, 11th, 10-2
800, 1st, 2:18.44
High jump, 11th, 4-11
4×400 relay, 11st, 4:23.52
Sprint medley, 9th, 1:55.66
100, 18th, 11.67
800, 16th, 2:04.42
1600, 18th, 4:48.78
Steamboat Springs — There was a time track and field was the bread and butter of Steamboat Springs High School sports, and that's reflected in the large displays near the school's gymnasium that show the school's official track records.
They date as far back as 1975. There's been only one recorded in the past 10 years, and that one, from the girls 3,200-meter relay team, hasn't been adjusted on the board yet.
The vast majority date from the 1980s and 1990s, an era when the Sailors were king of the track hill, winning boys state championships five times between 1975 and 1991 and a girls championship in 1995.
The records board is going to need a little updating, however. Two Steamboat runners — Maggi Congdon in the 1,600-meter run and Winter Boese in the 800 — beat those marks this year.
Now, the pair will aim to improve on those times at the state track meet in Lakewood, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday. The pair will help lead the way for the largest contingent the Sailors' track program has qualified to state in more than a decade.
The squad may not be on the verge of a team state championship, but Steamboat track is back.
"I feel like track is always overlooked, and when people see, oh, they're breaking records and going to state, they're surprised," Congdon said.
"More people are joining, because they're hearing about track," said Isabelle Boniface, who will run in the 3,200 this weekend. "It's still super fun, but now, it's super fun, and it's getting competitive."
Steamboat, in Class 4A in recent seasons, will compete in Class 3A this year, and it will do so with six athletes in six different events.
Several are right at the top of the heap. Congdon enters with the fourth-best time in the 1,600 and the 11th-best time in the 800. Boese will compete in the 800, where she's set at 10th, and the 1,600, where she's eighth.
Congdon broke a 1,600 meter record set in 1992 by Sara Wittingham. Congdon did it in 5:14.02, five seconds faster than Wittingham's 5:19.79.
Boese's 800 time of 2:21.15 outpaced the 2004 time of Tara King, 2:21.70.
The top-18 athletes in each of the state's five classifications qualify for the state meet, and Boniface was initially on the outside looking in for the 3,200, ranked 21st in 3A.
Several of the athletes in front of her scratched, however, and she made the cut in 18th.
"I found out I was in, and it was really exciting," she said. "I hope to do as good as possible and really take ahold of the chance I was given."
Those distance runners will also take part in the 3,200 relay. The fourth member of that group was injured earlier in the season, so now, the trio will be joined by either Kari Saunders and Annika Malacinski, both sprinters being hurriedly stretched out for the long race.
Steamboat had several boys make the cut, as well, including Eric Casey, who will challenge for a medal in pole vault. He's entering the meet in eighth, having cleared 12 feet, 3 inches.
Dawson Lindquist also is in, making it in high jump. He has cleared 5-11, which puts him in a six-way tie for 14th place.
"As a freshman, it's pretty great," Lindquist said. "Making state was my goal."
Ready to run, rain or shine
The Colorado High School Activities Association had some advice for athletes and fans heading to Lakewood for the state track meet: Bring something warm and waterproof.
The same storm system expected to threaten snow in Steamboat Thursday and Friday could bring similar conditions to the Front Range.
"The only feasible way to deal with this number of schools and kids is to say, 'You’re here, and you’re going to get in as much as you can while you can.' And then, we will continue as soon as the next availability allows,” CHSAA commissioner Paul Angelico said in a CHSAA news release. "We don’t have any other viable options than to move ahead, as planned. We have to get as many events in as we can when we can."
If there's no other choice, some events could be pushed to Sunday, but before that, athletes better be prepared to run in conditions more akin to the start of their season in March in the mountains than the end of May on the Front Range.