Soroco’s Rossi, Kelley look elite with state meet days away | SteamboatToday.com

Soroco’s Rossi, Kelley look elite with state meet days away

Austin Colbert

— For most of the spring track and field season, Soroco High School sophomore Mattie Rossi has owned Class 2A's top spot in the girls 100-meter hurdles. Heading into this week’s state meet in Lakewood, however, she'll have at least one person to look up to.

And this is a good thing, according to Soroco coach David Bruner.

"We are going to be a little more comfortable," he said. "That takes a little bit of pressure off of her, which is nice. But it will be exciting. Hopefully, she can run her best time and, like I said, we'll see where the chips fall."

While the official heat sheets didn't come out until Monday, the majority of Soroco's athletes knew Sunday where they sat for state, which begins Thursday. Rossi will be in contention for a state title, her time of 16.04 seconds good for second in the 100-meter hurdles and less than a tenth of a second short of Wray's Alyssa Valko.

Rossi also will compete in the 300-meter hurdles, where she sits fifth. Freshman teammate Chloe Veilleux is 12th in the same event, and Bruner thinks both will have a shot at a podium.

Soroco's best chance at a first individual state champ since 2010, other than Rossi, will come from sophomore Ben Kelley. He will compete in the boys 800-meter relay, 800-meter race and mile. Kelley ranks second in the 2A mile with a time of four minutes, 26.38 seconds. He is fourth in the 800-meter race.

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The boys 800-meter relay team — composed of Harrison Ashley, Cody Reynen, Brandon Veilleux, and Kelley — was officially on the bubble Sunday night, seeded 18th. The top 18 from each event make state.

"We are going to have a good shot, I think, in the 800 to win it. That's where we are kind of putting our chips," Bruner said about Kelley. "He wanted to run in the 4×2 and not the 400. He wanted to run with his team, so that's pretty cool."

The Ram girls are sending four relay teams to state: the 4×100 (Rossi, Morgan George, Cassie Constine, DaKota Bruner), 4×200 (George, Bruner, Cassie Constine, Kali Constine), 4×400 (Briana Peterson, Lucy Carlson, Veilleux, Kali Constine) and sprint medley (George, Rossi, Bruner, Cassie Constine) teams. Two of those teams — the 4×200 and sprint medley — rank in the top 10 in 2A.

"It would be a great meet if we could medal in three of the four," David Bruner said about the relays. "But, I'd be pleased if we medaled in two out of the four. That would be really cool. But I think we got a really good shot to medal in three of them."

Veilleux is also competing in the 800-meter race and mile, both of which she is ranked in the top 10. Junior Morgan George is likely headed to state as an individual in the 100-meter dash; she was sitting on the bubble as of Sunday, but Bruner was confident she is qualified.

Soroco's field athletes at state include Cassie Constine in the triple jump, Kali Constine in both the pole vault and high jump, and Peterson in the shot put.

"As long as we PR, we'll let the chips fall like they fall," Bruner said. "The kids have worked hard and they got the opportunity to bring home a lot of medals and that's what you are going to go down there and try to do."

Steamboat girls relay team gets green light

Outside of unified athletes Jon Ruehle and Cade Rowan, Steamboat Springs High School looked as if it was going to be left out of the state track meet.

That was, until the girls 3,200-meter relay team broke a school record Thursday in Grand Junction, taking them from the 4A state bubble to 12th in the rankings.

"They went way beyond the expectation," SSHS coach Lisa Renee Tumminello said. "They left it all out there. They really did. It was hot. We had traveled all day long. They just really ran their hearts out."

Their school record time of 9:52.79 will send seniors Alex Tumminello, Allison Casey, Kathleen O'Connell and freshman Winter Boese to state. Thursday's school record jaunt was only the second time this group had ever raced together in the 4×800, with Lisa Renee Tumminello thinking the fast surface of Jeff-Co Stadium and the adrenaline of state could lead to the record falling again this week.

Hayden gets one through

While it wasn't official Sunday night, the Hayden High School track and field team thinks it will have at least one athlete in the state meet: freshman Allison Ingols.

Ingols ranks 18th in 2A in the girls triple jump, and should be the Tigers' lone representative at state.

"We are going to have to figure out the best spot for her next year, because she is such a talented track athlete," Hayden coach Pat Moore said. "She'll do really, really well. But, even more than that, to me what is more important is she'll get that first experience, that first taste of state."

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert