Steamboat’s Congdon doubles up with another state title | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat’s Congdon doubles up with another state title

Steamboat’s Maggi Congdon crosses the finish line ahead of a trio of Peak to Peak competitors to win the 3A 1,600-meter run at the state track meet.

LAKEWOOD — Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Maggi Congdon, again, questioned her chances.

She had let other runners take the lead in the Class 3A girls 1,600-meter run, a different strategy than she'd employed the day before to win a state championship in the 800.

There, she'd led most of the race until she was passed late. She questioned whether she'd be able to respond and even started deciding she'd be content with second place.

Again Saturday, she wondered. She was close after two laps but drifted further back on the third, from second to fifth.

Was it too far? Could she come back?

She decided she might as well try.

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With a furious 500-meter charge, Congdon made up that gap and then some, flying into first place and closing strong to win her second state title in as many days.

"It was everything I had," she said. "I just tried to do as much as I could."

Congdon won the race in 5 minutes, 6.52 seconds ahead of a trio of Peak to Peak runners, Tiana Bradfield in second, Anna Shults in third and Quinn McConnell in fourth.

It was the second half of the race and, especially, the last lap that did it for Corgdon. She ran that final 400 in 1:11.78, 11 seconds faster than her slowest lap – her second.

"I was definitely starting to get a little worried," she said.

The difference, she said, is experience.

A year ago, when she was fourth in the same event, she kicked late but not enough. She’s since learned just how much fuel is in the tank and when she can light the afterburners.

"This year, that's something I've improved on," she said. "I've done a lot of open 400s, so I have a sense of what I can do for 400 and what pace I can hold. Last year, I didn’t know. I'd kick later because I didn’t know, but now, that I know that, I can go this pace and hold it."

Steamboat also got a medal in the event from junior Winter Boese, her second individual medal of the weekend and the second of her career in the 1,600.

The race capped one of the best weekend's for Steamboat track in at least a decade. In addition to Congdon's two state championships, it got another from pole vaulter Eric Casey, as well as a third-place finish from the girls 3,200 relay team.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.