Mountain Range’s Autumn Gardner had a memorable day to say the least in the Last Chance track and field meet last Saturday at Adams 12 North Stadium.
Gardner won the high jump with a leap of 5-foot-5. It wasn’t a meet record, but after overcoming injuries this spring - including one sustained in soccer - the senior is happy to be competing at all.
“This is my first meet of the season and I would have been happy just to have cleared five foot,” said Gardner, who can only compete in the high jumps at this point in the year. “But 5-5 is a personal best and it certainly helped to get my confidence back. I’m coming of the pair of injuries and to get the PR is awesome. I was just hoping to go over five feet at this point.”
It was a combination kind of a day for the 16 schools in the field as the boys and girls teams were scored as one. Legacy came through to win the team title with 173.5 points followed by Thornton with 162 and Brighton with 153. There also had to be high hopes for many of the competitors as they tried to gain their state qualifying marks. The league meets are still on the books for next week, so not all hopes are dashed at this point.
Hopes are certainly high for Legacy’s Camren McWee as well. He won the high jump with a 6-foot-3 inch effort and the long jump with a leap of 20-9 1/2. It’s been a short season for McWee, who just happens to hold the North Stadium record in the high jump at 6-6.
“This is only my third meet,” said McWee. “I just wanted to get relaxed, but prepare to get back in the grove. I’m excited to get back. I broke my foot in football but I continued to play on it. I just didn’t know it was that bad.”
Northglenn’s Hannah Murphy is also on the rebound from a broken foot. She didn’t win the shot put but placed third as her heave of 33-10 1/2 was only good for third behind Silver Creek’s Valarie Allman (35-7 3/4) and Brighton’s Deziree Lipsett (35-1).
“I’ve been out for six weeks with a broken foot,” Murphy said. “I was hit by a metal discus. I now just want this one more week and to qualify for state. I’ll need at least a 35-footer to get it done, but I’m becoming confident I can do it.”
Westminster’s Candace Eckels nearly pulled off a triple as she came through to win the girls long jump (16-5) and triple jump (35-1/2). But she had to settle for second in the high jump behind Gardner.
“I feel I could have jumped better in all my events,” Eckels said. “There are last chance meets all over the place and one never knows who is going to step up and have a great day. I got my PR in the triple jump last week at 36-3 and came close to my PR in the long jump. That’s 16-8 1/2 right now.”
The Northglenn boys came through with a pair of nice wins with Jaszen Burbank winning the triple jump and Josh Wedel the discus.
“I was hoping to get a 44-footer today, but you have to be happy with a PR in any case,” Burbank said. “All week long this is what I’ve been thinking about. I don’t think I been this excited for a meet all season like today.”
Wedel had state qualifying on his mind, but despite the win, came up short.
“I want to get it out over 140 as that could get me to state,” said Wedel, who threw 137-05 for the win. “It’s just been hectic lately, but getting a PR today certainly helps the mindset.”
Melanie Nun of Legacy, Kierian Beasley of Mountain Range and Thornton’s Courtney Griego also came up with some nice wins in the girls competition. Nunn won the 1,600 in 5:20.05 beating teammate Emma Gee (5:22.31), while Beasley took her specialty, the 100 hurdles in 16.02. Griego won in the 200 in 26.25.
“It was not my PR in the 1,600,” said Nun, who also placed third in the 800. “I was hoping that Emma and I, running together, could run in the 5:12 range, but it didn’t happen. I’ve run 5:10 in the 1,600, but my desire is to run a sub-5 minutes.”
Griego confessed she also didn’t run her best. She also teamed with Kylee Northway, Emilie Leister and Kristi Wilson to win the sprint medley relay in 1:55.13.
“The 200 is just my favorite race and I just had a really good start,” Griego said. “I’ve already run three 200s today with the relays and I’m just a bit tired. Still, whenever I go the 200s I want everyone to be my best.”
Beasley continued her winning ways with a 16.02 effort in the 100 hurdles.
“That was my best time the 100’s this year,” said Beasley, who also finished third in the 300 hurdles behind Greeley Central’s winning Haley Schroth (48.19) and Legacy’s Christine Emory (48.36). “I just need to keep running hard, don’t worry and don’t get down on myself.”