As hundreds of athletes and media members, and thousands of fans converge on JeffCo Stadium Thursday through Saturday in Lakewood for the 2019 State Track and Field Championships, Garfield County will be well-represented.
The five schools in the valley (Coal Ridge, Glenwood Springs, Grand Valley, Rifle and Roaring Fork) send 54 athletes to the state championships.
Those 54 athletes will compete in 122 events at JeffCo Stadium during the three-day spectacle.
Coming out of Glenwood, senior sprinter Gavin Olson made school history for the Demons, qualifying in the 100m dash, 200m dash and the 400m dash to become the first male athlete at Glenwood Springs High School to accomplish that feat.
Olson also qualified in the 4x200m relay and the 4x400m relay. The senior will not run the 400m dash, according to head coach Blake Risner, allowing him to focus on the 4x400m relay as the Demons push for a state relay championship.
Aside from Olson’s historic accomplishment, arguably the best track athlete at Glenwood Springs — senior Sequoia Kellogg — qualified for an astounding seven events. Kellogg recorded qualifying marks in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, the triple jump, the high jump, 4x400m relay, 4x200m relay, and 800m sprint medley relay.
Much like Olson, Kellogg will lighten her workload at the state meet and will focus on just the 100m and 300m hurdles, the high jump and the 4x400m relay.
Joining Kellogg at the state meet for the Glenwood girls are senior Emily Worline, senior Payten Spencer, junior Hadley Yellico, sophomore Sophia Vigil and freshmen Emma Barsness and Ella Johnson.
Worline qualified in the 4x400m relay, the 4x800m relay and the 800m sprint medley; she’ll compete in all three events.
Spencer held down the field events all season for the Demon girls and heads to the state meet to compete in the pole vault and the discus, while Yellico will run in the 4x400m relay and the 800m sprint medley relay for Glenwood.
Vigil earned a surprise berth in the 400m dash for Glenwood, giving her four qualification marks. The sophomore qualified in the 4x400m relay, the 4x800m relay and the 800m sprint medley, but will drop the sprint medley for the state meet.
Barsness and Johnson are making their state championship debuts for Glenwood. The freshman duo qualified in the 4x800m relay and will run with Vigil and Worline at JeffCo Stadium.
For the Glenwood Springs boys, seniors Bryce Risner and Wyatt Ewer join Olson with five qualifying marks each in 4A. Risner qualified in the 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles, the high jump, and the 4x200m and 4x400m relays. The senior, a Northern Colorado commit, will focus on the 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles, the high jump, and the 4x400m relay this week for the Demons.
Ewer also qualified in the 110m hurdles and 300m hurdles as the senior duo pushed each other in the events all season long, and in the triple jump, and the 4x200m and 4x400m relays. He’ll drop the 4x200m relay for the state meet to focus on the four other events.
Kuba Bartnik qualified in four events for Glenwood, highlighted by a late addition in the 100m dash. Prior to the late qualification in the 100m dash, Bartnik qualified in the 200m dash, and 4x200m and 4x400m relays. The junior will drop the 4x200m relay at the state meet.
Seniors Gavin Harden and Henry Barth both qualified in the 3200m, as the duo traded school records this season and should have a strong shot at a podium finish in the 4A two-mile event. Harden also qualified in the 1600m for the Demons.
In field events, Jacob Wolf qualified in the pole vault for Glenwood, while AJ Adams will compete in the high jump at JeffCo Stadium.
The Rifle Bears track and field program had a resurgent year this spring under head coach Chris Bomba and will send an impressive 17 athletes to the 3A state track and field championships later this week.
Under Bomba, 10 girls qualified for the state meet, while seven boys locked down state championship bids.
The girls are led by junior Mackenzie Elizardo, who qualified in four events for the Bears. Elizardo will compete in the 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m relays, as well as the pole vault in the three-day championship.
Junior Delaney Phillips also qualified in four events for Rifle. The sprinter will compete in the 100m dash, 200m dash, 400m dash and the 800m sprint medley for the Bears.
Joining Elizardo and Phillips with multiple state championship bids are Ashley Manera, Amanda Green, Hope Kehr, Halie Holmes, Maddy Valencia and Jamie Caron.
Valencia set the school record in the triple jump this season and will push for a podium finish in the 3A event, while also competing the 4x100m relay and the 800m sprint medley in Lakewood. Manera qualified in the pole vault and the 4x400m and 4x800m relays for Rifle, while Green qualified in the pole vault, and the 4x200m and 4x400m relays.
Holmes will compete in the 4x100m and 4x200m relays and the 800m sprint medley, while Kehr will compete in the same events with Holmes. Caron will compete in the 4x400m and 4x800m relays in her first-ever track season.
Karissa Coombs and Emily Demann qualified in one event each for the Rifle girls, with Coombs competing in the 4x800m relay, while Demann will compete in the pole vault.
For the Rifle boys, senior Dalton Pruett leads the way with a qualification in four events. Pruett will compete in the 100m dash, 200m dash, and the 4x100m and 4x200m relays. The speedy senior will be joined by senior Tanner Vines, who qualified in three events. The former football standout will compete in the 100m dash, and the 4x100m and 4x200m relays with Pruett.
Embrey Marantino will also run with Pruett and Vines in the 4x100m and 4x200m relays, while Bryce Schanche will compete in the 400m dash for Rifle.
In field events, Duke Brady qualified in the discus and the shot put for the Bears, while Andrew Borrego will compete with Brady in the discus.
COAL RIDGE TITANS
Despite missing out on the 3A Western Slope League championship sweep for the first time in a few years, the Coal Ridge Titans saw 17 athletes qualify for the 3A state championship, tying Rifle for the most qualified athletes in Garfield County.
Leading the charge for the Titans on the girls side are senior Kara Morgan and freshman Peyton Garrison, who qualified for four events each.
Morgan, in her final go-around with the Titans, qualified in the high jump, and the 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m relays, while Garrison, who burst onto the scene this spring as a freshman sensation, qualified in the 100m dash, 200m dash, and the 4x100m and 4x200m relays.
Joining Morgan and Garrison with qualifications in multiple events are Phoebe Young, Mary Bolitho, Ari Cornejo and Natalie Smythe.
Young qualified in the pole vault, the 4x100m relay and the 800m sprint medley relay; Bolitho qualified in the 4x100m, 4x200m and the 800m sprint medley relays; Smythe qualified in the 4x400m and the 800m sprint medley relays; and, Cornejo qualified in the 4x200m and 800m sprint medley relays.
Marin Simons, Taylor Wiescamp, Taylor Roberts, Alyssa Wenzel and Maren Hough all qualified in one event each for the Titan girls. Simons qualified in the high jump, while Roberts and Wiescamp qualified in the shot put. Wenzel and Hough will run in the 4x400m relay for Coal Ridge.
For the Titan boys, sophomore Moises Contreras qualified in three events to lead the boys team. Contreras will compete in the 100m dash, 4x100m relay, and the 4x400m relay. Colby Hoffman and Jordan Grant qualified in two events each for the Titans, as Hoffman will compete in the pole vault and the 4x400m relay, while Grant will compete in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
Hayden Reeder, Jack Price and Gustavo Archila qualified in one event each for the Titans. Price and Reeder will compete in the 4x100m relay, while Archila will anchor the 4x400m relay for the Titans.
GRAND VALLEY CARDINALS
The Grand Valley Cardinals will send four girls to the 3A state championships and will send two other relay teams to Lakewood.
Standouts Shaya Chenoweth and Jordyn Pittman will compete in two events each for the Cardinals, as Chenoweth will run in the 100m dash and will push for a podium in the long jump. Pittman will also run in the 100m and 400m events.
Hurdlers Ryley Sackett and Alex Mendoza also head to the state championships, where they’ll compete in the 300m event. Sackett will also compete in the triple jump, and the Cardinals will send 4x100m and 4x200m relay teams.
ROARING FORK RAMS
One year after seeing a number of podium finishes in field events, the Roaring Fork Rams will send just two athletes to the state championships. Freshman Lily Nieslanik will compete in three events for the girls, while senior Ronald Clemente will compete in one event for Roaring Fork.
Clemente will run in the 800m in 3A, while Nieslanik will compete in a loaded 100m dash, as well as the 200m dash and the long jump for the Rams, under head coach Ryan Erickson.
The state championships open up Thursday morning at 8 a.m. as the 3A and 4A 3200m runs kick-start the three-day championships in Lakewood.