There may not be a Summit High athlete competing at this week’s state championship meet, but that doesn’t mean the Tigers’ final meet of the season wasn’t a success.
In the girls high jump, Summit senior Emma Howard tied the school record with a jump of 5 feet at this past weekend’s Rangeview Raider Last Chance Qualifier at Aurora Stadium. She now shares the record with former Tiger Chrissy Watson, who jumped the same distance in 1985. Summit head coach Kristy McClain said the school-record achievement is something Howard’s been aiming for all season. Howard’s mark earned her a third-place finish in the event at the Last Chance meet.
“She’s been working diligently all spring to get there,” McClain said. “She was just a half-inch off of making the state meet, but after she jumped 5 feet, she was just so happy. It was fun to see how excited she was and how proud of herself she was. That has been a goal of her’s for a long time.”
The Tigers’ lone victory at the Last Chance meet came from senior, Noelle Resignolo. Resignolo won the girls 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes and 23.26 seconds, her fastest of the season.
“She gave it her all to try to make that state meet, but we were about 2 seconds short,” McClain said. “But she was very pleased with herself that she ran her best of the season and she ran the perfect race. We talked about how she needed to run a sub-70-second first quarter and then just hang on and give it her all in the second quarter. I remember she came through at 66 seconds for her first 400 (meters), and that was amazing. And then she ran a 76 (seconds) for the second 400. But it was a great race, I was so proud of her, and she couldn’t have run it any better if she wanted to.”
Howard and Resignolo’s placements spurred the Tigers’ eighth-place finish of the 25 teams in the girls competition in Aurora. Howard’s success wasn’t limited to the high jump, as she took fifth in the triple jump (32 feet, 0.5 inches) and sixth in the long jump (15 feet, 5 inches).
“We’ve never had anybody place in those three consistently like that,” McClain said. “That’s a hard thing to do. You think about the muscles and how much strength it takes to do those jumps in the first place. And to do all of them at a meet, is stupendous.”
McClain was also excited that all of Summit’s 400-meter runners in Aurora, both boys and girls, set personal records in the 400. One of those runners was departing senior Chris Rohlf, a veteran leader for the boys side who teamed with underclassmen Sam Burke, Paul Hans and Jeremiah Vaille in the 4×800-meter relay in Aurora. The 800-meter foursome earned a fifth-place finish with a time of 9:18.18. The junior Vaille also excelled in the 3,200-meter run, as his time of 10:32.29, which was a personal record, secured him a fourth-place finish, ahead of Burke, who earned the team points with his eighth-place time of 10:45.88.
“Two weeks ago at leagues (Vaille) had a 17-second personal best in the 3,200,” McCLain said. “And he took another 5 seconds off of it at this last meet. He just looked great and, again, he’s another one of the hard-working athletes who has been so focused on getting that time down. And he did it.”
The Tigers also nearly set a school record in the girls 4X100-meter relay. Led by senior sprinter Cashema Hemans, the Tigers’ time of 52.36 was just 0.02 seconds off the school record. Hemans was joined in the relay by Bryton Ferrari, Hunter Stimson and Anna Confer.
“Maybe next year we’ll get that,” McClain said. “But, just like Chris (Rohlf), Cashema will also be missed. She’s our fastest sprinter that we have.”
Baseball closes with a win
After the Steamboat Springs Sailors came back in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat the Summit High School varsity baseball team 16-15 on Tuesday evening, the Tigers easily could have packed it in and called it a campaign.
With just seven more innings standing between them and the end of the season, though, the Tigers settled back in to defeat the Sailors on the road by the score of 7-3 to enter the offseason riding high on a resounding victory.
“We just turned our focus up, turned it around,” Summit coach Patrick Stehler said. “The kids threw away everything that happened in the first game and flat-out worked harder and got the win.”
Stehler said the Tigers received a team-wide offensive outburst in that second game of the doubleheader to defeat the Sailors. The win gave Summit two victories over its final four games of the season after they also split a doubleheader with Battle Mountain on Saturday in Edwards. For a young team with just one departing senior, a 2-2 end to the season over the final four games gives the Tigers something positive to grow from at the end of a 7-16 campaign that was chock full of lessons learned.
“They are starting to come together a little more and understand what it takes to be a winning team,” Stehler said. “Really it comes down to experience, just being in that situation. In those competitive games — three of the four last games were all one-run games — having that drive to go ahead and finish a game strong, it’s not something you can teach. It’s something you have to be a part of to understand.”
The highlight of the season-ending victory for the Tigers came when the team’s lone senior, Andrew Reynolds, came on in relief. Reynolds gave up zero runs and struck out two of the final six batters to close the game for Summit after sophomore pitcher Zach Misch only gave up three earned runs to just two Sailors hits. Misch also struck out five Steamboat batters in five innings on the mound.
“He was definitely someone they look up to,” Stehler said of Reynolds’ value this season as a team leader. “Just all-around a good kid and the world is going to be a much better place with him out in it. He was our center fielder throughout the entire season. He did a terrific job out there. He’s pitched sparingly this season, mainly in short relief situations. But when he was called upon, he did a great job.”