DENVER – Telluride may not have a proper track, or even favorable springtime weather in which a track and field team can practice, yet that didn’t stop members of the high school team from taking home state championship medals last weekend at the 2A State Track Meet in Denver.
This year, THS qualified two relay teams state, a feat in and of itself considering the team’s roster isn’t as deep as most. The girls’ teams, comprised of strong all-around athletes Hannah Krieg, Nicole Goldsworthy, Emy Ludwig, and Josephine Bush, pushed hard all weekend – exiting the fray toting a silver medal.
In the sprint medley relay coach Keith Hampton said he originally thought the team could improve their time of 1:58.11 posted at regionals to around 1:56 – a time that could put the three freshmen and one senior into the top five.
Going into the meet seeded ninth out of 16 teams, getting into the top five seemed a tough yet attainable goal, and the girls delivered. In their preliminary race on Thursday, they ran what Hampton called “an incredible race,” finishing with a time of 1:54.40, which won the heat and placed them second going into the final on Friday.
Friday’s race pitted very closely matched teams against each other. At the last baton handoff to anchor runner Bush the team was comfortably in fourth place, but anyone who has watched Bush compete knows this is a girl who doesn’t like to be behind. Bush was patient in her first 200 meters, holding the team’s position while gaining on the leaders. With the finish line in sight, Bush passed two girls to secure her team’s second place finish.
The girls’ team also qualified for the finals in the 4x100 meter relay, finishing with the sixth fastest time of the day in the preliminaries (52.99) and catapulting them into the final. As Hampton explained, “Running in the outside lane is always tough because you don’t see anyone until the final straight. The kids just have to go like crazy!”
With Krieg running her best leg of the weekend (13.85) and Goldsworthy taking the stick to fly down the backstretch and into fourth place overall, Telluride looked poised for a top three repeat. A cross-up between Goldsworthy and Ludwig cost the team nearly a second, and by the time Bush got the baton Telluride was in ninth place with no chance to catch up. “The 4 x100 meter is a race of speed and split second timing – unfortunately, the handoffs don’t always go as planned. The girls were psyched to get on the podium with a finish of ninth in the state; however, they were also disappointed because they knew they could have been better,” Hampton said.
Bush also qualified for state in the 200 meter race after winning the regional title the weekend prior. In Thursday’s preliminary, Bush had already run two races and was fatigued before her solo event even started. Still that didn’t stop her from posting a personal best of 27.61 and making it into the finals seeded ninth. Bush finished the weekend with an eighth place medal in the 200 meters, which Hampton commended as an “incredible feat” as a freshman.
Telluride’s sole male competitor, Colten Rogers, qualified for the 3,200 meter by taking third place in the regional meet. Rogers was in striking distance at the mile marker, sitting in eighth place with a time of 5:08, but the select group of the state’s best runners turned up the heat in the final stretch and Rogers slipped out of podium positioning, finishing in 11th place. Hampton said he is confident Rogers, who is a sophomore, will be able to take his state meet experiences this year into a higher realm of competition next year.