The Summit High School track and field team returned from Grand Junction Saturday after two days of competition at the 4A Western Slope League Championships. Led once again by Tiger senior Liam Meirow and strong efforts from sophomores Ruthie Boyd and McKenna Ramsay, the team contributed a number of strong performances.
“The kids ran smart. Everybody looked really strong,” Tiger coach Kristy McClain said Sunday. “They were 100 percent focused and it certainly paid off for them. I’m impressed by their work ethic.”
The team as a whole contributed six new school records and a handful of podium appearances. Meirow also earned meet MVP honors, based on a vote by 4A coaches.
“To me, Liam had it had it hands down, but for the other coaches to recognize him, that’s a big honor,” McClain said.
The award is based on performance at the league championships, with consideration for sportsmanship and overall season performance.
When reached for comment, Meirow said, “It’s amazing being the one person out of the Western Slope League to be chosen. It’s an honor.”
At the meet he finished first in both the 800 and 3,200 meter. Meirow ran the 3,200 in 9 minutes 40.89 seconds and finished the 800 with a winning time of 1:54.89, topping school records he already held in both. He also contributed to a second-place finish in the 4x400 relay together with teammates Tim Batchelder, Alex Veleta and Nate Martin. The group ran the course in 3:29, also a new school record.
McKenna Ramsay and Ruthie Boyd led the way for the girls team. Ramsay set school records in both the 800 and 200, again topping her own previous records. She finished third in both the girls 800 (2:25.74) and the 200 (26.26). She also took second in the 400 in 59.07. Boyd claimed second in the 3,200 (11:40.97) and the 1,600 (5:27.73). She also finished fourth in the 800 in 2:25.74.
Ramsay and Boyd also contributed a new school record in the girls 4x400 relay together with Megan McDonnel and Jessica Horii. The girls finished third in 4:05.
“The girls team right now is one of the best in the state, and they’re so young too,” Meirow said of his teammates. “In two years they’re going to be twice as good.”
Meirow, Boyd and Ramsay will all compete at the State Championships later this week at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, along with members of the girls 4x400 and 4x800 meter relay teams. Ramsay qualified for the 800 and the 400. Boyd will run in the 3,200. Meirow qualified in the 800, the 1,600 and the 3,200.
McClain believes each of her runners and relay teams has a shot at making the podium at state, and said Meirow even has his sights set on a state record in the 1,600. After clocking a 4:15 earlier this season in the event at the Mullen Invitational, he is currently 3 seconds behind the 4:12 record.
Meirow told the Daily Sunday that he has elected not to compete in the 3,200, in order to focus on the 800 and 1,600.
“I’m going to have to kill myself in order to win. The state race is like every other race combined. That’s how tough it is.”
He said he will be taking a decidedly different strategy to target the state record.
“Instead of racing to win with the pack, I’m going to race against the clock. It’s going to be a battle out there. I hope I come out on top.”
The University of Oklahoma-bound senior already won the state 4A cross country title last October.
As to his running approach he said, “Before the gun goes off, the person that will win is the one who’s worked the hardest. Once the gun goes off the person who will win is the one who wants it the most.”
The CHSAA State Championships will be held this Thursday, May 15, through Saturday, May 17.