Fast times at Summit High: Jack Schierholz sprints his way to new school record; team wins meet
Team wins meet titles
For many track and field coaches across the country, the scariest part of the season is not the week leading up to state. Rather, it’s during spring break because athletes could choose to relax and let their hard-earned fitness drift away.
Summit High School track and field coaches appeared to have nothing to worry about over the weeklong break from school and mandatory practices since the team rose to the top of the competition at the Steamboat Springs Track and Field Invitational on Saturday, April 29.
Summit not only finished first in the team ranks by a wide margin, but also the team continued to break school records, earned several new personal bests and secured a few more spots in the Class 4A state rankings.
Summit dominated in just about every aspect of the meet. The boys team earned 141 points to beat out Steamboat Springs High School by 14.5 points. The girls team scored 150 points to top Rangely High School by 43 points.
Two of the most impressive performances of the meet came from the Summit boys 4×800-meter relay team and senior Jack Schierholz.
With senior Dom Remeikis, sophomore Josh Shriver, freshman Carter Niemkiewicz and sophomore Will Bentley making up the distance relay’s four legs, the team raced extremely strong and finished in a time of 8 minutes, 17.32 seconds for first place overall.
“It was super exciting,” Remeikis said. “I think everyone was thrilled to have that. We really weren’t expecting to run as fast as we did. We had goals we wanted to hit, and I think everyone exceeded those goals.”
The time beat out Steamboat Springs in second by nearly 25 seconds, shooting the team to eighth place in the Class 4A state rankings and came within three seconds of beating Summit’s school record time in the event from 1992.
“For us to go run a good time down in Steamboat and basically time trial it with no competition was really motivating,” Remeikis said. “It excites everyone for the future and running it at state. I think it was an incredible race and probably one of the favorites I have ran all season.”
All four relay runners went on to back up their performances in the 800-meter run, where Remeikis floated to a first-place finish in a season best time of 1:57.06. The time moves Remeikis up to sixth in the Class 4A state rankings, which is presumed to be enough to get him into the state meet where the top 18 Class 4A athletes compete in each event. Shriver placed third in 2:10.18, Bentley placed fourth in 2:12.74 and Niemkiewicz finished in fifth in 2:14.48.
Shriver and Niemkiewicz also raced in the 1600-meter run where both managed to finish within the top three. Shriver ran a personal-best time of 4:34.01 for second place, and Niemkiewicz came within seconds of his personal-best time and ran 5:06.72 for third place.
In the 3200-meter run, freshman Cain Steinweg showed off his burgeoning aerobic engine by running 11:14.77 for first place overall. Steinweg won the race by over 200 meters. Dean Ratcliff finished in 12:00.02.
Outside of the boys distance events, senior Jack Schierholz shined bright in the sprinting events where he was able to earn a first-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.41 seconds.
The performance was remarkable especially considering that Schierholz started decelerating about 10-meters early, thinking that start of the relay exchange zone was the finish line. Despite failing to accelerate all the way through the line, Schierholz’s performance was still enough for the multisport star to reset the school record in the event. He beat out Chevoy Hemans who ran 11.42 seconds during the 2017 season.
After a spectacular fall football season and leading the boys basketball team in the winter, Schierholz feels proud to etch his name to an individual event in the Summit track and field record books.
“It was just exciting because I have been close the last few weeks,” Schierholz said. “I ran 11.43 twice before that meet. It was challenging going through those few weeks without having the record, but once I finally got it, it was just so relieving. Hopefully the next meet I can really shatter it because I think if I really finish through the that line, I could’ve dropped it by 2/10 of a second.”
Schierholz now has the school record in the 100-meter dash and the boys 4×100-meter relay, which he helped set a few weeks ago.
Schierholz rounded out his standout day with a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash (53.70).
Senior Liam Dalzell also earned a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash and then bounced back to finish in second in the 400-meter dash (53.14).
In the jumping events, senior River McClung backed up his school record breaking performances from before spring break with a second-place finish in the long jump (19 feet, 10.20 inches) and a fifth-place finish in the triple jump (38 feet, 9.50 inches).
The Summit girls track and field team also dominated in the distance events. Sophomore Ella Hagen showed off her short-end speed and won both the 400-meter dash (1:00.98) and 800-meter run (2:24.33).
In both events, Hagen was quickly followed by her teammates. Freshman Lauren McCalla placed second (1:01.88) in the 400-meter dash, sophomore Cecelia Miner placed second in the 800-meter run (2:39.53) and sophomore Avery Eytel placed third (2:43.51.)
Eytel went on to win the 1600-meter run in 6:12.14 while freshman Claire Jackson placed third (6:19.78) in her high school 1600-meter debut.
The Summit girls team really racked up points in the relay events with four relays placing first overall. The Summit 4×200, 800-meter sprint medley relay, 4×400 and 4×800 all placed first overall while the Summit 4×100 placed second.
Rounding out the performances for Summit, freshman Sage Heflin placed third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 28.40 seconds, and freshman Hailey Russer placed fourth in 28.68 seconds.
Heflin also placed second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.77 seconds.
The Summit track and field team is now two weeks out from the 4A state track and field meet from May 18-20 at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.
With the season quickly coming to a close, athletes will try to shore up more state qualifiers or secure their spot in the state meet at the 4A Western Slope League meet from Friday, May 5, to Saturday, May 6, in Grand Junction.
“I am looking forward to throwing down a few more good times down before the season wraps up” Remeikis said. “Hopefully I will get a few more qualifiers for the 3200 and the 1600. I also think we have a shot at qualifying a 4×400 team. League is always great — especially in Grand Junction — because it is about as low as you can get in Colorado and there is definitely some great competition.”
After competing at leagues, Summit will have three meets in the span of two days before the Class 4A state track meet the following week.
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