Hard work leads to personal bests and podium finishes for the Summit track and field team in Rifle
Summit girls track team places 4th; boys team places sixth
Following a successful start to the season in Lakewood the week prior, the Summit High School track and field team stayed on the Western Slope for the Rifle High School Invitational on Friday, March 17.
Trying to back up the team’s sixth-place finish at the Ivory Moore “We are Columbine” Invite, the Summit girls track team placed several athletes and relay teams in the top 10 at the Rifle Invitational.
Leading the way for the girls relay teams was the 800-meter sprint medley team, consisting of Shanon Reed, Braelyn Wentworth, Saige Heflin and Faith Fox. The quartet teamed up for a time of 2 minutes, 3.78 seconds, and a third-place podium finish.
The two mid-distance relays — the 4×800-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay — also saw Summit athletes perform well. The 4×800-meter relay team, made up of Adaline Avery, Avery Eytel, Lauren McCalla and Claire Jackson, placed fourth overall with a time of 11:10.95.
Avery, Eytel, and McCalla returned to the track with sophomore Ella Hagen to place fourth in the girls 4×400-meter relay with a time of 4:40.09.
Hagen also competed in two individual events, which she won by a wide margin. In the girls 1,600-meter run, Hagen shaved close to three-tenths of second off her time from last week, running the distance in 5:05.94. The time not only brought Hagen closer to her school-record time of 5:04.71, but also put her ahead of the second-place runner, Coal Ridge High School senior Mikayla Cheney, by close to 15 seconds.
Hagen followed up her success in the 1,600-meter run with a first-place finish in the girls 800-meter run. She once again saw improvement on the season, taking off almost two seconds from her 800-meter time last week. Hagen finished the two-lap race with a time of 2:22.80.
McCalla and Eytel also posted top-10 finishes in the 800-meter run. In her freshman 800-meter debut, McCalla placed third with a time 2:33.52, while Eytel placed 10th with a personal-best time of 2:45.43.
In the girls sprinting and jumping events, Summit was once again led by Fox, freshman Teagan Barth and junior Cami Davis.
In the 400-meter dash, Barth came very close to her time last week, recording a time of 1:07.10. It was fast enough for Barth to place sixth overall, marking the second-highest finish from a freshman in the event.
Fox had a standout day in the 300-meter hurdles. After posting a time of 55.39 seconds in her freshman debut last week, Fox brought her personal best time down to 51.85 seconds.
The nearly four-second improvement was enough for Fox to secure a first-place finish and score several points for the Summit. Davis rounded out the performances for the girls team by placing eighth in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump.
“Spring sports in Summit County are always challenging due to the weather, but the athletes are consistently working hard in practice and staying motivated to improve,” head track and field coach Kristy McClain said of the team’s improvement from last week. “We often practice indoors during the early part of the season — but In just two meets — several athletes have already met or exceeded their personal bests from last season.”
The Summit boys track and field team saw success in about every event at the Rifle Invitational. Leading the way was senior Dom Remeikis in the 1,600-meter and 800-meter runs.
In the the 1,600-meter run, Remeikis and Battle Mountain High School junior Porter Middaugh took spectators back to the fall cross-country season as they engaged in an all-out battle to the finish line. The two stellar distance runners led the field for much of the race, but Middaugh caught Remeikis at the finish line to place first overall with a time of 4:32.28.
Remeikis followed in second place and a time of 4:32.50, improving his 1,600-meter time by over 13 seconds from last week.
Later in the meet, Remeikis got his first-place finish in the 800-meter run. He finished in a time of 2:04.40, beating out Central Grand Junction High School’s Jackson Edwards.
Summit High School football quarterback Jack Schierholz showed off his foot speed in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Schierholz placed third in both events with times of 11.76 seconds and 24.87 seconds, respectively.
Beyond his individual events, Schierholz also helped the Summit 4×100-meter relay team, which also included Liam Dalzell, River McClung, Jackson Archambault. The team place second overall with a time of 45.45 seconds.
Dalzell placed eighth in the 400-meter dash (56.94), Cam Fox placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles (17.15) and McClung placed third in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump.
The girls team placed fourth out of 21 teams with 67 points and the boys team placed sixth out of 20 teams with 53 points.
“The exciting element is that not all of our varsity athletes were able to participate at Rifle, so our team placings should improve even more,” McClain said. “The girls team is in a similar situation. The girls team is motivated to narrow the gap between our score and Battle Mountain’s score throughout the season. The Western Slope League championship meet in May is going to be exciting.”
The Summit track and field team will now travel to Fort Collins on Saturday, March 25, to compete in perhaps the most competitive meet of the season thus far — the 2023 Runners Roost of Fort Collins Invitational.
“Participating in the Front Range meets allows us to see more schools that we will compete against at the state championships,” McClain said. “Competing against more individuals from a variety of schools is a confidence builder for the athletes as we near the second half of the season.”
The meet is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
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