Nine athletes poised to represent Summit High School at state track and field meet
Meet will begin Thursday morning with Hagen, Remeikis and Shriver competing in the 3200-meter run
After more than 11 weeks of dedication, preparation and consistent hard work, the Summit High School track and field team has qualified five individual athletes and three relay teams to this week’s Class 4A Colorado State Track and Field Championships at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.
The team’s coaches believe this is the most state championship appearances in Summit High School track and field history, with nine different athletes set to attend the three-day meet to compete in at least one event.
Among the state meet rookies are two freshmen, Faith Fox and Lauren McCalla, who will lead the way competing in four separate events. Despite not having any prior experience at the state level, both Fox and McCalla have learned a lot over the course of their first high school track season.
Fox has seen drastic improvement from the beginning of the track season. At the start of the season, she ran 55.39 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles and 19.42 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles. She’s chopped off a fair amount of time in both events since.
“The beginning of the season was definitely a rough start because I had events that I hadn’t done too often before,” Fox said. “With having Coach Jay and my brother (Cam), who has already done hurdles over the last few years, it has been a big help in getting up to where I am now.”
The improvement not only exposed Fox to stiffer competition, but it also helped her shatter Signe Rockne’s 300-meter hurdles school record at the Western Slope League Championships, where she ran her record-breaking time of 47.33 seconds. She recorded a time of 16.83 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles at the same meet.
As a result of her steady improvement, Fox qualified for the state meet in the 300-meter hurdles and 100-meter hurdles. She will also run relay legs for the Tigers’ 4×400-meter and 4×800-meter relays.
The prospect of running four events at the state championships is enough to induce fear in almost anyone, but Fox is heading into the state meet feeling confident in her abilities to compete against mostly older competition.
“I feel very, very confident coming in because I feel like I have worked very hard this season, and I believe that I can podium if I push hard enough,” Fox said.
In order to make the podium in her two individual events, Fox has to finish within the top nine athletes out of prelims, something she has a fair chance at doing. She is currently ranked 17th in the 100-meter hurdles and seventh in the 300-meter hurdles.
Beyond performing to the best of her ability, Fox also hopes to enjoy her first trip to the state track meet and soak up the time with her teammates.
“I would really like to be there for my team, and I would like our team to podium as well,” Fox said. “I just want to go there. I am really happy that I get to go to the state meet and get to run.”
Fox will begin competition on Thursday morning when she competes in the 100-meter hurdles prelims before running a leg in the 4×800-meter finals later in the day. Fox will then run in the 300-meter hurdles and 4×400-meter relay preliminaries on Friday.
If all things go as planned, Fox has the potential to race in three finals on Saturday.
McCalla may have fewer preliminary races to go through than Fox, but she will still be super busy over the course of her first state track meet. McCalla will start the meet by racing in the 4×800-meter relay on Thursday before racing in the 800-meter final and the 4×400-meter prelims on Friday afternoon.
On Saturday, McCalla will attempt to finish within the top 15 in the girls 1,600-meter run before possibly racing in the 4×400-meter finals later in the day.
McCalla also qualified for the 3,200-meter run, but she scratched the event in order to focus on the relays and her individual events. McCalla is ranked 18th in the 800 and 11th in the 1,600 heading into the state meet.
Sophomore Josh Shriver will also be making his debut in an individual event at the state track meet.
Shriver went into the final week of the regular season without a state-qualifying mark, but he was able to drop a huge 8-second improvement on his personal best in the 3,200-meter run at the HOKA St. Vrain Invitational on May 12 in order to secure his trip to the state championships.
Shriver will hit the track on Thursday morning as the 16th overall seed (9:37.68), joining a state meet veteran, senior Dom Remeikis, who is ranked 11th in the event (9:33.73).
Remeikis is heading into this year’s meet with much more experience than last season when he made his debut at the state track meet as a junior and placed 11th in the 800-meter run (1:57.65).
Unlike last season, Remeikis will compete in all three distance events while also lending his hand to the Summit 4×800-meter team alongside Shriver.
Remeikis has the potential of finishing on the podium in the top nine in every individual event of which he is entered. He will run an individual event each day of the meet, with the 3,200-meter run taking place Thursday, the 800-meter run taking place Friday and the 1,600-meter run rounding out the weekend on Saturday afternoon.
Remeikis — who recently committed to the Air Force Academy for both school and running — is coming into the state meet ranked eighth in the 800 and 1,600 while being ranked 11th in the 3,200-meter run.
The 1,600 meter run will be the final opportunity for Remeikis to square off against Battle Mountain High School’s Will Brunner and Porter Middaugh, both of whom beat Remeikis at the Western Slope League meet on May 6.
Last but not least, sophomore Ella Hagen will make her return to the Colorado state and track meet after placing sixth in the 1,600-meter run and third in the 3,200-meter run as a freshman.
Hagen — who won the 4A state cross-country meet back in October — has improved a lot over the last year. She has moved up in the national ranks, set new school records and is now looking to capture her first individual state title.
Hagen qualified in four individual distance events, but she has chosen to focus on the 3,200, 1,600 and Summit’s two relay teams at this year’s state championships.
She will face stiff competition in all of her events, but she has the potential of walking away from the weekend with two more individual titles to her name. Hagen is ranked second in the 3,200 and fifth in the 1,600.
The 4A girls 3,200- and 1,600-meter runs are bound to be must-watch events as Hagen will square off against a horde of nationally ranked girls from Niwot, including freshman Addison Ritzenhein, the daughter of Dathan Ritzenhein, a former American record holder in the 5,000-meters and three-time Olympian.
Freshman Carter Niemkiewicz, sophomore Will Bentley, sophomore Avery Eytel and freshman Teagan Barth will all also attend the state meet as members of the 4×800 or 4×400-meter relay teams.
The boys 4×800-meter relay team is currently seeded 12th, and the girls 4×800 and 4×400 relay teams are seeded 10th.
The Summit Daily News will provide coverage of all three days of the state track and field meet. To follow along, visit SummitDaily.com or the Summit Daily’s Facebook page.
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