Summit track and field team braves wind at Erie Twilight Invitational; places 10th in team rankings
Ella Hagen and Josh Shriver place first in the 3200-meter run
Following an unexpected week off from competing, the Summit High School track and field team returned to the track for the Erie Tiger Twilight Invitational in the early afternoon and evening hours of Friday, March 31.
Even though the Summit track and field team did not get to compete at last week’s Runners Roost of Fort Collins Invitational — due to the meet being pushed a day ahead because of impending weather — the team still got its chance to compete against several competitive Front Range track teams at the Erie Twilight Invitational.
Despite extremely gusty windy conditions throughout the running of the meet, Summit recorded several impressive finishes and set new personal bests which helped the team to place 10th in the final team rankings.
Leading the way for the Summit track and field team was sophomore Ella Hagen who over the last few track meets has been inching her way to new personal best times in the 800-meter and 1600-meter runs.
This week in Erie, Hagen ran the first 3200-meter run of her sophomore track season. After running a school-record time of 10 minutes, 50.05 seconds at the 4A state track and field meet last spring, Hagen looked to test her fitness in the event in the early part of the 2023 outdoor track season.
The wind may have slowed down Hagen a bit, but it did not stop the standout distance runner from crossing the finish line in first place for the third meet in a row. Hagen finished in a time of 11:06.87, a full minute ahead of second place.
Junior Adaline Avery followed Hagen in sixth place with a time of 13:23.42.
Freshman Lauren McCalla also placed within the top five in the girls 1600-meter run. McCalla placed first in her heat and third overall with a time of 5:36.24 to set a new personal best in the event. Cecelia Miner followed McCalla in 13th place with a time of 6:13.60.
Later in the evening, Miner went on to place 10th overall in the girls’ 800-meter run with a time of 2:57.02.
Similar to Summit’s first two meets of the season, the Summit girls’ track and field team had several impressive finishes from its relay teams. Led by the powerful running of McCalla, Shannon Reed, Braelyn Wentworth and Saige Heflin the Summit 800-meter sprint medley relay team placed fourth overall at the meet with a time of 2:02.75.
The Summit girls’ track and field team also produced two ninth-place finishes in the 4×200-meter relay and the 4×100-meter relay.
In the 300-meter hurdles, freshman Faith Fox placed seventh with a time of 54.11 seconds while Cami Davis placed 11th in the triple jump with a mark of 29 feet, 7 inches. Hailey Russer rounded out the events for the Summit girls’ track and field team by placing 10th in the girls’ 200-meter dash (29.59).
The Summit girls’ track and field team finished with 32 points for 10th place out of 24 teams.
The Summit boys track and field team was led by senior Jack Schierholz and sophomores Will Bentley and Josh Shriver.
Schierholz — who also plays baseball in the spring for Summit High School — sprinted his way to a fourth-place overall finish in the boys’ 100-meter dash (11.43 seconds) and a 10th-place finish in the 200-meter dash (24.24 seconds).
Schierholz went on to lend his hand to the boys’ 4×100-meter relay. With help from Jackson Archambault, River McClung and Liam Dalzell the team placed seventh overall with a time of 46.04 seconds.
McClung also competed in the boys’ triple jump where he placed fourth with a best mark of 39 feet, 11.50 inches
Bentley and Shriver led the Summit boys’ distance events by placing within the top 10 in the 800, 1600 and 3200.
In the boys’ 1600-meter run, sophomore Will Bentley made his high school track debut by placing sixth overall in the event. Bentley kicked hard over the last lap of the race but just narrowly missed dipping under the five-minute-mile barrier and finished in a time of 5:00.56.
Bentley finished out a huge day of running by placing fifth in the 800-meter run (2:13.83).
After missing the first few meets of the season due to an ongoing soft tissue injury in his hip, Shriver led the boys’ 3200-meter run pretty much from the starter’s gun to the finish line.
“I have maybe done two-speed workouts in the last five months and one of them was on Tuesday,” Shriver said. “I really had no idea where I would be heading into this race, I just wanted to give myself a chance and trust my cross-training.”
Shriver’s Nordic skiing sessions and other forms of cross-training over the last few weeks paid off on Friday night as the brazen display of front running not only resulted in a first-place finish for Shriver but also improved his personal best time in the event to 10:16.82.
The new personal best time is over 16 seconds better than what Shriver ran last season as a freshman.
“My running kind of took a turn downhill at the end of the year last year,” Shriver said. “To see this result as my first race back — and still with what I consider a decent time under those conditions — it meant a lot to me to see that the ball was already rolling.”
Junior Cam Fox concluded the action for Summit with a 13th-place finish in the boys’ 110-meter hurdles (17.38).
The Summit boys track and field team concluded the meet with 31 points to also place 10th out of 24 teams.
The Summit track and field team will compete again at the David S. D’Evelyn Invitational on Saturday, April 8 in Lakewood. The meet is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at Jefferson County Stadium.
“Hopefully we qualify a 4×800 team to state, and I am also looking to get my own qualification in the 3200,” Shriver said of the rest of the season. “Keep on trusting the process and giving myself more chances.”
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