Anderson sisters qualify for state in two events
AURORA ” Whitney and Sierra Anderson have been proving all season that they are a powerful force in the long distance events.
In Saturday’s 3,200-meter run in the Class 4A Region 6 Meet, held at Hinkley High School’s Aurora Public Stadium, the Summit High School sisters dominated once again, this time sweeping the top-two spots in a competitive field represented by 12 different high schools.
The top three earned automatic bids to state.
Whitney finished in 11 minutes, 25.33 seconds, while Sierra finished in 12:05.77.
“I want to see what we get out of the other regions to challenge her,” coach Rob Royer said.
Whitney stormed into the lead within seconds of the start of the 3,200 and never looked back.
The win comes one day after the junior finished second in the 1,600.
The win was nothing new for Whitney, who moved to Summit County in October only a few weeks after winning the Alaska state championship in cross country.
Afterward, she admitted to holding back to save energy for next weekend’s state championship meet.
“I felt pretty good, though I felt reserved,” she said. “I wasn’t going into the race wanting a best time, so I was pretty happy.”
Sierra, meanwhile, fought for the second spot, spending the entire race only a few paces ahead of Conifer’s Jennifer Webers, who on
Friday beat Sierra for third place in the 1,600 by passing the Summit senior in the final few hundred meters.
For seven of the eight laps in the 3,200, Webers ran right on Sierra’s heels until Sierra finally pulled away on the last lap to beat Webers by 12 seconds.
“I knew she was behind me the whole time and I thought, ‘I’m not going to let her pass me now,'” she said.
By finishing second, Sierra earned a berth into the state championships in the 3,200, an event where she will run with Whitney, who qualified earlier this season.
On Friday, Sierra also earned a state spot in the 1,600, even though she finished fourth. Sierra’s time of 5:27.87 beat the state-qualifying time by .26 seconds.
Sierra admitted the pressure to earn state qualifications has been weighing on her.
“It’s been nerve-wracking,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been holding my breath all week. I was even nervous in school.”
While the Anderson sisters will be the only Tigers to represent Summit High at the state meet, many of their teammates were proud of their own accomplishments.
Eight members of the team set personal records in the various events that were spread over Friday and Saturday.
Lindsay Rappleye missed her goal of making state in discus, but did throw for 93 feet, 3.25 inches on Saturday, which was the second-best throw she’s ever had. She finished fourth, missing a state bid by one spot.
On Friday, the senior shocked herself and her coach, Rob Royer, with a shot put of 28 feet, 7 inches and catapulted herself into sixth, both personal bests.
“I think I’ve practiced (shot put) maybe once or twice all season, so I wasn’t up on the technique,” she said.
Saturday afternoon, senior Tara Carosa also surprised herself by finishing sixth in the 800, setting a personal best time of 2:37.00 in the process.
The run stood out to running coaches Kristy McClain and Kevin Mastin, as Carosa turned on the afterburners in the second half of the race, passing one competitor with 300 meters to go and another with 100 meters to go.
“I thought to myself, ‘I’ve got some more left in me, so why not give it everything I’ve got,'” the senior said. “This is the last 800 of my high school career.”
The Andersons will get their final opportunity to run in the state meet, which takes place Friday and Saturday at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood. The 1,600 is scheduled on Friday at 12:45 p.m., and the 3,200 is scheduled for Saturday at 3:05 p.m.
Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 236, or at email@example.com.
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