Summit’s McKenna Ramsay, Nate Martin break school records at 2016 4A State Track Champs
Made to be broken
The Tigers’ record-breaking streak started in April and has hardly slowed since, with seven track and field athletes setting new Summit High records every week for relay and individual events. A recap from a landmark season:
Liberty Bell Invite
Littleton, April 22-23
Brigid Corson, 100m hurdles — 15.93
Nate Martin, 200m dash — 23.06
Nate Martin, 400m dash — 50.90
4A Western Slope League Championships
Grand Junction, May 6-7
Chevoy Hemans, 100m dash — 11.42
Boy’s 2x200m relay (Connor Hintgen, Ben Jorgenson, Logan Ramsay, Chevoy Hemans) — 1:34.10
John Martin Invitational
Fort Collins, May 13
Boy’s 4x400m relay (Logan Ramsay, Chevoy Hemans, Ben Jorgenson and Nate Martin) — 3:28.98
4A State Championships
Lakewood, May 18-21
McKenna Ramsay, 200m dash — 25.85
Nate Martin, 400m dash — 50.21
McKenna Ramsay, 400m dash — 56.08
Calling the Summit High School track season one for the record books is something of an understatement. This spring, the Tigers rewrote the book.
It all started on April 22 at the Liberty Bell Invite in Littleton, when senior sprinter Nate Martin broke not one, but two school records: first in the 200-meter dash with 15.93, then in the 400-meter dash with 50.90. Fellow sprinter Brigid Corson broke a Tigers record of her own at the same meet, posting a 15.93 in the 100m hurdles, and the girls’ 4x800m relay continued a string of dominant performances with a third-place finish behind 5A powerhouses Arapahoe High School and Pine Creek High School.
That was only the beginning. In the final four weeks of the season — from the Liberty Bell Invite to the 4A State Track and Field Championships this weekend in Lakewood — seven runners with the boy’s and girl’s track teams have broken nine school records. That’s easily one of the most impressive single-season performances in recent memory, and head coach Kristy McClain should know: she’s been with the track program for 13 years.
“This season has been kind of fun to watch,” McClain said from state at Jeffco Stadium on Friday. “I’ve been coaching long enough that I saw a lot of these original records be set. It’s fun to see them get re-broken and the kids have been working so hard to get to that point. When you see their faces when they finally do it, that’s the best. You’re just so happy.”
All told, the Tigers track and field team sent seven of 53 total athletes to the state meet: Martin for the 400m dash; McKenna Ramsay for the 200m, 400m and 800m events; Ruthie Boyd for the 3,200m run; and the veteran 4x800m relay team of Ramsay, Boyd, Jess Horii and Megan McDonnell — all seniors, all competing for the final time as Summit Tigers.
“This senior class is a very, very special group,” McClain said. “Not only are they phenomenal athletes, they’re also very kind and humble and incredible. We don’t have a single attitude on our team that is cocky or haughty. It’s not all the time that you have a large group that can be so successful… I think the world of this senior class.”
Again, McClain would know. She coached superstar Liam Meirow for four seasons, including the most recent round of board busting when he was a senior in 2014. Meirow “was breaking records right and left when he was a senior,” McClain said, but, still, it didn’t stop this year’s boy’s 4x400m relay team (Logan Ramsay, Chevoy Hemans, Ben Jorgenson and Martin) from knocking his team off the leaderboard with a 3:28.98 at the John Martin Invitational in Fort Collins on May 13.
“I thought, ‘This is probably the one and only time I’ll take Liam Meirow’s name off the board,’” McClain said of this year’s 4x400m record which, unfortunately, was not quite good enough to earn a trip to state. So it goes in the track and field world, where personal bests and school records are sometimes as good as the one-in-a-thousand state invite.
And it’s not quite over yet. Boyd and the relay team are finished, with 18th and 17th place finishes, respectively, while Martin and Ramsay have a final race, the big one, the showcase race: the 400m dash. Both runners are guaranteed a spot on the podium — only nine runners make it to finals, which means all earn a top-10 finish — and, bittersweet final race or no, the season is one for the books.
“Not everyone made it to state, but this has really been a record-breaking season,” McClain said. “It’s been the pinnacle of our season to do so well in the last stretch. It feels like I say this every year, but this really has been one of my favorite seasons.”
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