Tigers get taste of home
FARMERS KORNER Four-tenths of a second. Thats how much separated Matt Bowers time in the 400 meters from the 13-year-old school record Tuesday.If you thought he might have had something left in the tank after his winning performance, however, his actions told a different story. Bowers relieved his stomach of its contents not once, but twice immediately following the finish. It was all he could do to recover from a grueling race that he led from start to finish.Weve been talking about the school record being so close and so within his reach, and so hes really focused on that, SHS head coach Kristy McClain said. At the end, when you throw up, youve really run your guts out. Thats really impressive to see him run like that.Bowers performance highlighted a rare day for Summits runners, throwers and jumpers. It was the only meet theyll host all season, and the first time theyve welcomed opponents to Farmers Korner in two years. Most telling: It was just the fourth home track meet Summit High has hosted in the last 20 years, according to SHS athletic director Gretchen Nies.The conditions told everything you needed to know about why it doesnt happen very often. Temperatures in the 30s teamed up with snow flurries and a biting winter wind to make the afternoon about as comfortable as a meat locker.Visiting kids walked around the stadium with blankets draped over their shoulders. Runners huddled together like penguins, waiting until the last possible moment before they shed their warmer layers and took to the track.In fact, said SHS junior Catherine Clark, that was the key to a good performance.Just keep your clothes on as long as you can, she said. Dont take em off until they tell you to.Whatever she did, it worked for Clark. She took second in the 100 hurdles, third in the 200 meters and helped Summit to a runner-up finish in the 4×200 girls relay.In all, Summits females won or finished second in 10 events. The team took second out of the five schools at the meet, only falling short of Evergreen.SHS junior Kelsey Prim won the discus, topping her personal best by a remarkable four feet. Katie Sodergren took top honors in the triple jump, and Summits 4×400 relay team (Sodergren, Madeleine Child, Jordan Cooper and Mallory Clark) also captured victory, winning the race with ease by 11 seconds.Other top-three finishers included Jenya Berino (third, 1,600 meters), Mallory Clark (second, 400), Sodergren (second, 800), Kelsey Roe (third, shot put), Nadi DeJulio (second, high jump; third, long jump), Mackenzie Jones (third, triple jump), Sharayah Dossett (third, discus) and Child (second, 300 low hurdles).On the boys side, Bowers wasnt Summits only winner. Junior Braden Shoop won the triple jump by more than a foot and took second in the high jump (5 feet, 6 inches), helping the Tiger boys finish fourth of five teams. Shoop is the only Tiger with experience at the state meet, and he has a good shot to return this year if the work hes been doing in the weight and video rooms pays off with results.Ive got the form down, now I just need the hops, he said.Chris Rice ran a strong 3,200 meters to finish as the runner-up, less than a second back of the winner. As well, Helaman Salas took third in the long jump for Summit.Nothing trumped Bowers determined performance in the 400, however. The senior who is in his first year as a competitive runner for the SHS track team went out strong and finished with a flurry, in the face of a brutal headwind.Not only did he set a personal best (54.76 seconds), but he suddenly looks like a good bet to qualify for the state meet at regionals next month.Summit has more than a week off before competing in the Jeffco 10 League Meet on May 4. Regionals are set for May 10 and 12.Devon ONeil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at email@example.com.
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