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Lady Pirates win IML track title, state meet starts today

Staff Writer

Photo courtesy Sabra Miller Colton Polezynski hands the baton to teammate Tate Drane, working together on the way to a Pirate first-place finish in the 4x400 meter relay at the Intermountain League Meet. Other runners on the team were Daniel Sloan and Jeremiah Miller.

Photo courtesy Sabra Miller
Colton Polezynski hands the baton to teammate Tate Drane, working together on the way to a Pirate first-place finish in the 4×400 meter relay at the Intermountain League Meet. Other runners on the team were Daniel Sloan and Jeremiah Miller.

The Pirate track team competed at the Intermountain League Meet Saturday — their final competition before the Colorado state meet.

According to coach Scott White, the girls’ team won the league title “convincingly,” with a final score of 118. Bayfield followed in second with a score of 90, with Alamosa finishing third with 75 points.

Freshman Madie Lewis came out strong, placing first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 28.31 seconds. She also placed first in the 400 with a time of 60.86.

Junior Emily Bryant placed second in both the 1,600-meter run, at 5:31.44, and the 3,200, with a time of 12:21.76.

Olivia Reinhardt finished fourth in the 1,600 with a time of 5:54.38.

“She’s been a kid that played a whole season of soccer, but she was a cross country kid,” White said of Reinhardt. “We knew she was a good runner and after the soccer season was over, we asked her if she wanted to come run. At the Terry Alley meet she got second in the mile and then we had a kid that was sick in the four-by-eight so we put her in as an alternate and she ran a third-best time. She has really earned her position to state, and that’s cool, because she’s a varsity letterman twice in one season. One is for soccer and the other one is for track.”

According to White, Toni Stoll and Gabby Pajak, “just dominated.”

Pajak placed first in the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.49, with Stoll following close behind in second, with a time of 16.10.

The duo also placed first and second in the 300 hurdles, with Pajak taking first with a time of 46.58 and Stoll in second with a time of 47.23.

Pajak placed first in the long jump with a distance of 17 feet, 1.75 inches.

Stoll placed second in long jump at 16-11.5.

In the triple jump, Stoll took first with a distance of 37-03.25, with Pajak close behind, in second at 36-03.75.

“Those girls are just so funny, because Toni and Gabby do everything together,” White explained.

The Pirate girls placed first in the 4×200 relay. Tayler Lee-Hammer, Payton Shahan, Lewis and Taylor Strohecker worked together to finish with a final time of 1:50.94.

“That was really an awesome race because all year long we’ve been trying to get that one settled and in the last three weeks I’ve been like, ‘OK, you’ve got to get this team, you’ve got to get this team.’” White said. “We had lost to Centauri and we hadn’t seen Alamosa and so I knew those were going to be really close to each other, but we just blew them away. We won convincingly. It was a really close race.

“People are performing just exactly like we thought. We gambled a little bit. We could have easily won the four by eight hundred, but we rested some kids to get them ready for state.”

Strohecker hit her reigning state championship mark in high jump with a leap of 5-4.

According to White, “She’s back to exactly where she was last year at this point.”

Sophomore Morgan Schaaf placed fourth in shot put, throwing a personal best of 31-07.25.

“We knew she could do it,” White explained, “She’s been throwing around twenty-eight to twenty-nine all year and, all the sudden, she throws a high thirty-one.”

“The girls did absolutely wonderful,” White said. “They are loose and ready to go and I think that the girls’ team has a really, really good chance of cracking the top three this year at state. That’s my prediction. If everybody performs the way we know they can, if they stay true to our predictions and what we know they can do, we are hoping for the top three. People are hitting everything just perfect right now. You want them to peak at state, and they are peaking at state. That’s what we want.

“I’m just really, really excited for the girls. Last year, we had three girls who scored points and we were fifth in the state of Colorado, and this year we have double that of kids that are in a scoring position. I’m just really excited for them. It’s a really good event, it really is.”

Photo courtesy Sabra Miller Garek Erskine placed first in the triple jump at the Intermountain League Meet with a distance of 40 feet, 9.75 inches. He competes this week at the state 3A championships in Lakewood.

Photo courtesy Sabra Miller
Garek Erskine placed first in the triple jump at the Intermountain League Meet with a distance of 40 feet, 9.75 inches. He competes this week at the state 3A championships in Lakewood.

The boys’ team placed third at the league meet, with a final score of 93. According to White, it was a close relay, with the top three final teams being Alamosa, Bayfield and Pagosa Springs.

“We were missing two very key kids and I’m not sure if that would have put us in first or not,” White explained. “Bayfield, Alamosa and Pagosa are all real competitive teams. I was real proud of the boys.”

In the 200, senior Gerek Erskine placed second with a time of 23.65. Quinn Smith followed close behind, taking third at 25.09.

The Pirate boys finished first, second and fourth in the 400 with Tate Drane in first with a time of 52.32, Colton Polezynski in second at 52.53 and Daniel Sloan placing fourth at 54.82. All three qualified for the state meet.

“We’ll have all three kids at state from Pagosa, which I think is really cool,” White said. “It’s a testament to the kind of team that we are.”

Erskine, Sloan, Drane and Jeremiah Miller worked together to place first in the 4×200 with a time of 1:33.97, qualifying them in 13th in the Colorado State 3A.

“The boys really put it together and convincingly won by almost a second ahead of everybody,” White explained. “We know they can run faster than that, we know that for a fact.”

The same boys ran together again, placing first in the 4×400 with a time of 3:37.74.

The Pirates came in third in the 4×100. Dean Hampton, Miller, Smith and J.C. Parsons finished with a time of 46.47.

Connor Burkesmith placed second in the boys’ 300 hurdles with a time of 45.30.

Drane placed third in the boys’ high jump at 5-5.

In the triple jump, Erskine placed first at 40-09.75, with Hampton following close behind at 39-10.75.

Junior Creede Wylie placed third in shot put, throwing a distance of 41-10.75. He placed fourth in the discus throw at 108-06.

“Creede’s been throwing shot and disc all year with a cast on, and he’s been throwing thirty-four feet and turned around and got third place in the league with almost a forty two foot throw, which is astonishing,” White said. “That’s just really, really awesome to see him put that together and end up in fourth place in the disc. I just can’t wait to see him throw next year when he’s got two good feet. I think it shows a lot about his commitment to the team, his commitment to the sport and his competitiveness. The kid is just so competitive. Not many kids are going to go out there and throw when they had a broken foot.”

According to White, six boys qualified for the state meet.

“A kind of neat thing about the boys’ team is that they qualified for the state four-by-two, four-by-four and the four-by-eight. I think it shows the kind of team that we are,” White said. “Kids love to run the sprints, they are easy. But when you start looking at kids qualifying in the four and the eight, Emily Bryant is qualified in the mile and the two mile, we really take a lot of pride in that our kids are running the mid-distance and the distance runs. It’s just become a part of our tradition at Pagosa to run those four-by-fours and those four-by-eights and to have kids in the mile and the two mile. I guess it’s a philosophy that one hundreds and two hundreds are kind of hard to come by with that God-given talent, but you can teach a kid to run a great four and a great eight and a great mile. We’re just excited. They are ready to go. We always laugh and say, ‘Look where we were when we started the season, when the field was completely covered in snow, and look where we are now.’”

The team left Wednesday for the state meet that begins today at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.

Melissa.Stedman@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on May 16, 2013.