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Pirates place in 11 events at state meet


The Pagosa Springs High School Pirate athletes brought home medals in 11 events from last week’s state track and field championship in Lakewood.

The Lady Pirate team finished 12th in 3A at the event, while the Pirates finished 21st.

“The state meet was such a huge success for us,” coach Connie O’Donnell wrote in an email to The SUN, adding, “I am so proud that our kids had the mental ability to perform in a high stress/high expectation event. The state meet has a different atmosphere to it and it can be hard for some to not give in to the pressure. Our kids were unfazed and did their very best.”

Abigail Nehring was the top-placing Pagosa Springs athlete at the event, placing second in discus.

Nehring’s throw of 121 feet, 11 inches was a personal record (PR), according to the coach.

“We will be looking for her to compete for a championship next year and break the school record as well,” O’Donnell wrote.

O’Donnell also noted that Nehring was voted the league’s female field athlete of the year by the Intermountain League (IML) coaches. 

Creede Dozier place third in the high jump and set a new PR with a height of 6-3.

“Out of the 9 placers in the event, 4 of them were from the IML,” O’Donnell highlighted.

Centauri’s Trow Sowards won with a height of 6-4, Bayfield’s Tanner Neeley finished fourth with a height of 6-3 and Alamosa’s Brant Jackson finished tied for seventh with a height of 6-1.

Pirate Jeremiah Jones finished 11th with a height of 5-11.

The Lady Pirate team of Sienna Rose, Annabelle Parker, Lexi Campbell and Rylie Carr finished fifth and improved upon their own school record with a time of 50.33 seconds in the 4x100-meter relay.

The team qualified for the finals with a time of 50.43 seconds in the prelims.

The 800-meter sprint medley team of Parker, Aspen Pitcher, Rose and Annie O’Donnell finished sixth with a time of 1 minute, 54.34 seconds.

The team finished fourth in the prelims with a time of 1:52.55 seconds.

Carr placed in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, with the coach highlighting she set PRs in both events, “which improved upon her already held school records.”

Carr took sixth in both the prelims and finals for the 100, logging a time of 12.72 seconds in the prelims and 12.49 seconds in the finals.

Carr took eighth in the prelims in the 200 with a time of 26.06 seconds and moved up to seventh in the finals with a time of 26.19 seconds.

“She had another great meet and was able to perform well. She also provided some good leadership on the relay teams,” O’Donnell said.

The girls’ 4x200-meter relay team — Rose, Annie O’Donnell, Campbell and Carr — took seventh with a time of 1:47.54.

The team took fourth in the prelims with a time of 1:47.62.

Colton Lucero took seventh in the long jump with a distance of 20-06.50.

Dozier placed 14th in the event with a distance of 19-08.50.

The boys’ 4x100 relay — Lucero, Harley Armijo, Dozier and Blake Laner — placed ninth with a time of 43.93 seconds.

The team finished sixth in the prelims with a time of 43.73 seconds.

“It has been years since we had a boys sprint relay team place at the state meet,” Connie O’Donnel wrote. “Prelims were so exciting. It was fun to watch Colton get out of the blocks and start making up the stagger right away and then have a seamless handoff to Harley. Creede was the third leg and ran a really fast corner. Then it was up to Blake to get that third place spot and make finals.”

The team also came close to setting a new school record. 

“They missed our school record by 1/100th of a second,” the coach wrote. “The record has been there since 2005.”

Rose placed ninth in the 400-meter dash, running a time of 1:00.04 in the prelims and 1:01.30 in the finals.

“Sienna Rose placed 9th in the 400, but was unable to break 60 seconds like last week,” the coach explained. “It’s just different to run with people who are all so close together in the 400 at the state meet. Sienna missed finals last year in the event so it was nice to see her succeed this year.”

Campbell earned a medal with her ninth-place finish in the triple jump, with Connie O’Donnell highlighting she tied her personal best from the week before with a distance of 33-07.50.

Lucero finished 10th in the 100 prelims with a time of 11.37 seconds, missing making the finals by one place.

“I think it just made him hungry for next year,” the coach wrote. “He is so close to our school record so that is definitely a realistic goal for him next year. He will want to make finals and break the record.”

Jordan Lindstrom tied for 12th in the high jump with a height of 4-09.00.

The boys’ 4x200 team — Lucero, Armijo, Gavin Carter and Laner — finished 15th in the prelims with a time of 1:32.17.

Dozer took 17th in the triple jump with a distance of 38-11.00.

“We made big strides this season,” Connie O’Donnell wrote. “The girls broke 5 school records. We added people to our all time top ten lists for a school. While not everyone has a school record, many of our athletes are 2nd, 3rd, or 4th all time.”

She indicates the goals for next year include seeing more records fall.

“Our goals for next year will be to break some school records on the boys side, take more individuals to state and continue to build our program,” she wrote. “We finished this year with 67 athletes which is the biggest team we have ever had.” 

The team will also be without a number of this year’s seniors next season, with Connie O’Donnell indicating she hopes the athletes look back on their time positively.

“We are sad to lose our seniors,” she wrote. “Several have run since freshman year and some wish they had been a part of our team throughout high school. What is most important is that I think that we had fun, we worked hard and athletes pushed themselves to be the best that they can be. I hope that they remember their track days in a positive way and continue to love the sport.”