|All seven tracksters bring home State medals|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Holyoke High School track ended in grand form when all seven Dragon participants medaled in the three-day event held May 14-16 at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.
Coach Sandra Rahe noted the state track meet was the pinnacle performance, and she was extremely proud each athlete came home with a medal. “I think I lost my voice every time we had a race,” she added.
While the weather was not very pleasant for most of the season, the kids worked hard and endured it, said Rahe. Weather conditions were terrific for the state meet.
“Everybody met or exceeded my expectations,” said coach Clint Goldenstein of the Dragon performance. Rahe added the tracksters peaked at the right time for an overall fantastic season.
And the good news for the future is all state track qualifiers this year will return for next year’s season.
Leading the way at state were juniors Kyle Carper and Marissa Smith, who each won two gold medals and 20 points toward the team totals.
Carper won the long jump and triple jump, while Smith took the 200 and 400-meter dashes.
Sophomore Heather Duester, Carper and Smith all earned medals in all four of their events in the state meet.
Duester placed fifth in the 400. She and Smith were joined by sophomores Marci Vasa and Mallory Bennett to take second in the 4x200 relay and fourth in the 4x100.
Duester, Vasa and Bennett added junior Shelby Beavers to their team and placed third in the sprint medley relay.
In boys’ individual events, Carper finished third in the 400 and fifth in the 200, and teammate Brandon Oosthuysen, a junior, took ninth in the 400.
Personal best group performances were recorded in the 4x200 and sprint medley relays.
Individually, Smith ran personal bests in both the 200 and 400, and Duester also bettered her time in the 400. Carper and Oosthuysen both had personal bests in the 400, as did Carper in the 200 and triple jump.
Sprint medley race exciting
The sprint medley group had only run together for regionals, the state prelims and state finals—bettering their effort each time.
Coach Rahe said they were exciting to watch, and commended their effort at claiming third place at state.
Shelby Beavers started the race for HHS. She and Mallory Bennett each ran a 100, Marci Vasa ran a 200 and Heather Duester anchored the relay with a 400-meter leg.
In the finals, Rahe said Duester had an amazing race. She took the baton in seventh place and pulled into second, narrowly getting passed at the end for a remarkable third-place finish.
Four excel in 400 meter race
Coach Rahe noted it was very exciting to have four running the 400 so well this year. She commended the four, as they’ve kept their bodies healthy, iced when they needed to and have shown real mental toughness. The 400 is a very competitive race, explained Rahe, noting one has to have the heart to do it.
Carper found success in the race, even when he vowed he would never run it. And Oosthuysen was a dark horse sneaking in, said Rahe. Carper prequalified in the 400, so the coaches opted him out of the race at regionals, freeing up the third-place spot, which Oosthuysen captured to qualify for state.
“He surprised himself,” added Rahe of Oosthuysen’s success. He entered the state meet with the 16th best time, but held the seventh fastest time in prelims to qualify for the finals.
Smith and Duester pushed each other all season in the race, claiming first and fifth respectively in the state finals.
Girls take fourth, boys seventh
Northeast Colorado was well-represented in the top 10 teams at this year’s 2A state track meet.
Holyoke girls finished fourth with 46 points, while the boys tied for seventh with 33.
Akron won the girls’ meet with 80 points, followed by Limon 67.5, Paonia 54, Holyoke 46, Wray 41, Hoehne 35, Nederland 32, Fleming 25, Meeker 25 and Kim 21.
Wray took the boys’ meet with 68 points, followed by Miami-Yoder 49, Wiggins 40, Rocky Ford 37, Limon 34.5, Dolores 34, Holyoke 33, Hayden 33, Paonia 33, Baca County 31 and Sedgwick County 29.5.
Jeffco Stadium provided a new venue for the state meet, which included 2A, 3A, 4A and 5A competition in the three-day event.
For a number of years prior to this, the 2A and 3A state championships have been run in Pueblo.
Coach Rahe noted appreciation for all the parents and fans that went to Denver for the state meet. “It is so nice to feel the community support for our kids, even during this busy time of year,” she added. She also acknowledged the Carper family for donating food and drinks for the athletes.
Results of Holyoke athletes in the 2A state track meet follow:
Girls’ 400 meter—Marissa Smith, first, :58.46 in personal best effort (PB); and Heather Duester, fifth, :60.29, PB.
Girls’ 200 meter—Smith, first, :26.13, PB
Boys’ long jump—Carper, first, 21’ 7.25”.
Boys’ triple jump—Carper, first, 44’ 11.75”, PB.
Boys’ 400 meter—Carper, third, :51.01, PB; and Brandon Oosthuysen, ninth, :52.28 (PB of :52.01 was run in the prelims).
Boys’ 200 meter—Carper, fifth, :23.03, PB.
Girls’ sprint medley relay—Shelby Beavers, Mallory Bennett, Marci Vasa and Duester, third, 1:54.95 (PB of 1:54.46 in prelims).
Girls’ 4x200 relay—Duester, Bennett, Vasa and Smith, second, 1:50.44 (PB of 1:49.10 in prelims).
Girls’ 4x100 relay—Duester, Bennett, Vasa and Smith, fourth, :52.13.