Mustangs close meet with podium finish

Brian Miller
Posted 5/24/12

LAKEWOOD — In its final race of the state track and field championships Saturday afternoon, Ralston Valley’s girls team found a bit of …

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Mustangs close meet with podium finish

LAKEWOOD — In its final race of the state track and field championships Saturday afternoon, Ralston Valley’s girls team found a bit of redemption.
The Mustangs’ 1,600-meter relay team took fifth in the finals of the event, which in itself would have been a nice way to close out the 2012 season.
But after placing second in the 3,200 relay Thursday, only to be disqualified for violating a rule regarding the baton, the finish was that much sweeter for Ralston Valley.
In the final stretch of the 3,200 relay, Mustangs senior Kristina Fischer had been overtaken by the anchor of Cherry Creek’s team.
The Bruins crossed the finish line just ahead of Ralston Valley, and in the heat of the moment Fischer tossed the baton away. That led to meet officials disqualifying the entire relay team.
“It was tough because they had two seniors on there,” Mustangs coach Jeff Gomer said. “They were shooting for a state championship in the first place, but then they don’t even get on the podium. That was tough on them.”
What made it even worse was some question regarding a decision made earlier in the day. Fort Collins senior Raymond Bozmans had stuck out his tongue after passing a Fountain-Fort Carson runner in the 800 relay preliminaries, leading to a Trojan pushing Bozmans after the race.
After some discussion, officials left it up to the Lambkins’ coaching staff to decide on discipline, and Bozmans wasn’t allowed to compete in the finals.
Still, Fort Collins as a team was still able to compete.
“It’s a little disappointing with what happened earlier,” Gomer said. “But it’s not for me to decide.”
Ralston Valley’s Giulianna Vessa, Alicia Thompson, Leigh Stonerook and Fischer responded with the strong showing in the 1,600 relay.
After coming in seeded 16th and then qualifying for the final spot in the finals, the Mustangs ran a school record time of three minutes, 58.06 seconds. Fischer also placed 11th in the 800.
As a team Ralston Valley finished with 7.5 points on the girls’ side. Junior Madison Gomer tied for seventh in the pole vault after clearing 10 feet.
“I got my PR today. I wouldn’t have even thought that I would place at state,” Madison Gomer said. “I’m very happy. I’ve been working the last week really hard.”
Freshman Garrett Moore earned the Mustangs’ boys team their only points with a third-place finish Saturday in the 300 hurdles. Moore’s time of 39.06 seconds trailed only Doherty’s Ryne Chavez and Fountain’s Dakota Leazer.
“You’ve kind of just got to come out hard and get into a consistent pattern,” Moore said. “Just hope for the best and just run your best race. It’s state - it’s all you can do.”
Hunter Price was 15th in the long jump and 16th in the triple jump for the Mustangs.
Arvada West sophomore Stephanie Bess accrued all eight of her team’s points after placing fifth Thursday in the 5A long jump with a mark of 17-07.5. Bess placed seventh in Saturday’s triple jump at 36-06.5.
What made Thursday’s showing that much more meaningful was that Bess was in the first flight in the preliminaries yet made it back for the finals.
“I’m really excited. I PR’d today easily,” Bess said. “Making fifth place, I was ecstatic.
“I’ve had ups and downs this year. I have really bad shin splints and I’ve gotten hurt a couple of times,” she added. “Making it to finals, I was so happy.”
Talia Marquez just missed making the finals of the 100 hurdles for the Wildcats by two spots. William Baermann tied for 12th in the boys high jump.
Arvada juniors Garet Krohn and Stephen Sowal found their way to the podium Saturday after placing in the 4A discus. Krohn took sixth at 145-07 and Sowal was ninth at 141-10.
“It’s better than I expected to do, to be honest with you,” Krohn said. “A lot of guys messed up and didn’t throw as well as they had been. That’s all part of the game.”
Krohn missed much of the season after competing national wrestling tournaments.
The two-time state wrestling champion said he’s looking forward to his senior year, and was happy to have Sowal on the podium with him Saturday.
“It’s nice to get some recognition,” Krohn said. “I think we worked hard but obviously we can work harder.”
Sowal was 17th in the shot put. Justus Reid was 16th in the girls shot put.


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