Eagle Valley 400-meters takes seventh | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley 400-meters takes seventh

Preston Utley/Vail DailyEagle Valley's Ashley Rohweder take the anchor leg during the 400-meter relay final Saturday in Lakewood during the 4A state meet. The Devils finished seventh.

LAKEWOOD ” Eagle Valley track had one last run Saturday and the Devils made it a good one.

The girls 400-meter relay team of Shaylynn Nielson, Emily Kingston, Sierra Pickslay-Zamora and Ashley Rohweder whipped around the oval at Jeffco Stadium one last time, finishing seventh at the 4A state meet.

Their time of 50.21 seconds was a season-best for the Devils and earned the Eagle Valley three points in the standings.

“I think we did a good job,” Devils coach Jeff Shroll said. “It was like a MASH unit out there. They were all limping and hobbling. I was really proud of them for how they battled through. They had ice, heat and massages last night, and this morning, they wrapped it up well.”

The good news for Eagle Valley is that all but Rohweder return from this squad and should continue to make noise on the state level. As for Rohweder, the defending 300 hurdles state champion who was unable to defend her title because of a quadriceps injury, it was still a high note upon which to end.

“She’s been fantastic,” Shroll said. “She’s been a pleasure to coach. All of the seniors have.”

Despite a lighter haul from state than usual, Shroll felt his team had a good season.

“It was one of the best years ever in terms of participation,” he said. “The whole season, we had lots of new faces and lot of people who are interested in coming back, including quite a few football players. You’ve got to have that for a rebuilding year. Everyone’s staying focused on track and the seniors played a big role in that.”

Saints’ Linder shines again

PUEBLO ” It was not roughly 120 degrees at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo for the 2A state meet.

It was only 90 degrees Saturday, but that didn’t bother Vail Christian’s Jessica Linder who flew to seventh place in the 3,200 meters in 12 minutes, 22 seconds.

That was the junior’s second state medal in as many days. Linder took sixth in the 1,600 Friday.

“I felt I did pretty well,” Linder said. “The competition was extremely fierce. There were a lot a great runners out there. We started out pretty quick and I hung on. It was great except for the heat.”

Linder does have a point about the heat, given that local athletes generally train here for most of the spring when a warm day is about 50 degrees. But still 90 in Pueblo is considered a cool day, given Vail Christian’s history of oven-like days there.

Linder’s performance was especially strong given that she had to recover from Friday’s race.

“You just have to fight off the onset of soreness,” Linder said. “I looked at my legs and they looked like they are going to rebel someday.”

They didn’t and teammate Ryan Vlaar’s legs were kicking just fine as well. The junior logged a 2:21 in the open 800 and gained some valuable experience about running at state.

“I learned how to place better the next time,” he said. “It’s a mind race at state. It’s good to have the experience of how to play that game. When you’re boxed in, you really have to get around it and it takes a lot out of you. I’ve learned that you’ve got to get into position out of the pack.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.

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