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Eagle Valley relay team barely misses finals

Special to the DailyThe Eagle Valley boys' 4-by-400 relay team set another school record Thursday but failed to qualify for the finals in the state meet in Lakewood.
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LAKEWOOD, Colorado – The Eagle Valley boys 4-by-400 relay team broke its own school record again Thursday.

But that wasn’t quite good enough to make the finals in the state championships. The boys finished ninth in the field of 18 in the preliminary round of the 4-by-400 relay at the State Track and Field Championship at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood. The top eight teams made the finals. Eagle Valley missed the cut by a mere seven-tenths of a second.

The team, which finished with a time of three minutes, 25.60 seconds, is made up of senior A.J. Rhoades, junior Nate Barker, senior Jalen Aquino and senior Mario Gonzales.



“It was amazing,” said coach Jeff Shroll. “Those kids did a great job. They all ran a 51 (seconds) or under. It was a big, tough competition out there – 10 schools under three minutes 24 seconds. … This 4-by-400 team has been doing great all year.”

The previous school record, set two weeks ago, was three minutes, 27.93 seconds.



Vail Christian’s Ashland Gruber qualified for the finals in two events – 200 meters and 400 meters – at the state track meet Thursday.

She ran the 400 meters in 60.44 seconds, which is a new school record and a personal best. She’ll compete Saturday in the finals with the sixth-fastest time.

“She went out and competed and had her best time of the season,” said her coach, Tim Pierson.



In the 200 meters, she finished in 27.45 seconds, which was eighth-best. She will compete Friday in the finals.

“She came in and ran an amazing race,” Pierson said. “It’s a tight curve, and she ran it perfectly.”

The girls’ 4-by-100 team failed to make the finals Thursday, but the team had its best time of the year, finishing in 53.30 seconds. The team is made up of Gruber, Micaela McGuckin, Maggie Emmer and Alexis Ellsworth.

“They ran well,” Pierson said. “They had fun, and they did as well as they could. We feel like we did our best, and that’s a good feeling.”


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