Eagle Valley takes track title

Andrew Harley
EVST Gamble 110 H BH 5-22

It came down to the last race, but the Eagle Valley boys track team won the Colorado 3A High School Track and Field State Championship for the first time in school history Saturday in Pueblo.

Devils sophomore Sean Matheson took his mark at the starting line for the open 200 with his team 10 points behind D’Evelyn. As the Eagle Valley track teams, parents and fans cheered, Matheson – carrying the burden of three gold medals on the day in the muscles of his legs – sprinted down the track at Dutch Clark Stadium, edging Gunnison’s Brian Bollig by 0.13 seconds. Matheson’s 23.23-second first place in the 200 was good enough for 10 points and a tie with D’Evelyn High School for the state championship at 78 points apiece.

“We were sitting exactly 10 points behind D’Evelyn – D’Evelyn was done. They won the mile. They had 78 points. We had 68 points. We did not tell Sean Matheson the situation; didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on him. He had to just gut that one out. It was a very close race,” said Eagle Valley coach Jeff Schroll. “So, we came into the day with no points, and left with 78. It was a good day.”

The girls 3200-relay team – Kenzie Shreeve, Jessica Medsker, Jessica Stiles and Katie Wick – started the day off by taking seventh place and crushing the school record by almost nine seconds with a time of 10 minutes, 12.15 seconds.

“It worked well to get our guys pumped up a little bit,” said Schroll. “The girls broke the school record by two seconds last week.”

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Matheson shared hero status with Devils’ Brad Gamble, as both of them finished the day with four gold, state-champion medals. Brad Gamble took first in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.55.

“Brad’s state record from (Friday) still stands (14.37),” said Schroll. “But, his 14.55 was still good enough for first place.”

Brad Gamble scored the Devils second first-place with a win in the long jump. He posted a leap of 21 feet, 0.5 inches.

Next, Matheson stepped up to the plate and won the open 100 with a time of 11.13. Russell Allen placed seventh in the 100, earning the Devils another two points.

Matheson and Allen joined forces with Alex Gamble and Wes Minett to win the 800 relay with a time of 1:32.2.

“It was the toughest race; the one I was almost sick to my stomach on,” said Schroll. “I just could not believe how close it was. Sean Matheson was about five meters behind (Metro Academy) at the corner, and had to use everything to make it up. He won just by the lean.”

Meanwhile, Jacob Rivera took fifth place in the discus, hurling the thing 144 feet, 10 inches.

“He threw one that would have been the first place, but scratched. He threw 157 (feet) and 154 won, but he scratched on the dang thing,” said Schroll. “We’re still just so impressed with that guy.”

The boys 400-relay team – Allen, Minett, Brad Gamble and Matheson – ended its season of utter dominance with a business-as-usual 44.07-second victory. The team finished half of a second ahead of second-place Ridgway.

“They ran a 43.80 (Friday), and the wind kind of kicked up in that race, but they were still way out in front,” said Schroll. “That was a solid race.”

Minett took seventh in the open 400 with a 52.18.

“Wes gave us two badly-needed points,” said Schroll.

The Devils called on Brad Gamble next, and Gamble responded with a state title in the 300 hurdles with a time of 38.96.

“For Brad to come up with three individual gold medals and one team gold medal, you know, he’s had a pretty bad cough that he’s fought through and a groin injury. But, he came back and got the state record in 110s yesterday,” said Schroll. “Brad’s all business when it comes to finals. He did a great job.”

The Lady Devils finished with six points. Devils junior Heather Mann placed sixth in the open 400 with a time of 1:01.28.

“She had a good day,” said Schroll. “She’s a junior, so we’ll be glad to have her back next year.”

Matheson finished the day with his heroic 200.

“Two of my guys are four-time gold medalists. Sean did it in two individuals and two relays. With him, he’s never run track before; this is his first year – just kinda learning all of this,” said Schroll. “I couldn’t be anymore proud of a youngster like that. I was describing him to another coach and said, “If Sean has his way, he prefers to be in fifth gear. But, if he’s forced to, he has an overdrive that he only uses on occasion – if he has to.’ He had to use it three times (Saturday). So, we’re glad he has that extra gear with about 30 meters to go.”

The Eagle Valley boys’ state title was the first non-skiing title in the valley since the Devils won state wrestling and the Battle Mountain boys won track in 1992.

“I’m just proud of these kids’ hard work. It’s a privilege to be a part of the best Eagle Valley track season our school’s had. A big thanks to the parents and coach (Randy) Rohweder. There’s nobody that knows track and field better than he does. Amy Flammang did a good job with the distance team and the long jump. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to have a team like this.

“The kids were pumped up. They were excited. I’m proud of everybody. Eagle Valley has a right to be proud of these guys.”

Andrew Harley can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or at

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