Eagle Valley’s Blair hits the podium in both the 3,200 and 800
LAKEWOOD — Not a bad day’s work for a sophomore.
Eagle Valley’s Joslin Blair’s been an up-and-coming runner in Colorado circles for almost two years. On Friday, May 18, during Day 2 of the state meet, Blair arrived.
The sophomore took bronze in the open 3,200 meters and followed that up with another trip to the podium with a fifth-place finish in the open 800.
Her time of 11 minutes, 1.68 seconds was just behind Discovery Canyon’s Liberty Ricca (10:57.56) and Valor Christian’s Taylor Whitfield (11:00.93).
“I was seeded fifth coming in, so doing better is great,” she said. “It’s also a huge motivation being that close to get it next year.”
Shaving four more seconds off seems quite possible for Blair as she started the season at 11:20 in the 3,200, and has been breaking her own records all season in multiple events.
“We do have the magnetic numbers, but I do have to get a huge ladder out,” Devils track coach Jeff Shroll joked about the school’s record board in the gymnasium.
On a more serious note, Shroll said that she wanted Blair to get a feel for things during the first two laps, which she did running mellow 1:22 400-meter intervals. After that, Blair had the green light to try to take the lead.
Ricca, Whitfield and Blair were all within 2 seconds after six laps (2,400 meters). Ricca ended the race for gold with a 1:20 seventh lap. Blair led Whitfield by 3-hundredths of a second, going into the bell lap. Both had blistering eighth-lap times with Whitfield edging Blair, 1:15.50-1:16.29.
Those two laps, coming at the end of a 3,200-meter run, were the fastest 400s recorded in the race.
“It’s awesome for her,” Shroll said. “In smaller meets, she rises to the top. In bigger meets, she rises to the top. I think she’s getting really comfortable. She’s not afraid of a different colored jersey.”
Blair can also come back four hours after running a 3,200 and make the podium in an 800.
“I just try to cool down, get drained, stretch a bit and get some ice,” she said. “I felt a little bit tired, but pretty good overall.”
For the uninitiated, draining is putting up one’s legs to work out the lactic acid. That seemed to work because she came back to post a 2:17.16 in the 800.
While fifth in the 800 as a sophomore is outstanding, Blair got boxed in a little bit in a very competitive 4A field. That’s a learning experience, and if past racing results are any indication, she’ll figure that out, too.
What’s more, Blair has one more race at state on Saturday, May 19. She is the No. 1-ranked 4A athlete in the 1,600 with Battle Mountain’s Lizzy and Naomi Harding Nos. 2-3.
“I think it’s pretty cool that we have kids from Eagle County who are 1-2-3,” Blair said.
In other Eagle Valley action at state, Harrison Trotter flew 6 feet, 4 inches to tie for fifth on Friday. The 6-4 is a new personal record for Trotter. He almost made 6-6, which would have tied a school record.
Matthew Turner finished T13 with a leap of 6 feet.
Trotter was busy, finishing 11th in the 300 hurdles. While that didn’t qualify him for finals, he is running in 110s on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Eagle Valley boys 1,600 relay put up a good time of 3:28.39, but Alejandro Aragon, Bailey Scrivens, Miguel Castillo and Trotter were just outside of qualifying.
Sprint medley, Harding shine for Huskies
Meanwhile, it’s a world gone mad at Battle Mountain.
The Huskies’ sprint medley team finished eighth in Friday’s finals. The next thing you know Battle Mountain will be known more for its sprinting and not long-distance running.
In all seriousness, that is the first time in coach Rob Parish’s two tenures as running coach that the medley has scored at state. Take a bow, Karla Juarez, Gabby Trueblood, Sabrina Sutter and Sofia Piliero.
In the more traditional Battle Mountain events, there were a host of Huskies in the 3,200 behind Blair. Grace Johnson was fifth (11:06.82), Lizzy Harding sixth (11:09.88) and Elizabeth Constien 17th.
In the 800, Naomi Harding nipped Blair by about a half-second for fourth. Alex Raichart was 11th, Constien 14th and Trueblood 15th.
Trueblood was understandably a little bit bushed after an open 3,200 and an 800, not to mention being part of the winning 3,200 relay team on Thursday, May 17. So Parish subbed her out of the 1,600 relay preliminaries. Freshman Emma Reeder, Raichart, Naomi Harding and Sofia Piliero clocked a 3:59.06 for fourth, easily qualifying for Saturday’s finals.
With Raichart, Piliero and Trueblood, back in the lineup, all with fresh legs, Parish feels that the Huskies mile can make some noise. (Naomi Harding is in the 1,600 earlier on Saturday.)
In the boys’ 800, James Moran made the podium with a time of 1:58 even, good for eighth place. That was a fitting finale for the senior.
“James has been such a cornerstone of our program,” Parish said. “He’s bridged the gap from Josh Braun, Ricky Arreola and Jake Borel to this new crew. He’s been a fantastic leader in both the fall and the spring.”
Freshman Reeder finished 14th in the 300 hurdles, while Sutter took 14th in the long jump.
And next up
Day 3 at state starts with two marquee events. Blair and the Hardings go in the much-anticipated mile.
It’s also Vault-a-Palooza 2018 as Eagle County has the top four vaulters in the state with Battle Mountain’s Wyatt Nelson and Eagle Valley’s Ethan Daubs, Joseph White and Holden Daniels.
Battle Mountain’s girls 1,600 is shooting for the top spot, while Eagle Valley’s Cassie Jaramillo and Battle Mountain’s Max Christenberry go for the podium in the discus.