Early success jolts Vail Christian track | VailDaily.com

Early success jolts Vail Christian track

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colorado ” A good result in the 3,200-meter relay can sometimes leave a group of runners dragging, but it can also carry a track and field team through the day.

Vail Christian opened Friday’s Montrose Invitational with a record-setting 3,200 relay, and the Saints seemed to only get stronger as the meet progressed.

“You can pick up from other people’s energy,” said Vail Christian coach Chris Gamble. “It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm.”

The 3,200 team of Eric Gallagher, Ian Hamina, Chris Purse and Ryan Vlaar placed third at 9 minutes, 3.02 seconds, eight seconds better than the previous school record.

Vlaar nearly broke another school record in the open 800, taking fourth at 2:09.28 ” a personal-best time just 0.1 seconds off the Vail Christian mark. And Gallagher, whose split in the 3,200 was a career best, placed seventh in the 400 at 55.62, and also ran a leg of the 400 relay.

“When Eric finishes, he always has a smile on his face and is eager to compete in the next event,” Gamble said.

Jessica Linder ran what she considered a conservative 1,600, placing first at 5:36.24.

“She wanted to focus on her 800,” Gamble said.

Linder came in second in the 800 at 2:30.07, her personal-best time, giving the Saints 18 points in two races. Lettie Fickling was fifth in the 1,600, ducking under 6 minutes at 5:55.45. Fickling set the Saints’ 300 hurdles record yet again, this time at 55.14. Elizabeth Shearon was seventh in the 100 at 13.88.

In the field, Jason Propp leapfrogged his old mark in the long jump to take fourth, at 18 feet, 8 3/4 inches.

“He came into the meet jumping 16 feet, skipped 17 feet altogether and went straight into 18,” Gamble said.

The boys 800 relay team of Ian Ryan, Stephen Cheeseman, Sebastian Pierce-Durance and Matthew Myers was seventh.

Next Saturday, the Saints travel to West Grand for a league meet.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.

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