Huskies’ Erickson finishes 14th in 3,200 finale |

Huskies’ Erickson finishes 14th in 3,200 finale

Shane Macomber/Vail DailyBattle Mountains Zack Erickson hits the midway point in the boys 3,200-meter run Friday during the 4A state track and field meet at Legacy Stadium in Aurora. Erickson finished in 10 minutes, 38.29 seconds, good for 14th.

AURORA Zach Erickson felt like he was running the 3,200 meters on Mars Friday at the 4A state track meet at Legacy Stadium. “It was hotter than hell,” the gassed senior said. “That’s all I have to say. At regionals in Grand Junction it was pretty hot, but the heat today coming off the track today was unbearable.”Erickson failed to reel in his goal of finishing a 3,200 in fewer than 10 minutes in Friday’s final, finishing 14th in 10 minutes, 38.29 seconds. Niwot’s Todd Griffith made a charge in the final 400 meters to overtake Sterling’s Tyler Rasmussen for the gold with a time of 9:49.49.Erickson was smiling, regardless of coming across the finish line slower than he’d hoped. After a senior season in which he finally reached his goal of qualifying for state, there was little about which to complain. “I was the best in my region,” he said. “I didn’t do as good as I wanted overall, but I was happy with it. It was just really tough because of the heat, but it was hot for everyone. Everyone had the same effect. So, there’s no excuse.”To say it was hot Friday would be an understatement. Legacy Stadium felt like a charcoal pit; the lanes on the oval track were the grill. Erickson’s final didn’t start until 5:10 p.m. – about the time every team in the stadium was salivating, thinking about a dip in the hotel pool.

Battle Mountain coach Rob Parish said he was proud of his senior for toughing it out. He was also proud of junior Derek Rush, who threw 132 feet, 2 inches in the discus to finish 11th. “They both had really solid days,” Parish said. “It’s the first time at state for both of them and it’s just definitely a different atmosphere here. They did really well in their first day here.”Rush, like Erickson, didn’t cross off his state goal. He wanted to finish in the top 10, but failed to do so, finishing behind Skyline’s Conan Smith by more than two feet. Smith’s toss of 134-08 rounded out the top-10.Rush still has next year.”My personal best this season was 137,” the junior said. “It was a pretty good throw today, but I knew I could do better. I was a little disappointed.”There weren’t any nerves, Rush said. He mentioned that all season long he threw against Eagle Valley’s Jacob Rivera and Rifle’s Andrew Stone – who finished second and fourth, respectively – so it wasn’t a case of being wide-eyed at state.

Lettovska fails to scoreSophomore Jane Lettovska was the only other Husky to compete Friday, though her state showing wasn’t as memorable. Lettovska failed to record a jump that was long enough to be scored in the long jump. She scratched on her first two jumps, then didn’t fly far enough in her final jump. The reason for the mishaps?All week Lettovska had been training on a take-off board with a longer distance to the jumping pit. The board at Legacy Stadium was 4 feet shorter than that to which she was accustomed, so her timing got screwed up.”The first few jumps I wasn’t on the board correctly,” she said. “I was used to the feeling of being further from the pit, so I was going off different and I just got scratched twice. If I had a fourth jump, I would have probably made finals.”

Big day todayAfter a light opening day of competition Friday, the Huskies will compete in three finals today. The 3,200-meter relay team of Shea Phelan, Zach Erickson, Travis Landauer and Grant Stevenson will try to break its personal-best time of 8:07 this morning, and sophomore Chrystin Rodrick will attempt to break the school record of 5:24 in the 1,600 final at 12:15 p.m..Jonathan Stevens will also compete in the pole-vault final, following weigh-ins at 8:15 a.m.Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via Vail, Colorado

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