Prep notebook: VMS moves on in playoffs
Middaugh sets 1600-meter run school record at last chance meet
No. 4 Vail Mountain School scored three first-half goals, ultimately edging No. 13 Peak to Peak 3-1 Saturday morning in the second round of the 3A state girls soccer tournament in Vail. The Gore Rangers (15-2) will face No. 5 Lutheran in the quarterfinals on May 17. Lutheran defeated Resurrection Christian 9-0 in its second round matchup.
Sullivan Middaugh has been chasing track records his entire illustrious career, and on Friday night’s St. Vrain HOKA Invitational, he ran 4 minutes, 19.97 seconds in the 1600-meter to break John O’Neill’s 2008 record of 4:24.23.
“We’ve been working on that for a while and it finally worked out,” coach Rob Parish said.
“He’s healthy, the weather cooperated and the competition was great, so it all worked out for him.”
With most of the best 4A and 5A runners in the field, Parish said, “everyone knew it was possibly the most competitive mile ever in Colorado.”
The leaders didn’t go with eventual winner Zane Bergen, anticipating the Niwot star with 4:02 pedigree would take things out fast. A pack of intelligent veterans helped Middaugh, who stayed mid-pack. Though a 67-second second lap was behind the desired pace, Middaugh didn’t quit.
“He did a great job on the last lap, not settling,” the coach said, noting that Middaugh closed in a 2:07 second half, including a 62-second final lap, to finish 11th. Bergen won the race in 4:08.54.
“He knew what he had to do and just went for it,” Parish stated.
Earlier this year, Sullivan and his younger brother, Porter, both took down O’Neill’s longstanding 3200-meter record at the Arcadia Invitational. Middaugh’s run wasn’t the only Husky highlight, however.
“It was a monster meet,” Parish said of the nearly 90-team field. Will Brunner completed an impressive distance double, running 4:30.58 in the 1600 after winning the 3200-meter in 9:37.94.
“I think that was the best — certainly on the guys side — distance double we’ve ever had,” complimented Parish.
On the girls’ side, Presley Smith ran a personal-best 59.09, the second-fastest time in school history and fastest electronic-timed quarter ever, to place fifth in a deep girls’ 400-meter dash. Parish said he “has a hunch the school record of 58.41 from 1998 was hand-timed.
“She’s split under 60 a bunch of times. We all knew she was ready to run under 60 in an open, but she’s been running them in 30-mph winds,” Parish said.
“We knew she could do it — it just had to be situational.
Milaina Almonte ran a personal-best 5:08.79 in the 1600-meter, the sixth-best in school history. The girls also received second-place finishes from Augustine Hancock in the discus as well as the 800-meter sprint medley relay and a third in the 4×400-meter relay. In that relay, two legs were coming back from the mile 45-minutes earlier and one leg was brand new.
“I think it definitely has the potential to be a 4-flat team,” Parish said, noting that Kiki Hancock split 60.8 in her first one-lap sprint ever.
Eagle Valley was also chasing fast times at weekend last chance meets — the state-qualifying window closed Saturday night — with athletes at both St. Vrain and the Last Chance at Jeffco Stadium meet on Saturday.
Samantha Blair doubled up in the 800 (2:22.52) and and 400 (1:00.94) and Jake Drever raced to a second-place finish in Saturday’s 1600 (4:43.80) after contesting the 800-meter Friday.
Freshman Zakia Shreeve ran a personal-best 47.36 in the 300-hurdles, placing third. Shreeve was also sixth in the long jump and Yanitza Carbajal placed fifth in the triple jump.
Roman Turner won long jump at the Jeffco Last chance with a personal best of 21 feet, 2.25 inches and Ian Pennington took the pole vault title with a clearance of 13 feet, 1 inch.