Prep notebook: Eagle Valley’s Shreeve makes two hurdle finals at 4A state track meet
Eagle Valley sophomore advances in 300 hurdles, Heimerl takes eighth in high jump
Zakia Shreeve will have double hurdle duty on Saturday. The Eagle Valley sophomore cruised into the 300-meter hurdle finals by running 47.02 seconds in Friday’s prelim, a day after making the 100-meter hurdles final.
“We’re just trying to do this one race at a time — don’t look at Saturday at all,” head coach Jeff Shroll said of Shreeve, who posted the seventh-fastest time of the day for 4A.
“And I think it’s paid off for her because now she gets to race in both finals and be on the podiums. I think it takes a lot of pressure off of her.”
With nine runners in each of the 100- and 300-meter hurdles finals, Shreeve is guaranteed a medal. Niwot’s Kimora Northrup and Northfield’s Justice Ephrim were on another level in the 300 prelims — running 44.42 and 44.45, respectively, but the gap from third-best (46.26 by Rimari Facey) to sixth (46.76 by Niwot’s Ashlenn Baca) was a lot tighter. Shroll said a realistic goal for Shreeve will be improving upon her sixth-place finish from last year.
“If she runs like I know she can run and how she’s trained for, I think she can definitely be in the top five,” he said.
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“The 300 is her bread and butter. I feel super excited she made it in the 100 because this is her first year doing it. It’s just a harder technique and I’m just delighted she made finals.”
Huskies sprint medley places fourth
Battle Mountain’s sprint medley relay team of Marlee Geisler, Tabi Schroeder, Kiki Hancock and Presley Smith took fourth in a time of 1 minute, 50.00 seconds on Friday morning. Windsor ran 1:48.66 to take the win, with Mountain View and Cheyenne Mountain finishing second and third.
“The handoffs were good and I thought they executed really well,” sprints coach Josh Wright said. Wright noted the team came within a hair — 0.28 seconds to be exact — of a school record it set earlier this season, no easy feat considering Friday’s cool temperatures and slight drizzle didn’t make for exactly prime sprinting conditions.
“To come that close and throughout the season — it speaks to their consistency and effort all year,” he said. “They work so hard and have a lot of fun together.”
Smith and Hancock joined Milaina Almonte and Lindsey Kiehl to lead the Huskies to a season-best 4:02.62 in the final event of the day, the 4-by-400-meter relay prelims. The Huskies’ time was behind only Windsor (4:02.31) and Niwot (3:59.08).
Kaden Kraft, Jonathan Boyer, Jake Drever and Kevin Hasley got Eagle Valley’s 4-by-400 team into the final as well. The Devils ran a season-best 3:26.88, the seventh-best time on the day for 4A. Windsor’s 3:23.02 will enter Saturday’s final as the top mark, but the Devils should be in the mix for a top-five finish.
Heimerl places eighth in high jump
When Tyler Heimerl qualified for the 2022 state meet, she was just happy to be at Jeffco Stadium. The Battle Mountain sophomore went into Friday’s high jump final with loftier expectations — that’s what happens when you improve 4 inches in one season.
“I was thinking about a (state) podium (at the beginning of the year), but I never knew I would actually do it,” she said after placing eighth with a jump of 5 feet even. “So it’s just weird … it’s all new to me.”
With Green Mountain’s Eva Bellot winning the event at 5-06, Heimerl would’ve especially enjoyed reaching or surpassing her season best of 5-04. Even so, she was in good spirits and looking ahead to the rest of the meet immediately after the event.
“I felt a little slow today, but I don’t know, it was just an off day,” she said of her performance. “I wanted to PR, but I have another event left and that’s what I’m looking forward to and I can’t get too down on myself.”
Heimerl is seeded ninth in the triple jump at 35-03, but her coaches indicated she has potential for more.
“I think she’s got a 37-plus if she has a good second phase,” said coach Scott Graves, adding that the key will be a low first jump and a longer second. “Instead of taking a step, she needs to leap out on her second phase.”
Heimerl’s emergence in all three jumping events — she placed 11th in the long jump on Thursday — comes down to a combination of technique and strength.
“I really just focus on what’s next to come,” Heimerl said when asked how she improved so much this season. “I just watch my videos of my last jump and critique what I do, and then I just jump higher.”
Her coaches also have revamped her approach in the high jump and believe Heimerl’s physical and mental maturity has played a role, too. Though she also plays volleyball for the Huskies, this strong track season might be forcing a slight priority shift.
“Track really just came out of nowhere for me, so I would like to say it’s my favorite, but I never know,” she said.