Smith sixth; Rohweder set for finals
DENVER – You are really not meant to do this well on a bad hamstring.Eagle Valley’s Mike Smith, who seemed out for the season with a hammy injury just three weeks ago at Craig, continued to defy medical wisdom, finishing sixth in the long jump on the first day of the 4A state meet in Denver Friday.The senior flew 21 feet, 3 inches.”It just shows the competitive heart that he has,” Devils coach Jeff Shroll said. “He’s worked hard the last three weeks. I think he can do well (today) in the high jump.”
Smith was looking healthy Friday. Mesa Ridge’s Zach Little won the event with a leap of 22-1 1/2. Smith went well beyond that mark in his first attempt, but was flagged for a foul, nullifying what might have been a state-title jump.Smith was also spry enough to help the boys’ 400-meter relay team, including Brendan Wright, Matt Barker and Mike Medsker, record a season-best time of 44.72 seconds. Ready for launch
Though the boys’ 400 relay team did not qualify for today’s finals, the Devils are in numerous other events. Ashely Rohweder seems ready to go in the 300 hurdles after winning her heat in 45.72.Rohweder holds the best time in the state this year in the long hurdles and is the favorite, holding down lane No. 4 in today’s finals.”She ran a pretty good race in the prelims,” Shroll said. “There wasn’t anybody who could push her. In that sense, it was little bit of a bummer. She’ll be fine. It’s a good lane. She can see (the top competition).” “I think every family member they have from all across the world is here to watch her,” Shroll added with a laugh.On the other hand, Rohweder is used to pressure. The junior is making her third state appearance this weekend.
“My goal was just to win my heat,” Rohweder said. “I think it went pretty well because you don’t actually get to see the finish. I’m really excited for (today). I’m just trying to prepare myself for it. I have a lot of expectations for myself and hope I can come through.”Vinyl timeThere will be some new placards in the gym in Gypsum after Friday’s action. The girls’ 400 relay of Sierra Pickslay-Zamora, Shaylynn Nelson, Hattie Higgins and Rohweder set a new school record with a time of 50.58.
That quartet will be running in today’s finals.”It’s awesome to see how these girls work and see how fast they’re running,” Shroll said. “We still have not had a race where the handoffs were just awesome. We have a bad handoff and run really fast and a bad handoff and run really fast. If we could ever really get the handoff, they could easily move up to the front of the show.”Good handoffs or not, Rohweder was thrilled to get senior Higgins in the record book.”That was so cool,” she said. “All we wanted to do was break the school record for Hattie in her senior year. We did it, and we made finals. No matter what, we get a medal (today), so that’s good.”
The girls’ 800 relay didn’t qualify for the finals, but still set a new Eagle Valley mark. Michelle Parmenter, Hattie Higgins, Pickslay-Zamora and Nelson clocked in at 1 minute, 48.63 seconds.There’s more to come today as Amy Thompson, who fell short in Friday’s shot put, goes for the school record in the discus,Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.