Vail Christian sends a bunch to the dance
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” The ladies are the champs again.
Vail Christian added another regional championship to its short, but storied track and field history with a win in the girls medley Saturday down at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
Meghan Jacobs, Elizabeth Shearon, Ashlyn Gruber and Jessica Linder topped the 2A field in a time of 1 minute, 57.9 seconds, also a school record, headlining a myriad of Saints who are off to the state meet next week in Denver.
For those who like trivia, your last Vail Christian regional champion was the girls 3,200-meter team of Katie Russ, Molly McGee, Liz Bowles and that Linder lady in 2007.
“In all honesty, it was the best weather we’ve had since our first meet,” Saints coach Chris Gamble said. “We had athletes peaking at the right time. Regionals is a fun meet. I don’t want to bring up the issue again, but regionals has almost a more fun culture than state. Everyone’s there and success is contagious. I think our team saw how that worked.”
The issue to which Gamble referred is the state-qualifying system. In 5A and 4A, there is no regional meet with the top-18 competitors in the state getting tickets to Denver. Classes 3A and 2A, including the Saints, are still using the older method of pre-qualification and taking the top-three from regionals.
Vail Christian was happy to oblige with the outcome. Kylie Alexander qualified in pole vault with a leap of 7 feet, 6 inches, good for second place. The boys 3,200 relay of Eric Gallagher, Ian Hamina, Chris Purse and Ryan Vlaar is on its way to state with a school record and third-place finish in 8:36.43.
Hamina also set school records in the open 3,200 and 1,600.
Linder is heading to Denver again on her own as well by taking third in the open 800. Gruber will represent the Saints on the Front Range in both the 200 (second) and 400 (third).
Elizabeth Shearon traded in soccer cleats for running flats late this spring and qualified in the 100. Senior Will Parker leaves Vail Christian as the school’s new record holder in the long jump, going 18-11. Parker, Gallagher, Steil Beagley and Ryan Vlaar teamed up for the new school mark in the mile relay (3:40).
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.