Vail Christian’s Kinsella golden in 200
Saints boys finish fifth
Lean, Kellen, lean.
Vail Christian’s Kellen Kinsella won the 2A title in the open 200 meters on Saturday in a photo finish with Rocky Ford’s David Trujillo at Lakewood’s Jeffco Stadium.
The Saints senior came from behind during the final strides.
“I had no idea,” Kinsella said of the wait for the result. “I was pretty sure I lost.”
How long was the wait, Kellen?
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“Like 15 minutes,” he joked. “It was probably more like 15 seconds.”
That was Kinsella’s second gold of the weekend — he also was part of Vail Christian’s winner in the 800 relay on Friday. And he finished third in the 400 and fifth in the 100.
This was all part of a fantastic weekend for the Saints, whose boys finished fifth in the state, while the ladies were eighth in Class 2A.
Thousandths of seconds
Nobody had a clue who won the 2A 200.
“He leans really well,” Saints coach Jen Sticksel said of Kinsella. “Maybe? I couldn’t tell it was so close.”
Kinsella credited the win to form.
“I’d say when you’re running, you get tired at about 150 meters,” he said. “When you’re tired, you need to keep your form to be fast and efficient.”
While it’s stipulated that alpine skiing and track and field are completely different forms of athletic activity, Kinsella, recently named to the U.S. Ski Team, does have a lot of experience watching video of himself, and keeping one’s form can mean the smallest morsels of time.
Officially, Kinsella finished in 23.005 seconds, with Trujillo at 23.007 seconds.
Ironically, on Saturday, Kinsella ran personal bests in the 100 and 400 and didn’t achieve his goal of breaking 23 seconds in the 200. Of course, he’s not going to give the 200 title back, but he seemed more excited about his personal record in the 400.
“When they told me I ran 50.7 seconds in the 400, I was pumped,” he said. “My previous best was 52.9.”
Vail Christian seemed all over the place — in a good way — on Saturday. The boys mile relay took second. That’s E.J. Koller, Hayden Sticksel, Luke Bowers and Quinn Mitchell. P.G. Nklang’ango, Zach Dolan, Sticksel and Mitchell were third in the 400 relay.
Of course, coach Jen Sticksel is not the first parent to coach her own kid. It’s quite commonplace, particularly at Vail Christian (Cathy and Charlie Alexander in volleyball and pole vault with Kylie and Taylor, and Shledon Kuhns in basketball with both Ethan and Abby).
Of course, coach Sticksel is all about what’s best for the Saints in the big picture, but those two races made her a happy camper Saturday.
“They’re all really good friends, and nothing makes Mom feel better than watching her son jump up and down,” coach Sticksel said.
Another thing that’ll make the coach happy is that Kendelle Smith finished fourth in both the 200 and 400. Mariana Engleby was also in the points in the 400. With Catherine Donoho likely back from injury next year, the Saints have a bunch of young female sprinters returning.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.