The Bayfield High School track and field teams capped off a historic season with more strong times at the Colorado High School Activities Association's 3A state meet in Lakewood. On Sunday, the Bayfield boys finished seventh overall out of 44 teams and the girls took ninth out of 38. The Wolverines nearly had a handful of state titles, but racked up points with runner-up performances.
Team members said the two-day weather delay in Denver didn't help their performances. After snow and rain hit Denver on Thursday morning, the Colorado High School Activities Association delayed the meet for two days, compressing the three-day event into competition on Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday, senior Amber Johnson joined dozens of graduates on the field of Jefferson County Stadium who were missing their commencement ceremonies back home. Several Bayfield seniors left Saturday night, some of them forgoing Sunday competition so they could graduate in Bayfield.
On Saturday, Carl Heide finished second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 40.49. The winner, Elizabeth's James Finken, finished in 40.42. Heide was in the lead close to the finish, but his foot hooked the last hurdle, bringing him down with a crash onto the track. On Sunday, he had recovered and took fourth in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.58. Dax Snooks was close behind in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.94 for 12th place.
Sam Westbrook had another near win, but settled for a second-place finish with a throw of 51-5.75 feet in the shot put. He was less than an inch behind winner Jacob Dack's 51-6.50.
The meet's compressed schedule hurt Westbrook's attempt for a state title, explained Chip Hodlmair, the BHS throwing coach. Westbrook had been catching up with Dack during competition, but the state tournament allowed only four attempts that day, instead of the usual six. With two more attempts, Holdmair said his top thrower might have captured a state championship.
There's some potential for the BHS throwers next year, however, with two juniors placing. Ryan Phelps finished seventh in the shot put with 47-0 and Wyatt Killinen was 14th (43-0.5). Westbrook also took second in the discus with a throw of 157-7 and Phelps was ninth with 141-8. Lutheran's Adam Dawson was the clear discus champion with a lengthy throw of 203-1. On the girls' team, Mikayla Barnes took 10th in discus with a throw off 100 feet one inche and was 16th in the shot put with 32-4.
Senior Amber Johnson closed out her career placing third in the 300 hurdles (46.81) and sixth in the 400-meter dash. On Sunday, she was in the lead pack in the 100 hurdles (16.84), but a competitor's final hurdle tipped over into her lane at the end of the race, sending her veering into another lane and hopping over it to finish. She also took 10th in the 200-meter dash (26.34).
Sophomore Jordan Lanning put points on the board with a third-place, 15.59 finish in the 100 hurdles. She was far and away the fastest sophomore in the race. Lanning also took third in the high jump with a clear of 5-3.5 and seventh in the long jump (16-5.5).
Colton Fine finished seventh in the pole vault with a clear of 11 feet, 10 inches. Dawson French cleared 11 feet four inches for 14th place.
Bayfield's 4x200 team of Dylan Hilliker, Killinen, Gus Roberts and Ethan Tate ran in 1:32.77 and finished ninth. Sloan Mazur's time of 2:01.90 earned 12th place in the 800-meter run.
The BHS girls sprint medley relay (Claire Belmear, Tymbree Florian, Maddi Foutz, Bridget Goddard) placed eighth with a time of 1:54.55. The boys 4x100 team of Hilliker, Killinen, Tate and Heide took 12th with a time of 44.83.
The boys 4x800 team of Alex Knight, Sloan Mazur, Jackson Sibley and Cody Speece took 14th with a time of 8.35.49.
Sunday night, the boys 4x400 relay team of Killinen, Heide, Mazur and Tate ran at almost 6 p.m. before heading back home. Their time of 3:37.35 was good enough for 17th place.
"Bayfield athletes responded to the circumstances presented to us with a great positive attitude," said Coach Gary Heide. "They all represented BHS with a fine display of performances and sportsmanship."
Still, it was disappointing for athletes who were hoping for state titles.
The two-day delay "affected a lot of people," particularly for Western Slope athletes who left for Denver on Wednesday, then didn't end up competing until Saturday, Johnson said.
She was running second in the 400-meter run, but in the final 20 meters, she was passed and took sixth.
"After five days in Denver, not eating my own food, I just couldn't hold on to that place," she said. "It was a rough weekend."
At the end of the 300-meter hurdles, she collapsed on the track.
"The delays were definitely part of it," she said.
Joe Fries of the Durango Herald contributed to this report.