Johnny Landa, a Moffat County High School sophomore, admitted he was nervous before he stepped onto the track Friday during the state track and field meet in Lakewood.
Landa, a first-year track and field athlete, was on the biggest stage, running the 3,200-meters with the best in the state and in front of a packed stadium.
But as soon as the gun sounded, Landa and his nerves, were gone.
Landa finished 14th in the event, with a time of 10 minutes and 14.66 seconds, which was a personal best.
“I was nervous before because I had never run with all the other people (at the state meet),” he said. “I knew they would be fast, and I didn’t know how they would pace themselves.
“It wasn’t easy. I had to step it up a lot.”
Landa wasn’t the only MCHS athlete who stepped up on the second day of the state meet.
Teammate and fellow sophomore Alfredo Lebron finished seventh in the 3,200-meters with a time of 9:48.30, and junior Maddy Jourgensen finished fourth in the girls 3,200-meters with a time of 11:21.04.
Jourgensen was half of a second behind the all-time MCHS record in the 3,200-meters.
Jourgensen also finished 14th in the 800-meter run, while Brian Ivy (ninth) and Lauren Roberts (11th) both competed in the long jump.
Coach Todd Trapp said the track team ran exceptionally well Friday.
“In the 3,200, Maddy ran a great race,” he said. “She was perfect at the start and ran well until the end.
“The guys (Landa and Lebron) both ran well. They’re both sophomores, too,” Trapp said.
Lebron’s top-10 finish was aided by his hot start, Trapp said.
“He put himself in a position to compete at the start of the race,” he said. “He paced himself well, and (set a personal record).
“With Johnny, when he first came in, we didn’t know what to expect. But, he ran really well today, and I look forward to seeing what these two guys can do.”
For Ivy, the long jump was his last high school event after finishing third in the triple jump Thursday.
Trapp said the senior did a good job of placing twice at the meet.
“I know he wanted to move up a little,” Trapp said. “The scratches definitely hurt, but he was able to medal and that’s a great accomplishment to place twice.”
At 12:10 p.m. today, Lebron and Jourgensen will both run the mile, and the state meet concludes when Lindsey Yoast throws the discus at 1:30 p.m.