MCHS’ Jourgensen takes 3rd at state, breaks school record in 3,200-meter run
With 100 meters left Friday at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, Maddy Jourgensen looked up at the clock and kicked her speed into another gear.
As she crossed the finish line in the 3,200-meter run, Jourgensen, a Moffat County High School senior, said she knew she accomplished her season-long goal.
Jourgensen clocked in at 8 minutes, 15.22 seconds — good for third place in the 4A state meet as well as a new MCHS school record.
Christina Moyer previously set the record at 8 minutes, 20.56 seconds in 1997.
“When I crossed the finish line, I knew I had beat the time,” Jourgensen said after the race. “It feels great to finally get the record. It still doesn’t feel real.”
Jourgensen came within half a second of the record in last year’s state meet and said besting Moyer’s time would be her main goal this year.
The competition level helped, Jourgensen said, in pushing herself to a 20-second improvement on her previous season best.
“Anytime I can run with great competition, it really helps me run faster,” she said. “I wasn’t sure coming in how fast I was going to run, but everyone ran great and we weren’t sure how it was going to end.”
Sydney Scott of Denver South came in second with a time of 11 minutes, 3.65 seconds and Heather Bates of Discovery Canyon won the event in 10 minutes, 57.79 seconds.
Todd Trapp, the MCHS girls varsity track and field coach, said Jourgensen was finally getting comfortable on the track toward the end of the season.
“Maddy had to miss a few races early, but she came on strong as the season progressed,” he said. “She had a lot of confidence the last few weeks, and everything came together for her (Saturday).
“It was really exciting to see her break (the record) and I know she was super excited.”
Jourgensen’s counterpart on the boys team, junior Alfredo Lebron, took fourth place in the boys 3,200-meter dash with a time of 9 minutes, 39.37 seconds.
Lebron finished behind three seniors, led by Pueblo West’s Michael Cernoia, who won with a time of 9 minutes, 22.62 seconds.
“It was a good race,” Lebron said. “I stayed in the top four, but the first guy seemed to speed up every lap. I didn’t give up and I stayed with the other two guys.”
Trapp, who works with Lebron in training for distance, said the junior ran a little different race than he was use to.
“The top four guys, including Alfredo, finished the first mile in about 4 minutes, 40 seconds,” he said. “I’m not sure if he was use to that and he didn’t have as much of a burst at the end of the second mile.”
Lebron said his goal was to finish in the top three, but he is happy with his race.
“The first mile was fast and tough, but I kind of settled in on the second mile,” he said. “I know I want to be at the top of each of my events and I have next year to accomplish that in the (3,200-meter run).”
Senior Lauren Roberts competed in the last event of her high school career Friday.
Roberts took eighth place in long jump with a distance of 16 feet, 4 inches. The finish was good enough to earn Roberts a state medal.
On Thursday, Roberts failed to record a height in high jump.
Trapp said her ability to bounce back was outstanding.
“Lauren came right out and marked on her first jump, which I think helped take the pressure off,” he said. “For her to come back the next day after high jump and take eighth is a testament to her hard work. Everyone wants to get a medal, so it is a good accomplishment for her.”
With Roberts’ medal, the Bulldogs medaled all the athletes they took to the state meet, which included junior Garrett Spears — who took sixth in shot put Thursday — and the fifth-place finishing boys 4-by-800-meter relay
Jourgensen and Lebron will close out for the Bulldogs in the 1,600-meter run today.