Alicia Nelson fastest runner in MCHS history
If ever there was a time for Alicia Nelson to make her move, it was with 250 meters left on her last lap of her last high school race.
Coming in to the state meet, Nelson was ranked third in the girls 1,600-meter run, and on Saturday, she sought to end her high school career by running a mile in less than five minutes.
Despite trailing Thompson Valley High School’s Laura Tremblay and Sierra High School’s Samantha Thompson for most of the race, Nelson hung close, ready to make her move.
With 250 meters left, Nelson felt a surge of adrenaline and passed Thompson to move in to second place.
But the adrenaline rush from the pass didn’t wane until after Nelson crossed the finish line, as she clocked the second fastest mile in Colorado state meet history, at 4:55.47.
The fastest, unfortunately, was one second ahead of Nelson at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.
Tremblay broke the record of 4 minutes and 56 seconds with a time of 4:54.59.
But, Nelson wasn’t complaining after the race – she did break her own Moffat County High School record for the mile, 5 minutes and 4 seconds.
“It felt good,” she said. “It was just a rush running with all those other girls because they are so fast.”
Last year, Nelson placed third in the mile with a time of 5:09. She credited her 14-second improvement with increased work.
“We started last summer,” she said. “And (Coach Todd) Trapp is really good at pacing us, so we peak at the right moment. He’s really good at bringing out the best in us.”
Fellow senior Erin Urbanoski started the day by finishing third in the 100-meter dash.
Last year, Urbanoski failed to qualify for the finals in the dash, so taking third place was a welcome improvement.
“I ran pretty good,” Urbanoski said. “I feel like I could have run a little better, but after three days, I’m tired.”
Her time of 12.50 was slightly slower than her qualifying time of 12.46 seconds.
Finishing her career with a medal was a fitting end for Urbanoski, who won her third consecutive long-jump title Friday.
“It’s a little sad,” Urbanoski said. “But, I’m excited because I think I ended on the best positive note possible.”
Although she placed higher in the mile last year, sophomore Maddy Jourgensen improved her time by finishing the race in 5:23.25.
Part of her slip from 10th to 11th was the caliber of the other runners, she said.
“The competition was really good – really fast,” Jourgensen said. “They were a lot of fast runners out there today.”
But, she still ran one of her best races of the season, she said.
“I ran fairly well,” she said. “Next year, I want to run the mile in under 5 minutes 20 seconds.”
But, next year Jourgensen will have to find a new training partner, as Nelson begins running at the collegiate level.
“It’s going to be weird,” Jourgensen said. “We’ve always run together, and next year, I’ll have to find someone new to run with.
“I’m hoping to find a freshman and try to teach them everything I know. But, I’m still learning myself.”
Coach Todd Trapp said it was a bittersweet day, as his two senior athletes performed well, but would never again suit up in the blue and white.
“Erin and Alicia just ran their hearts out today,” Trapp said. “It was the last time for them in a Moffat County uniform, and they both went out on top.
“And Maddy came out and had one of her fastest times. As a coach, it’s easy to get excited about these performances.”
But, the day ultimately ended in a loss.
“Next year, we’re not just going to be losing just the performances of Erin and Alicia,” Trapp said. “We’re going to be losing two of our leaders.
“They lead by example, and a lot of the younger kids on the team look up to them. They see their dedication to the sport, the hard work they put in, and what it takes to get to the next level.”
Next year, the younger athletes will look up to Jourgensen and fellow sophomore Lauren Roberts, Trapp said.
“I know they will all look to them to lead by example now,” he said. “They’ve both been to state, and know what it takes to make it to the next level.”
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