Distance runners put girls in lead
GRAND JUNCTION — Emily Sperl has her eyes on three regional championships this weekend, and those eyes were wide open when she crossed the line for her sixth lap of the 3,200-meter run.
“I thought I only had one lap left,” the Moffat County senior said. “I saw the counter said lap two, and I hoped it just hadn’t been flipped. Then the guy yelled out ‘two laps,’ and I knew I was wrong.”
Sperl refocused and went on to win the race, finishing nine seconds in front of second-place teammate, senior Amelia Parker. Sperl’s time of 12 minutes, 5.76 seconds was a personal best, and she ran the last two laps by herself.
“I wanted to take it as easy as a I could because I have two more races tomorrow,” she said. “This is the third time I’ve raced the 3,200, so I’m happy for the win.”
It was Sperl’s first regional title after finishing second in the 1,600 last year.
“I really want to win the mile and help the 4×8 win,” she said. “I’m going for three titles for my senior year.”
Freshman Angie Charchalis joined Sperl as a regional winner. She held off the field after taking the lead in the second lap of the 800.
“They went out fast, and I thought my time was fast,” she said. “But it didn’t turn out to be that fast.”
Charchalis’ winning time was 2 minutes 24.6 seconds, which is right at her personal best.
Fast or not, she brought home a regional title. Last year, Angela Nelson won the race, and Friday, she earned another trip to state with a third-place finish. The top three finishers in every event qualify for state.
The distance girls accounted for 34 of the girls’ team’s 50.5 points. The Lady Bulldogs finished Day 1 of the Class 4A regional meet in first place, one point better than Eagle Valley.
“We thought we’d be in the top three, but not first,” coach Vicki Haddan said. “We did about everything we thought we’d do, and we had a couple of pleasant surprises.”
Freshman Markie Workman was one of those pleasant surprises.
The field-event specialist consistently had placed in the top-eight all season in the triple jump and high jump, but a top-three finish in either wasn’t expected Friday.
Workman cleared five feet in the high jump to finish third and earn a trip to state.
“I’d been stuck at 4’10” and 4’8″ all season so I was happy to get five,” she said. “It feels good to qualify for state as a freshman.”
Workman also scored points in the triple jump with a sixth-place finish.
Kierra Moore joined Workman on Haddan’s pleasant-surprise list.
Moore qualified for the finals in the 100 hurdles. She also ran the eighth-fastest time in the 100 but missed qualifying because she finished third in her heat. To move onto the finals a runner has to finish second in her heat, not in the top eight in overall times.
Senior Brittani Weber contributed to the team effort with a third-place finish in the shot put. Weber’s put of 35’1.75″ was the second time she has thrown in the 35 foot-range this season.
“I threw 37 in practice, but I’m glad at least to get back into 35,” she said.
As for her her third-place finish after finishing second last year, “I didn’t like waiting around after prelims. I think I tensed up too much in between.”
The second day of events starts at 8:30 a.m. with the 3,200-meter relays.
David Pressgrove can be creached at 824-7031 or email@example.com.
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