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Eads Girls' Track Team Places 4th in State Meet Behind Smith's Discus Championship

“We did everything we could to bring home a championship, as every single race we ran was our best time---every single one.”  That was the sentiment from Eads Head Track & Field coach Stephanie Bohlander about the fourth place team finish her eight girls brought home from Jeffco Stadium in Denver over the weekend.  The Eagles finished fourth scoring 52 points.  Leading the girls’ team was the only senior on the team, Mariah Smith, who nailed a state record breaking 133’ 8” discus throw that elevated her to state champion status.  Zach Haase, a senior at Eads, was the only boy who qualified for state and placed 20th out of 40 teams all by himself.  Zach Haase - Photo Credit Bob SchecterAdmittedly, the area boys had a tough go of it as Shining Mountain blew away the competition with a loaded team.  Haase performed well for Eads but just not good enough to challenge for a state title in any of the three events he had qualified for.  He started out right away in the Long Jump where he eventually placed fourth.  According to Coach Bohlander, “Zach just struggled to get momentum today.”  He would hit some good distances but ended up falling back and losing those precious inches he needed.  He never got anything past 19’ until his final jump where he hit the 4th place jump with a 20’ 4.25” effort.  Kit Carson’s Cordell Farmer also struggled in the state atmosphere scratching on his first three jumps and then finally inching out an 18’ 5” jump that gave him a couple points in 8th place. 

Going into the Triple Jump the expectations were high for Haase who recently broke the school record at 43’ 8.5”.  If he had managed to hit that standard he would have been a state champion; however, the cold and wet conditions were very difficult and, again, it would take his final jump of 42’ 1.5” to get him some hardware.  It would be another 4th place finish for the senior.  Noah Scheimer, a senior out of Cheyenne Wells, hit a 39’ 3.5” jump for an 8th place finish.

However, there would definitely be a bright spot for the senior Haase as he actually just slipped into the top 10 in the open 200M after someone else dropped out on Monday evening.  Haase had a tremendous race and ran his best time ever placing in 5th place in a very good time of 23.70. 

The Eads team is certainly going to miss Haase as this amazingly athletic kid will leave a school record in the triple jump and a lot of challenges for future tracksters to rise up and meet. 

Smith’s dedication and steady strength helped a very young team compete in the tough girls’ division.  The only team out in this part of the world that Eads had not been able to beat was Springfield who was absolutely loaded to the hilt with fine runners in every single relay.  Those six relays were the bread and butter of Springfield’s team strategy.  The conditions during most of the track events were very difficult with cold driving rain and, at times, extremely strong wind. 
Eads and Plainview girls dominate state, taking 4th place.  Photo by Bob Schecter
In the field events Smith and freshman Colby Stoker held their own in the shot put.  This is not Smith’s best event but this year she managed to not only qualify in the shot, but to score some much-needed points for her team.  She would place 7th with a best performance throw of 32’ 1.25”.   Stoker showed she has a promising future ahead of her placing in 6th with a 32’ 7.25” performance.  The shot put podium was filled with local girls as Genoa-Hugo’s Heather Graham was the state champion and fellow team member Rheilly Smartt placed in second.  Kit Carson’s Tess Hornung brought home their highest finish of the meet as she threw an impressive 34’ 6.5” for third place. 

The Eads jumpers struggled in the conditions and never really met their better performances but did battle in the four jumps they put in.  Junior Kaylee Wilson would find some success on her fourth and final jump in the Triple Jump to place in 6th with a 31’ 1” performance.  Miranda Mitchek struggled and did not place in the triple jump but earned an important point for Eads in the Long Jump placing 9th after hitting a 14’ 1.75” jump on her first attempt.  Morgyn Johnson joined Plainview senior Lydia Splitter at the high jump pit and placed in 7th going out at 4’11”.  Splitter was 6th as she would get over the 4’11” challenge. 

But it was really on the track that the Eads girls shined.  Their relays were tremendous and Coach Bohlander was thrilled with their gut-wrenching performances.  They started out with another school record in the 800 Medley Relay hitting a new low standard of 1:57.27.  In that relay, sophomore Kaycee Ellenberger and junior Miranda Mitchek each run 100M leg handing off to freshman Ally Spady for a 200 leg.  The final lap goes to the expertise of Reagen Johnson who was also 6th in the open 400M at state.  Johnson can run the quarter down around 63 to 64 seconds.  On this day, the gutsy junior dove across the finish line to secure second place in a very close finish at the wire. 
Miranda Mitchek handing off to Reagen Johnson Photo Credit Bob Schecter
The Eads girls then traded out Mitchek for sophomore Morgyn Johnson in the 4x200 Relay where they again placed as the state runner-up team.  Each team member runs a 200M leg with Morgyn starting the race, handing off to Ellenberger, who hands off to Spady, who gives the baton to Johnson who brings it home.  Their time was just behind Springfield with a 1:52.94.

Then there was the dramatic 4x100 relay where Eads was seeded in 3rd but all three teams including Springfield, Kim, and Eads were just tenths of seconds apart.  At the final exchange Eads had a good one between Reagen Johnson and the freshman Spady who got pushed into a close 2nd place with Springfield.  However, the freshman knew the fastest girl in 1A, Zariah Mason from Kim was right behind them and she came barreling up to a 3-way nose-to-nose finish.  When the dust cleared the camera captured Springfield, then Kim, then Eads in that order.  According to Bohlander, “They learned so much about winning and about losing; about disappointment and rewards; and about true team work.  I couldn’t be more proud of that performance.”  Eads’ time was 53.3, the best they had run it all year.
Mariah Smith – State Champion, School Record, 1A State Record 
In looking at the state meet and everything that occurred, Bohlander was philosophical, “I think the other thing I’d say would be how proud of the kids Trey and I are.  Competing on such a large stage as state track where there’s so many people and such a big venue is hard; learning to manage nerves, learning how important preparation is and taking care of your bodies, learning the ins and outs of competition, and then rising up when it counts and performing at your best is so important for these kids.  It’s what life is about.  We have such amazing young people and a great tradition here at Eads.  At one point, I looked down the fence line and all I saw was Eads purple and gold cheering for their own;  we had current athletes and three graduates of our program there yelling along with us.  Boone (Daniel Weirich) showed up to every event of ours along with Garrett (Smith) and were the heart and soul in it with us.  That says a lot about the type of people that come out of our school and programs.”

Eads is a young team and Bohlander is extremely excited about next year.  She hopes to get some of the ones who sat on the sidelines this spring to come out and join them next year because she thinks Eads has the athletes to actually win a state championship.  Eads only loses Mariah Smith and Zach Haase---two athletes that were very special to the program. 

Photo Credit Bob Schecter
 
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