When the Mile High League Championship started on Friday, Nederland Middle Senior High School was enveloped in a cold grey mist. Athletes from down below gathered inside the gymnasium, storing their duffel bags, wrapping their knees and ankles, stretching, taking off and then putting back on layers of clothing instead of setting up tents outside.
It was a confusing day. One minute it
was cold and grey, the next sunny, then tiny balls of hail pummeled the field bouncing off the artificial turf. On with the jackets, off with the jackets.
Nederland race volunteer Bill Thibedeau donned six layers of clothes to keep him warm while he helped with the long jump. Most of the layers stayed on throughout the day.
The good news was that the league championship at the NMSHS field was not cancelled or switched to down below. It went on in spite of the schizophrenic weather day without a hitch and there were few complaints from the athletes who ran faster and jumped higher to stay warm.
Hot chocolate flew out of the concession stand and volunteers had to make trips to town to pick up more hot dogs.
Nine schools competed in the meet: Liberty Common, Dayspring Christian, Heritage Christian, Resurrection Christian, Shining Mountains, Nederland, Denver Christian, Denver Academy and Twin Peaks Charter School.
The Nederland girls came in fifth place, with Liberty Common, Dayspring Christian, and Heritage Christian claiming the first three spots. The boys came in sixth place with Resurrection Christian, Liberty Common, and Heritage Christian in the first three places.
The Ned girls took first place in the 4×8 meter relay. Bailey Kuechenmeister came in first in the 800 meter run and eighth in the 3200 meter run. She will be participating in the Colorado High School State Championship.
The 3200 was grabbed by a brilliant run by Rebekah and Rachel Rairdon of Heritage Christian who came in first and second after taking the lead and never looking back. The sisters lapped a couple of runners and stuck close to each other, with Rebekah coming in with a 12:49.18 time.
Sophia Linderberger of Ned had a great 1600 meter run coming in second, and she was sixth in the 3200 meter run. Mackenzie Radandt came in seventh in the 3200.
Maeve Anderson had a good day in the field events with eighth place in the shot put and third in the discus.
For the boys, James McNamara took eighth in the 1600 meter run and fourth in the 3200 meter run. Jaylan Rasdall was ninth in the 400 meter run. Michael Airola came in second in the 800 meter run with a fantastic kick at the end. Quin Kuechenmeister took third in the triple jump.
State competition will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.
100 meter—20th Maeve Anderson, 15:72
800 meter—1. Bailey Kuechenmeister, 2:30.25; 11. Rose Pineau, 3:11.75
1600 meter—2. Sophia Lindenberger, 6:16.38
3200 meter—6. Sophia Lindenberger, 14:15.69; 7. Mackenzie Radandt, 14:27.87; 8. Bailey Kuechenmeister, 14:27.95
4×800 meter relay—1. Nederland, Kuechenmeister, Radandt, Lindenberger, Pineau, 11:17.43
Shot Put—8. Maeve Anderson, 23′ 2.00″; 12. Ripley Duke, 18′ 5.00″
Discus—3. Maeve Anderson, 82′ 0″; 11. Ripley Duke, 47′ 4″
100 meter—13. Quin Kuechenmeister, 12.43; 17. Taylor Coons, 12.78
1600 meter—8. James McNamara, 5:21.07; 15. Kiernan McClish, 5:53.72
3200 meter—4. James McNamara, 12:06.25; 11. Kiernan McClish, 13:33.38
400 meter—9. Jaylan Rasdall, 1:00.52
4×400 meter relay—4. Nederland, 4:14.58
4×800 meter relay—4. Nederland, 9:59.49
800 meter—2. Michael Airola, 2:11.91; 16. Jaylan Rasdall, 2:33.05
Discus—17. Hunter Mayhew, 82.05.00; 19. Skylar Pinchon, 75′; 20. JJ Rippy, 67-07.00
Long Jump—12. Taylor Coons, 16-02′; 14. Hunter Mayhew, 15-03.75
Shot put—18. Hunter Mayhew, 27-0975; 19. JJ Rippy, 27-05.25; 20. Skylar Pichon, 26-08.75
Triple Jump—6. Quin Kuechenmeister, 34-10.50