The Telluride High School track team will head to the state championships this week with a contingent that covers the full array of track and field events.
The Miners, after a flurry of top performances last weekend in Grand Junction, qualified sprinters, jumpers and distance runners for the state meet that starts Thursday at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.
The Telluride team is led by a core of athletes making return trips to compete in the 2A state finals.
Senior distance runner Jaden Evans will represent Telluride High School in three events at — 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. He will be making his fourth appearance at the State High School Track and Field Championships. He’s also a four-time State Cross Country Championships qualifier.
With a bushel of podium finishes in the state championships, Evans is about to close his career as one of Telluride’s most decorated runners.
Evans ran a personal best of 4 minutes, 34.27 seconds in the 1,600 meters Saturday at the Tiger Invitational in sun-soaked Grand Junction.
His time vaulted him into the No. 2 qualifying position in Class 2A.
Evans also is a 3,200 state qualifier. His time of 10 minutes, 31.06 seconds is No. 11 heading to the state meet.
The top 18 times/distances across the state in each event qualify for the state meet in the respective school classifications.
“My goal was actually to get sub-4:40 minute (1,600), so it went substantially better than I expected,” Evans said after Saturday’s 1,600 in Grand Junction. “The big difference was easing off on the workout last week.”
He said that after building up through the season, the added rest last week helped his leg turnover.
“I went through the first 800 feeling comfortable,” Evans said.
Another goal was to keep each lap under 70 seconds.
“I did that so I was pretty stoked,” the Telluride senior said.
He said competition from runners at the bigger schools helped everyone run faster.
“There was great competition in this race,” Evans said. “I felt really lucky. That was a group of athletes running together trying to do the same thing.”
He said the opportunity to run at the state championships is a special experience, regardless of the state finishes.
“It’s the culmination of the season, of all the work,” Evans said, crediting the supportive coaching staff of first-year head coach Joanna Marczyk and longtime assistant Mark Galbo. “We’ve been lucky to have a solid coaching staff this year. It makes a difference to have coaches who are as dedicated as you are.”
Fellow Telluride senior Maya Ordonez qualified for the state meet in the 1,600 and the 3,200.
A state podium individual finisher two years ago as a sophomore, Ordonez also ran on Telluride’s state championship 4x800 relay team in 2017.
She executed a remarkable comeback this season after spending last year studying abroad on a foreign exchange trip. Ordonez, who also battled injury early this season, rebounded to qualify in two distance events. She just missed qualifying in another.
She posted her state-qualifying times Saturday at the Tiger Invitational. Ordonez ran 5 minutes, 45.60 seconds in the 1,600 to head to state with the No. 10 time in Class 2A. She ran a 12 minutes, 39.65 seconds in the 3,200 last weekend, good for the No. 10 time in the state.
And she recorded a 2 minutes, 35.02 seconds in the 800, just missing out on the state field; it was the 21st best time.
Telluride’s Maile Silva also will be making a return trip to state this year.
She qualified in the 300 hurdles with the No. 3 time in Class 2A (46.95 seconds). She’s also the No. 4-ranked long jumper heading to state (16 feet, 8.5 inches).
Teammate Elena Scheibler may join her in the long jump at state. She qualified at the No. 19 position with a distance of 15 feet, 3.25 inches. If any jumpers scratch from the state meet, Scheibler is the first alternate in the long jump.
Sprinter Shannon Wyszynski will also run at state for Telluride again this spring. She ran times Saturday in Grand Junction that secured her a state berth in the 100, which she ran 13.14 seconds. She just missed qualifying in the 200, finishing at No. 21.
Telluride school record-holder Lily Graves is a state-qualifier in the triple jump. Her mark of 33 feet, 8.5 inches sits at No. 7 among the top Class 2A jumpers.
Telluride senior Jessica Pack is the first alternate in the discus with a throw of 98 feet, 9 inches.
Telluride distance runner Spencer Keating nearly earned a state berth. He hit the No. 23 qualifying spot in the 3,200 (10 minutes, 56.59 seconds).
The Telluride girls 4x100 relay team also posted a state qualifying time with an opportunity to run against the state’s best next weekend. The Miners have the 14th best qualifying time.
The state championships will be held Thursday through Saturday at Jeffco Stadium in suburban west Denver.