Elbert's Logan Franek had to go through a range of emotions during last week's Class 1A girls state track meet at Lakewood's Jefferson County Stadium.
Afterall, Franek was able to win her third title in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of :16.29 seconds. She then came through with a third-place effort in the discus with a throw of 96 feet, 8 inches. The event was won by Kaylee Elliott of North Park (99-1). However, the low came in the 300 hurdles, where she finished eighth.
What made this a difficult time was the fact that Franek was not only the defending champion in the 300's, but the record holder in the event with a time of :48.1. The winner here was Dove Creek's Corissa Guyness who ran :47.1 while Franek fell to :51.23.
“I'm just grateful for the opportunity, but I'm not real happy with the time,” said Franek at the conclusion of the 100 hurdles. “But when you repeat you certainly can't complain. I just wanted to keep my cool. I hit a couple of hurdles after my start and I just didn't want to go down. It was a little stressful because of my position, but the competition was real good. It just feels good right now.”
Shining Mountain Waldorf won the girls side with 74 points followed by Dove Creek (68) and Vail Christian (61). The Bulldogs scored 29 points to finish 15th.
“I'm really proud that Logan won her third title in the 100 hurdles,” Elbert coach Andy Schafer said. “She has just stepped up her game. Now she'll run in college at Colorado State. But I'm so proud of all the kids as we also were the only team in the top five boys, not to have a state champion. We sent 15 to state with the boys, the most ever.”
Hannah Maben also came close to winning a title for the Elbert girls as she finished second in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet, 6 inches, just shy of Heidi Cogburn of Walsh and her winning 15-8 ¾. She would also finish eighth in the 100 (:14.03), an event won by La Veta's Ashton Rinker (:12.94).
It definitely was a solid weekend for the Elbert boys as they scored 69.5 points to finish fourth in the team standings. Heritage Christian won the title with 85 points followed by Bethune with 75.5 and McClave with 71.
Caleb Brown and Blake Nicholas also came through with shinning performances in their events.
Brown finished second in the discus (141-7) behind stellar Mathew Perry of Otis (158-2) and sixth in the shot (41-11 ½), an event also won by Perry (47-4 ½). He went on to finish 8th in the 400 (53.13).
“I'm happy with second as I barely made it to state last year,” Brown said. “I had hoped to get first and had some pretty good throws, but Perry is great, too. I just wanted to stay with a level head. I struggled on my first two throw and scratched. I was able to calm down and did my job.
Nicholas finished second in the 300 hurdles, placed third in both the triple and high jumps and fourth in the long jump. He lost to Justin Boldt of Lyons in the 300's, who ran :39.69 to Nicholas' :40.96.
Cody Pranger and Dakota Hedger also came through with a pair of medals in their individual events. Pranger finished fifth in the triple jump (40-2 ½) and sixth in the 110 hurdles (:17.83) while Hedger was seventh in the 300 hurdles (:44.42) and ninth in the 110 hurdles (:18.48).
“I could have done better in the triple, but I got my PR and I'm happy for that,” Pranger said. “I just did what coach wanted and that really helped, though. The hurdles were pretty good, but I did have a bad start out of the blocks and I needed to make up a lot of ground. This is only my first year of track and to qualify in three events is pretty good. I just need to focus and make up ground.”
The Elbert boys relay teams finished fourth in the 3,200 relay (Ross Millard, Jake ZanDerlinden, Trevor Tncholas, Aloysius Zelney ) in 9:13.22. They were then fifth in the 1,600 relay (Dakota Hedger, Zelney, Millard and Caleb Brown) and seventh in the 400 relay (Santiago Cortaborria, Chapman Croskell, Noah Schafer, Cody Pranger) at :47.01.