LONGMONT — When the term “free pizza” is tossed around, teenagers pay attention.
They’ll sniff it out if there’s mozzarella cheese in the air, and if the task isn’t too demanding, they’ll do what’s asked for some pizza.
The Longmont girls track team might have thought the Trojans were running for some free pie, but it’s doubtful they needed the incentive.
The Trojans were sitting at 192 points before the last event of the Class 4A, Region 5 meet at Everly-Montgomery Field on Friday, and they knew a win in the 800-meter relay
would break the 200-point mark.
The team of Rachel Klotz, Ashley Peppler, Betsy Weeks
and Bethany Praska finished off a stellar performance by the Longmont girls, winning the relay going away to give the team 202 points. The Trojans were 91 points ahead of Broomfield, their closest competitor, and 194 points ahead of Ranum, which brought up the rear.
“I’m not surprised that they won,” Longmont head coach Tim McIntire said, “but I am surprised they were so dominant.”
The Trojans blew away the rest of the field with their strength — balance. Whether it’s sprints, distance or field events, the Trojans can rack points at meets.
Klotz was the winner in the 300 low hurdles, and Weeks and Peppler took first and third, respectively, in the 800-meter run.
Sarah Conlin and Elizabeth Stover tied for first in the pole vault, and Lindsey Moller won the long jump with a distance of 16 feet, 91/2 inches.
“We have been really strong together,” an out-of-breath Weeks said after the 800. “We really support each other and pull for each other.”
The boys nearly made it a sweep, but Broomfield put a snag in those plans, edging out the Trojans by 11 points.
David Eisched won the triple jump with a distance of 45-11/4, and he took second in the 200-meter dash. The boys also won the 400 relay.
Still, Longmont will have one of the strongest contingents at the state meet at Legacy Stadium in Aurora, which starts Friday morning.
Niwot’s Griffin Matthew continued her strong showing, winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes and running on the 400 relay team that finished second to Skyline.
Matthew, who started the season late because she was still running with her club team, is getting stronger at the right time.
“She’s not peaking right now,” Niwot head coach Lonnie Jones said. “I think she’ll peak next week at state.”
That’s fine with Matthew, who is going to compete in four events.
“That’s the time to peak,” she said.
One of the disappointments for Matthew was her performance in the long jump, where she scratched on all three of her attempts. But it marred only Friday, because she has pre-qualified for state in that event.
Jeremy Bubb of Silver Creek also is headed to state, and one of the events is somewhat of a surprise.
Bubb hadn’t competed in the long jump until a short time ago, but he did well in the event this week.
“He started at 19-8, and then one day he went 20-9 and then a 21-6,” Silver Creek head coach Barb Keith said of Bubb, who also qualified in the 300 hurdles and the high jump.
The Skyline girls also had a good day. The 400 relay team of Zamone Shealey, Nikki Marshall, Kristine Schmidt and Maya Shealey edged out the Cougars with a time of 48.50.
Overall, the Falcons were happy with both squads.
“We’ve got 17 kids qualified for state,” Skyline head coach Mike Knaus said.
The Trojans definitely have momentum heading into the state meet. This year, 20 girls qualified — six more than the Longmont girls and boys qualified last year combined.
McIntire admits that one reason for that is the fact that Longmont dropped a class this year, but he also said he is impressed with the quality of the athletes he coaches.
“This is the best-balanced girls team I’ve had, going back 15 years,” he said.
After the Trojans got their first-place award Friday, McIntire admitted that the free pizza was nothing more than a rumor.
“But after next weekend, I might have to buy them some,” he said.