AURORA — It was just another Tuesday night in April.
At least that’s the way David Eischeid approached it.
The Longmont senior didn’t want to think about Friday’s Class 4A/5A state track and field meet
in any other terms, so he tried to downplay it in his mind.
“I tried to approach it as a regular meet,” he said.
The results were anything but ordinary. Eischeid set a personal best in the
preliminary round of the long jump and carried that momentum into the final, beating John Alderson of Rifle in a tiebreaker — they both jumped 23 feet, 31/2 inches — to capture his first state title.
“This feels great,” he said.
Eischeid wasn’t the only local athlete celebrating his first title. Niwot’s Todd Griffith, who has finished third in the last two state cross country meets, used a strong kick in the last 300 meters to take the 3,200 title.
Griffith combined a little luck with his talent to take the title. D’Evelyn’s John McGuire — who earlier in the day won the 800-meter title, the 12th of his career — fell during the 3,200 and finished fourth.
“It was bad for him but good for me,” said a winded Griffith, who said he was about 7 yards away from McGuire when he fell.
With McGuire back in the pack, Griffith didn’t let up. He overtook Tyler Rasmussen of Sterling on the back stretch and won the race with a time of 9 minutes, 49.49 seconds.
“I knew this was the last 2-mile race of my high school career,” said Griffith, who will attend Utah State next year. “He’s a junior, and there was no way he was going to beat me.”
Eischeid isn’t done with the state meet. Not only did he win the long jump, but he also anchored the Trojans’ 400-meter relay team that won its preliminary heat, and he won his heat in the 200-meter dash.
That sets up a busy day today. He will compete in those two track events and go for another field event title in the triple jump.
“Some people might say after winning one that it’s enough,” Eischeid said. “I say, why not three?”
It won’t give him much time to savor his win in the long jump, but that’s OK with him. The 400 relay team is one-hundredth of a second behind Mountain View in Friday’s three prelims, and that means today’s final is up in the air.
“We expected to do well,” said Brian Smit, who ran the third leg of the relay. “I run better in the heat.”
Ah, the heat. Ten days ago, Colorado was fighting 40-degree weather and rain, but the only evidence of moisture at Legacy Stadium on Friday was the plethora of water bottles in the stands and on the infield. Temperatures hovered around 90, and it was even hotter on the field.
That didn’t seem to make a difference to Eischeid. His personal best in the long jump before Friday was 23-2, and he landed a 23-4 in the prelims. He didn’t equal that in the finals, but his 23-31/2 was good enough for first place.
Eischeid wasn’t the only Trojan on the winner’s podium. Sean Conlin set a personal best in the discus with a throw of 138 feet to take eighth in the event.
“He’s been coming on,” Longmont head coach Tim McIntire said. “It started clicking with him.”
Today will be a busy day for the Longmont girls, too. The 400, 800, 800 medley and 1,600 relays all qualified for the finals. Additionally, Bethany Praska (200, 400) and Rachel Klotz (100 hurdles) will compete for state titles.