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The run-around: Longmont girls wow at their own track meet

Apr. 26—LONGMONT — When Longmont's coaches threw together their girls' 4×200-meter relay team at their own track and field invitational on Friday, they did so hoping that they could qualify the event for the state meet next month.

What came to pass shocked them and got them rethinking their strategy for Colorado's biggest meet at JeffCo Stadium on May 16.

The quartet of Jordan Johnson, Lea Irvin, Ella Pears and Terra Brubaker not only won the event, but their collective time of 1 minute, 42.96 seconds rocketed them to the top of the statewide leaderboard in Class 4A. They even beat the meet record by about 0.6 seconds, to boot.

Irvin, who also won the 100-meter hurdles at 15.65 seconds, credited her coaches and teammates for pushing her to new strides. Honing her techniques in both of the events proved vital to her success.

"I used to be a really bad starter," Irvin explained. "That's why I like the 200 better than the 100. With my hurdle form, my arms are kind of all over the place, so we've been working on getting lower over the hurdles.

"For the hurdles, I really wanted to break 16. That was my goal for the season. Winning that race, even though it wasn't wind legal, it was a really big accomplishment because that means I can run sub-16."

From the turf to the pits

No matter what season it is, Lyons senior Miles Dumbauld has proven time and again that he's the type of athlete that can do it all. A few months after leading the Lions to the 8-man football state semifinals as their quarterback, he's back on the track and chasing a possible Class 2A state title in a number of events.

His time on the turf, of course, helped prepare him for it all.

"Football is just pure explosiveness," he said. "With those short runs — long jump, triple jump — I'm not running that far. They're short bursts of speed. Football definitely helps me like that. Getting away from people, juking them out, running away."

He entered Longmont's meet ranked fourth in 2A in the 110 hurdles (15.96 seconds), third in the long jump (21 feet, 7 inches) and fifth in the triple jump (42-7), but focused his efforts more on helping his teammates qualify a few relays for state on Friday.

He and the rest of his "dawgs" placed seventh in the 4×100 — recording a time of 44.78 seconds — before taking eighth in the 4×200 with a 1:34.74. Individually, he claimed seventh in the 110 hurdles, clocking in at 15.74 seconds.

He's hoping to bump those times, as well as his distances in the jumping events, even more by the time state rolls around next month. He's already been making great strides in his triple and long jumps.

"I like to hold it in the air, just trying to fly," Dumbauld said. "There's, for me, not really much strategy. I just kind of go out there and jump. My steps were all messed up at the beginning, and then we got those fixed. Just getting on the board is really important to me, because I can jump far. It's just being consistent with my board and my strides and stuff."

Fresh on the track

Despite only picking up the sport two years ago, Erie freshman Abigail Bjerkaas has proven herself to be quite the jack of all trades.

She sped to third in the 100 hurdles (16.21), fourth in the 200 (26.02), fifth in the 100 (12.68 seconds) and flew to fifth in the long jump (16-10.75) at Longmont. Following the meet, she said that having instructors who can teach her the right techniques and pre-meet preparations has made the biggest difference.

"Erie High School's track coaches have helped me fix my form and helped me be the best athlete unlike any coach I had prior," she said. "I have seen myself continuously perform better and jumped distances I didn't think I could until this year."

When she first stepped onto the track at EHS, she told herself she would try to run sub-13-second times as much as she could. Not even headwinds have stopped her from achieving that feat in every 100 she's raced in.

On Friday, she set several personal records and will now turn her attention toward making it to state in the 4×100, the 100 hurdles, the 100, the 200 and possibly a few more relays.

Maintaining the status quo

A year after winning the 2A state championship in the high jump, Yannis Diby is back to his old antics. The Twin Peaks senior began Friday's meet tied for second in the classification in the event, having already cleared the 6-2 bar.

And, despite only taking part in the long jump just four times, he's already earned the No. 5 mark at 21-0.5. Next month, he also hopes to help propel his 4×400 relay team to a top state finish. He's already determined that he won't defend his high jump title, deciding instead to walk with his class at graduation.

Diby said he's made peace with that decision and will instead shift his focus toward winning the long jump. The finals for that event will take place the day before graduation, giving him just enough time to let it fly.

"Last year, I was really determined on winning high jump, because the year before I got second place, and it wasn't a good day for me," Diby said. "Going into senior year, I really wanted to get first just to prove to myself that I could actually do it."

And that he did. On Friday, he placed 11th in the 200 (22.92) and 14th in the long jump (19-10).