LAKEWOOD - First, Michelle Simmons played the waiting game.
Then, the Ignacio High School junior filled up her dance card in a hurry at the CHSAA Class 2A Track and Field State Championships in suburban Denver.
Simmons, a three-time state qualifier, earned the right to compete in three events at the 2012 state meet at Jeffco Stadium – the 100 meters, the 200 meters and the high jump.
In spite of methodical schedule planning by meet organizers, Simmons was forced to wait all morning, then cram all three events into a 3-hour time slot Thursday afternoon.
“I really, really wanted to get 5-3,” Simmons said after she finished fifth in the Class 2A girls high jump Thursday. “That was a little disappointing.”
Simmons cleared 5-2 in impressive fashion after working her way up through the field.
“It wasn’t quite what I wanted,” she said.
She hopes to jump higher her senior year, she said.
Nola Basey, a lanky junior from Lyons, won by clearing 5-6.
The high jump competition came after Simmons qualified for the finals in the Class 2A 100 meter-dash. Running in a fast heat, Simmmons posted a 13.17 to earn the ninth and final qualifying position for Saturday’s 100-meter finals.
“I didn’t feel like I started off that well,” Simmons said of her 100-meter prelim. “But, then it picked up.”
She closed on two runners late to earn a trip to the finals.
Her 200-meter prelim, however, left her just outside the top nine who qualified for the finals. Her 10th-best finish was 27.08. Kendal Horan of Lutheran led with a 25.57.
While Simmons hit the podium for the Bobcats in the girls high jump, Ignacio all-everything senior Shane Richmond also recorded a podium finish when he was seventh in the Class 2A shot put. He had a throw of 43-11 at Jeffco Stadium.
Big Daniel Weirich of Eads won with a throw of 58 feet, 3 inches.
Richmond, the San Juan Basin League Player of the Year in basketball and an all-conference football player, will compete in the discus today where he’s one of the state’s leaders. Weirich is the Class 2A state leader entering this morning’s discus competition. His top qualifying mark is 176-6.
Ignacio freshman Sky Cotton also had her first experience at the state track and field championships Thursday. Cotton qualified in the long jump but didn’t make the field for the finals.
Sophomore Adam Herrera of the Bobcats, a state qualifier in the 400 meters, was unable to race Thursday because of a leg injury.
The Bobcats will return to Jeffco Stadium today with Richmond and teammate Colton Wyatt scheduled to throw the discus.
Dusty Mangus and Teagan Overturf will compete in the Class 2A pole vault today, with Mangus the No. 2-ranked vaulter entering the competiton. Mangus has cleared 13 feet.
Jourdan Hottinger of Akron is the only 2A vaulter who has jumped higher. Hottinger has cleared 13-7.