Coed Varsity Track · Multiple Podiums for VP Track at 2019 State Championships

Vista Peak Track and Field was once again well represented at the 2019 Colorado State Track and Field Championships. The team qualified in multiple events and relays once again.

This season saw the 4x200m enter the state championship qualified 6th, the 4x100m qualified 7th, and the 800m sprint medley qualified 17th. In the open events we had Mikayla Jones and Raina Branch qualified in the high jump. Branch was also qualified in the 200m and long jump.

On Thursday things kicked off with Branch coming in the 3rd seed in the long jump. Branch made the finals and on her 4th jump put up a 17 foot 5 inch jump that vaulted her to second place. That jump was enough to secure her as the 2019 runner up in the event. The 4x200m has consistently been the best relay of the quartet for the season. Lainey Morris, ,Mikayla Jones, Kaya Evans and Raina Branch ran to a season best time of 1:45 in the prelims and qualified to the finals. Morris has been running supremely at the leadoff and handed the baton to Jones even with the competition. Jones took the second turn well and stormed down the straight to handoff to Evans. Kaya our best turn runner did what she does best and ran well handing off to Branch who held onto the 3rd spot in our heat. The final event of the day saw Raina Branch qualify to Saturdays final in the 200m from a really good lane draw.

Friday saw the 4×100 team of Ione Dixon, Mikayla Jones, Kaya Evans and Lainey Morris make a good run in the prelims. Dixon filling in for Branch ran a solid 1st leg, something she has been doing when needed all season. The team didnt qualify for the finals but ran extremely well with good handoffs. The high jump competition was next and saw Mikayla Jones and Raina Branch prove once again they are the best female jumping duo in the state. Jones finished jumping 5 feet again and placed 8th once again making the podium. When the dust settled there were 2 left on the jumping surface the senior from Roosevelt and junior from VP, Branch.

Branch continued her good from from her win the week before at St. Vrain with no misses for her first four heights. The entire crowd in the jumping area sat on edge as Branch cleared on her first attempt at 5-6 with beautiful form. Her lone competitor struggled missing her first two attempts. On her 3rd attempt you could hear the air physically burst from the lungs of the crowd as she willed herself over on the bar. Branch’s state championship would have to wait a little longer as the bar moved up to 5-7 inches. The best attempt at that height came on Branches 2nd attempt with only the slightest brush of the bar. With her competitor missing all 3 attempts it was enough to wrestle the championship away from the Roosevelt senior as Branch gets her first state championship title.

There was a long wait from morning to afternoon and as the day went on the clouds began to look more menacing. Just before the stadium was cleared for a lightning strike the 4x200m team of Morris, Jones, Evans and Branch got the baton around safely and finished 6th overall to stand on the podium together just as they had the week before.

Day 3 of the state championship saw Branch run a great turn and finish strong placing 5th overall and making her 4th podium appearance. With such great finishes and all athletes returning next year VP Track looks to continue their trend of appearances at the state championships.