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Coronado girls' distance runners excel
It was a good day to be a Coronado distance runner.
Senior Alexis Work set a meet record in the 3,200 meters, and sophomore Lauren Akers had a personal best in the 800 Friday at the 38th Cougar Classic Invitational at Garry Berry Stadium.
Work solidified her chances of a first state qualification by winning with a meet-record time of 11 minutes, 48.99 seconds, nearly 10 seconds better than the record set in 2010. Work, who will run cross country at Fort Lewis, was all smiles after her victory.
“We were a little sore this week, because we had some hard workouts, but I did my best and it worked out,” Work said.
“I’m doing a lot better than I was last track season, and I’m proud of how I’ve been working at it. I’m excited about (state), and I’m going to give it everything because it’s my last high school race.”
Akers recorded a personal-best time of 2:24.99 to win the 800 and also give herself a better shot at a state qualification.
Her best time heading into Friday was ranked 17th in the state, and the top 18 qualify for the 5A state tournament in Denver.
“This was my breakthrough race,” Akers said. “I felt like I was forever stuck at 2:25, and I finally broke it. I’m just looking forward to the next few races to see if I can get state qualified, so I’m really excited.
“Today was a really good day.”
Their coach, Doug Hugill, was impressed by the girls’ performances.
“It was a good day for our distance girls,” Hugill said. “They feed off each other, love each other and are just good, clean kids. They might be able to get on the medal stand (at state), which would be real nice.”
Speaking of distance running, reigning 4A 3,200 state champion Heather Bates set a meet record in winning the 1,600 in 5:03.98. Bates finished second in the 1,600 at state last year and should make some more noise in both events at this year’s state meet at Jeffco Stadium on May 17-19.
Lakewood easily won the girls’ team title with 121 points, with Sand Creek second with 68. The Classical Academy was third at 66, with Widefield (58) and Doherty (57) in the top five. Nine meet records fell, including TCA’s Alexa Chacon’s 14.71 in the 100 hurdles.