Cheyenne Mountain's sprint medley relay team established the best time in 4A this season by combining to cover the 800 meters in 1 minute, 47.69 seconds on Thursday, 1.52 seconds better than any time previously posted in the event this season.
What's more remarkable is that they arrived at Garry Berry Stadium not expecting to run.
“We came to this meet not knowing we were going to run it today,” said Courtney Tibbetts, who ran the second leg. “It was originally supposed to be on Saturday.”
With unfavorable weather forecast for the weekend, meet organizers scrambled to condense a three-day meet into a two-day format. That caused many events to be rescheduled, including the sprint medley relay.
As a result, Cheyenne Mountain sprints coach Matt Thompson didn't know until 2:30 p.m. that his team would not only be competing Thursday, they would also be the 4 p.m. event – the first of the meet.
As Alex Scheaffer took her spot in lane 5 for the Indians, the stagger put her primary competition, Lewis-Palmer, in plain view in lane 4. The Rangers came into the meet as the 4A state leader in the event with a time of 1:49.21.
“The start leg got us out to a good lead by making up the stagger,” Thompson said. “Then the second leg blew the gap open.”
That second leg was run Tibbetts, who handed the baton to Megan Ryan with a clear lead. Ryan, running the 200-meter leg, and Emma Kidd, who ran the 400 leg, maintained the gap.
Lewis-Palmer did everything it could to remain the state's top seed by beating its previous state-best mark by 0.69 seconds.
“We looked at the time sheet before and we knew that they were going to be the competition,” Ryan said.
The Indians are in a good position to keep the momentum as they head into the state meet.
“We have a unique situation; we have three girls that are good in three different events,” Thompson said. “We have a state qualifier in the (100), a state qualifier in the (200) and a state qualifier in the (400).”
Those would be Tibbetts, Ryan and Kidd respectively. Not only did Cheyenne Mountain win the race and set a new best state-qualifying mark, they also shattered the school record in the event by more than 2 seconds.
“We came to this meet with the goal in mind that we were going to beat the school record,” Ryan said. “We all had to run our very best times. We did that.”