Yuma girls score 29, look to future

Yuma High School’s girls track and field team had a great run at the Class 2A Track and Field Championships, last week at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.
Scoring 29 points and tying for 11th place in the classification isn’t bad at all.

It’s just that it was overshadowed a bit by the boys team winning the 2A title, the second in the school’s history and first since 1996.
“Some of the girls came out on the field with the boys, and they said they were so happy but also jealous,” YHS head coach Lucas Lubbers shared. “I assured them their time is coming. I’m excited to see what they can do in the coming years.”

Julissa Garcia ran to a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash, last week at the 2A state meet. (Dave Gustafson)

Nearly everyone that competed at state will be returning next season. For sure, senior sprinter Julissa Garcia and mid-distance runner Shelby Blach will be missed, but there is plenty of track and field talent coming back.
Lubbers said a competitive fire permeated throughout the program in the one-time Season D. There were not many seniors on either team, but they set the tone for the commitment and hard work that had to be done.
“It was fun to watch both (teams) just have that competitive spirit, and also have fun,” Lubbers said. “We want to keep excitement for track and field every year, even if we might have some down years here and there.”
Garcia was the only member of the girls’ team participating in individual events at state.
The senior ran her prelim in the 100-meter dash Thursday afternoon, placing fourth with a time of 12.97 seconds. She was back on the track later that day, running in the 200-meter prelims. She just missed qualifying for the final, placing 11th in 27.55 seconds.
She made the most of her 100-meter finals berth, though, slightly improving her time to 12.94 seconds for fourth place, Saturday.
Garcia also was among those busy with the relays as the girls had four relay teams in the state meet, placing in each of them.
The 800 sprint medley was on the track Thursday afternoon for its prelim. The foursome of Lyndsey Mekelburg, Caddis Robinson, Garcia and Lea Richardson qualified for Friday’s final by placing sixth in 1:55.39.
Caddis Robinson, Julissa Garcia, Lea Richardson and Lyndsey Mekelburg after placing in the 800 sprint medley. (Dave Gustafson)

The 4-by-800 team of Hailey Eyring, Ashley Ibanez, Lea Richardson and Shelby Blach hit the track later in the afternoon for the final. The foursome scored the Tribe’s first points of the state meet, placing fifth in 10:46.45.
Friday saw the Yuma girls competing in the 4-by-100 and 4-by-400 prelims, along with the 800 medley final.
Mekelburg, Richardson, Garcia and Robinson sprinted to the fastest qualifying time, blazing around the track in 52.06 seconds.
The same foursome then placed fifth in the 800 sprint medley final with a time of 1:55.79.
The 4-by-400 prelim was held later in the day, with Ibanez, Eyring, Blach and Richardson qualifying for the final by placing sixth in 4:40.43.
Hailey Eyring runs in the 4-by-800 relay. (Dave Gustafson)

That set up two more finals for the girls on Saturday.
They moved up in the team points with a couple of more strong efforts.
The 4-by-100 took place after 3 p.m., with Mekelburg, Richardson, Garcia and Robinson placing second in 52.46 seconds.
The 4-by-400 final closed out the state meet. Ibanez, Eyring, Blach and Richardson made the wait worth it by placing fifth with a time of 4:22.97, more than eight seconds faster than their qualifying time.
Senior/graduate Shelby Blach helped the Yuma girls to place in two relays at the 2A meet. (Dave Gustafson)

Richardson finished the meet with four state titles in the relays, joining the boys’ Kail Cooper and Beau Tate as four-time placers last week.