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Koutnik places third at State

Koutnik places third at State

PUEBLO- Dutch Clark Stadium was the home to the State 2A and3A track finals as teams from the smaller schools from across the state vied for top honors as best in the state.  The finals of the state 300m hurdles appeared to be an easy task last Saturday for La Veta Redskin Carlee Koutnik, just another run in the park.  This run capped off a brilliant high school athletic career.  Koutnik ran one of her fastest times to claim third place, missing second place by one step, or four-tenths of a second.  Her time of 48.18 was 2.49 seconds off the winning mark.  Koutnik bettered her qualifying run at the regional meet the previous week by two seconds.  As Koutnik neared the last turn with 50 meters to go, she challenged Lindsey Grasmick of Fowler to claim the top prize, but the three-step lead by the trackster from Fowler was  too much to overcome.  Koutnik isn’t finished yet.  She will play in the All-State basketball tournament later this June.  Koutnik is also her class salutatorian. 

    In other action, the Redskin boys 3200m relay team of Zane Sternberg, Matt Hammernik, Brian Andreatta and Jon Christian survived the preliminary round Friday to have a chance in the finals on Saturday.  The team finished eighth.  Emily Moll also made it to the finals in the 800m run and finished seventh.  Koutnik and Moll broke individual La Veta school records in getting to  the finals.

    The competition was so fierce that La Veta school records were broken even though none of the following La Veta athletes made it through the final round.  The boys 3200m relay team, and the girls 400m relay team (Emily Moll, Shea Brgoch, Christina Koutnik and Sami Willhoite) each broke La Veta’s team record.  Felicia Melendez broke the school record for the 1600m run.  This demonstrates just how fast this year’s  State 2A and 3A competitors were.  According to CHSAA, several state records were also shattered in this year’s meet, setting a new benchmark for future athletes.


Sports Editor′s comments…

WALSENBURG-  For the most part, the 2007-2008 high school sports season has come to an end, leaving this reporter with memories of the masterful athletic abilities of area students.  We have seen champions crowned, teams falter, individuals excel and coaches resign.  It has been a year of joy and heartbreak. There was one constant, however.  That was the opportunity for us here at the Journal to spotlight these fine, outstanding athletes.

    In my coverage of all the events, I was overwhelmed with the courtesy and spirit these kids displayed both on and off the court.  High school athletics is more than throwing a ball or tossing your opponent to the mat with a crashing and resounding thud.  It is more than winning and losing.  It is all about attitude.  It has given me pleasure to witness this winning attitude.  Parents should be proud of the poise and manners their sons and daughters have displayed.  Visiting fans have also seen just what a Panther or Redskin is made of.  These athletes never faltered, even in some unpleasant circumstances.  There have been bad calls, referees who may have cost us the game, but in the end, these students gave it their best.

    As the summer approaches, we want to highlight the recreational leagues, golfing events and even the annual Italian Slav bocce tournament.  So, if you want to see your event in the pages of this paper, please let us know.  Call us or e-mail me at