Adams City's Saenz: First time in track, first time to state

Eagles' senior takes ninth in 400-meter dash

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LAKEWOOD -- Talk about a good opening act.

Adams City's Maria Saenz had never run track and field before this spring. Needless to say, she was surprised when she qualified for this year's class 5A state girls track-and-field meet at Jeffco Stadium.

What's more, when her heat of the 400-meter dash finished, she found out she advanced to the finals Saturday, May 21, with a qualifying time of 58.69 seconds. She finished ninth in the May 22 finals with a time of 1:00.86.

"It was one of my better starts," she said. "But I didn't finish like I was supposed to. I got out. I did what my coach said, but I burned too much energy."

She was running in front of a lot more people than she's accustomed to seeing at track meets.

"It gets my adrenaline pumping," she said. "But I was nervous, because it's state."

Saenz called the atmosphere "positive."

"I wanted to stay in shape," said Saenz, who is a senior. "It was a great season. I didn't think I could get trained to the point where I could get offers from colleges for track."

Trinidad State Junior College is in the lead for her services. She hasn't made a decision. Saenz said distance from home was a partial factor in choosing a college.

"I don't want to be too close, but I don't want to be more than eight hours from home," Saenz said.

"This opened up a few more doors," she continued. "I think with some more training, I would have been more perfectly cut, had better training. It makes me feel proud of myself."

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