LAKEWOOD — Shining Mountain sophomore Ginger Hutton shares a surname with possibly the best Class 1A distance runner in Colorado prep track and field history.
But in just her sophomore season, Ginger Hutton is rapidly becoming recognized for her own accomplishments and her first name rather than for her last.
At the state track and field championships on Thursday, Ginger Hutton won her first state championship in the 3,200-meter run. Off to an earlier start than her older sister Birdie Hutton at her age, Ginger Hutton likely won’t stop at one state title either.
“It’s fun,” Hutton said. “In the 400 and 800, I’m trying to beat my sister’s PR in those so that makes it fun. I’ve just been working hard and it’s been fun seeing how much I’ve improved over the season.”
Before graduating in 2012, Birdie Hutton won four state titles, both the 1,600 and 3,200 in 2011 and 2012. She owns the Class 1A state meet records of 11 minutes, 49.83 seconds in the 3,200 and 5:33.26 in the 1,600.
Ginger Hutton finished well ahead of Kim’s Tai Ann Nittler in 12 minutes, 43.88 seconds at Jefferson County Stadium on Thursday. The Lions sophomore said she had prepared for all possibilities, which helped her win the title.
“Anything and everything can happen in the race so I was prepared for everything,” Hutton said. ”
Lions head coach John Hamilton said Ginger Hutton’s championship race played out exactly as they planned it. She hung around the lead group before digging deep to separate herself in the final two laps.
Since the 3,200 isn’t her best event, Ginger Hutton also wanted to conserve energy for the 400 and 800. Hamilton said the Lions like to avoid making too many comparisons between Ginger and Birdie Hutton but the two are both so talented that it’s hard not to.
“They’re both about as talented of runners as I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching,” Hamilton said. “Ginger maybe even more so. She’s got a little more speed than her sister has so where Birdie her sister might have been focusing on the mile and the two and conserve in the 400 and 800, it’s the opposite for her.”
Along with Ginger Hutton, Lions sophomore Paisley Sheehan and freshman Sarrah Claman took third and sixth, respectively, in the 3,200.
Lions sophomore Chloe Weber placed eighth in the girls pole vault.
On the boys side, sophomore Garrett Johnson took fifth in the 3,200 while freshman Jordan Cherin took ninth. Senior Colin Cantwell took ninth in the shot put.
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