LAKEWOOD — Emili Voelker showed astounding speed and focus as a sophomore competing against upperclassmen.

That’s why the Timnath High School sprinter has an opportunity to win the Class 2A girls 100 – something no underclassman has accomplished since 2018.

Highland’s Remington Ross won the event as a sophomore in 2018 with a 12.19.

Voelker finished first in her heat at 12.80 and is seeded second overall behind Dayspring Christian’s Odone Omofoma, who ran a 12.58 for the top spot Thursday at Jefferson County Stadium.

After Voelker finished first in her heat, she appeared content, but not satisfied.

The sophomore previously ran a wind-legal 11.71 in the 100 at the Patriot League Meet on May 4 and, from her first meet to Voelker’s PR, regularly hit season-best times.

Of her eight races in the 100 this season, Voelker only finished outside of the top two once.

Voelker won the event twice and, including state prelims, placed second four times.

“It’s not where I want to be right now,” Voelker said. “But I know I can pick it up in the next race.”

Even as Voelker watched the board at Jeffco Stadium show times from the second heat of the 100, the sophomore kept her stoic demeanor when it displayed Omofoma‘s time.

Voelker provided a savvy response when asked how she could improve her time to defeat her competition.

“I just have to keep my head down and run my own race,” Voelker said. “I can’t worry about anyone else’s times.”

Meanwhile, Omofoma, Cedaredge’s Kylee Terry and Highland’s Mary Jones each vie for the top spot in the race.

Terry won the 100 title in 2022 and clocked in at 12.75. In prelims, she clocked in at 12.81 to earn the third slot.

Jones placed fourth in the prelims with a time of 13.15. Jones placed fifth in last season’s race at 13.19.

In the second heat of this year’s prelims, Omofoma cut .24 seconds from her second-place, 12.84 finals performance in 2022.