By Jacqueline Quynh

DENVER (CBS4) – Sporting events may be one way to target students who haven’t been vaccinated. But for many competitors at the Colorado High School Track and Field Championship, they got their shots long ago to be in top condition.

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“I saw the gap and I was like, ‘OK we’re just going to have to go and I got to just do this for them,'” Riley Stewart, Cherry Creek High School student recalled her last lap.

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Stewart is one of the hundreds of students who came out at Thursday’s meet. CCHS came in 1st place for the 4×800 meter relay. Stewart received her COVID-19 vaccine shots a while back to avoid getting sick.

“It was tough because last year we didn’t have it and to be back with them, it’s just so nice,” she said.

Stewart, along with many of Colorado’s best high school athletes waited a year to cross the finish line.

“We just couldn’t train together,” Addison Price, a classmate said.

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While some teen athletes are fully immunized, the race to vaccinate more is still underway. That’s part of the reason why Jefferson County Public Health launched a new campaign.

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“We know our younger age groups are the most under-vaccinated right now,” Christine Billings, JeffCo Public Health said.

The department set up a free clinic to help students get their shots at the end of their season. It wasn’t a huge turnout, just about 8 people showed up, but the event is not over yet.

“We are anticipating that students when they are done competing, can come by and get that vaccine series started.”

(credit: CBS)

The free clinic returns on Friday and Saturday.

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For now, Stewart and her teammates on the Cherry Creek HS track team, COVID-19 is no longer worry, just chasing a new record next year.

Jacqueline Quynh