With only one individual winner, Ignacio’s fourth-place finish on the boys’ side of the April 27 Abel Velasquez Invitational was truly the result of a strong group effort.
It was especially driven by the relays, efforts of groups of four.
Ignacio’s 4×200-meter team — Wyatt Hayes, Mike Perez, Blaine Mickey and Charles Rohde — took second in a collective 1:38.85, bettered by only 3A Bayfield (1:36.51), and the 4×4 (3:44.56; Hayes/Nick Herrera/Austin Haire/Perez) also finished second, behind only 3A Pagosa Springs (3:43.29).
The 4×100, using the same personnel as the 4×2, was a quick fourth in 47.45 and finishing behind only 2A Mancos (47.39), PSHS (46.79) and BHS (45.58).
Combined with Herrera’s victory in the high jump, the Bobcats amassed 51 team points all told, trailing 4A Durango (75), BHS (134) and champions Pagosa (140).
Stepping up for out-of-town teammate Klayson Smith, Herrera outdid Bayfield’s Conner Kennedy via fewer misses with the bar 5 feet, 9 inches off the ground in BHS’ Wolverine Country Stadium.
On the girls’ side, Michelle Simmons also starred in the high jump, but her 5-foot max was an inch lower than Pagosa Springs’ Taylor Strohecker – nearly 5 inches taller than the Lady Bobcat. But Ellie Seibel and Jerica Jackson also earned Ignacio some points in the event with a 4-feet-7 and a 4-feet-1, respectively placing fourth and sixth.
And the 800-meter sprint medley relay (Sky Cotton, Da’Shona Lloyd, Simmons, Cloe Seibel) took second in 1:57.99, crossing after relay-intensive Dolores’ 1:56.44, but helping the girls total 28 points – good for seventh place – in the team chase. Pagosa Springs dominated the 2A Lady Bears for first, 156-118.
Chrystianne Valdez tied for third in the pole vault (6-feet-3), Seibel scored with a fourth-place 1:06.99 in the 400, and Cotton’s 15-foot-3-inch long jump was good for a fifth.
For the boys, Christian Knoll was fourth in the 400, laying down a 56.42, Rohde and Hayes went 6-7 in the long jump (18-feet-8 and 18-feet-3.25 respectively), Sanchez was seventh in the 800-meter run (2:28.50), and Haire tied for seventh in the pole vault (9-feet-9).
Rohde also took ninth in the 100 with a 12.91 dash, and Greg Bison (13.94) was 20th. Keith Joosten finished 12th in the triple jump with a best of 32 feet even, with Sanchez (29-feet-10), Tyler Riepel (29-feet-8), Bison (29-feet-5.5) and Austin McCaw (25-feet-5) finishing 14th through 17th.
Jayce Stricherz was 10th for the girls in the 300-meter hurdles, running a 58.60, and was also 10th in the discus – one of the AVI’s true focuses, in honor of the late Ignacio throwing coach – with a best of 67-feet-2. She finished 14th in the shot (23-feet-3.5), with July Stricherz 12th (23-feet-10.25).
Velasquez himself would have been quite proud of how the boys’ discus competition wrapped up, with Bayfield’s Aubry Brown flinging a winning 129-footer and Ignacio’s Kelton Richmond in second with a 120-foot-7 launch. Haire was right behind in third with a 119-foot-8 best, and Bison ended tenth at 95-feet-8.
Richmond also earned a fifth in the shot (37-feet-10.5), with Mickey ninth (35-feet-4.25) and Caleb Adams 18th (29-feet-7) in the discipline.
Entering the final three weekends of the 2013 season, the Cats will next compete at the Terry Alley Invitational May 4 inside Pagosa Springs’ Golden Peaks Stadium.
AVI GIRLS’ STANDINGS: 1.Pagosa Springs 156, 2.Dolores 118, 3.Durango 82, 4.Bayfield 74, 5.Del Norte 43, 6.Dove Creek 38, 7.IGNACIO 28, 8.Antonito 15, 9.Mancos 2.
AVI BOYS’ STANDINGS: 1.Pagosa Springs 140, 2.Bayfield 134, 3.Durango 75, 4.IGNACIO 51, 5.Del Norte 45, 6.Dolores 39, 7.Mancos 38, 8.Antonito 20, 9.Dove Creek 3.