Sports Track

Tracksters train eyes upon Jeffco

The top eighteen in each specialty make it to Lakewood in mid-May.

Obviously Ignacio Track-and-Field won’t be sending that many to this weekend’s now-underway CHSAA Class 2A State Championships, but with ten earning bids it’s not to say they didn’t try.

With last-chance-qualifying time arriving May 9-10 inside Ralph Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction, the Bobcats recorded several outstanding efforts while not only trying to punch their long-desired tickets to Jeffco Stadium, but also establish final San Juan Basin League supremacy in 2014.

Competing in a league-within-a-multi-league-styled meet, field prowess fueled the IHS boys – coming off third-place (out of 14 teams) work at Pagosa Springs’ Terry Alley Invitational a week earlier – in G.J. However, odd scoring methodology even had Dr. Tony Kimball confused on his teams’ ratings.

“We have no way of telling if they are correct,” Bobcats’ coach said in an e-mail accompanying the apparent overall and SJBL standings. But, focusing ahead toward the spring’s biggest picture, seeing was probably believing enough for both he and Dylaina Morelli.

Decisively swapping his heavier baseball spikes for feather-light track footwear, senior Adam Herrera flew to a league title in the long jump with a best of 21 feet, 1.5 inches. Only Paonia’s Taylor Walters flew further overall, reaching 21’4.25”.

Not far behind was IHS sophomore Wyatt Hayes, who copped third place in league and fourth overall – following Telluride/Norwood’s John Broadhead (21’1.25”) in both – with a 20’1.25” leap. Herrera’s 12.01 in the 100-meter dash technically ended up second-quickest in the league, but was not enough to make it out of the preliminary heats and into the finals with THS/NHS’ Amos Hodges (11.78 finals, 11.99 heat) and Connor Courter (12.05 finals, 12.33 heat)

Winding down his prep days, but also winding them up as well as possible, senior Kelton Richmond heaved the shot 42 feet, four inches downrange and also launched the discus 128’4” – both earning top billing in the SJBL, and both bettered by only Rangely’s Colt Allred (43’0” and 128’9”).

On the fast track, Hayes led the loop in the 400-meter dash and took third overall in 53.12 seconds, and senior Christian Knoll prevailed in the 200 with his fourth-overall 23.56 – an improvement over his 23.67 in the prelims (Hayes’ heat time, 53.34, had also been slightly slower).

The pair also paired with juniors Mike Perez and Blaine Mickey to nearly win the 4×100 relay; the quartet’s 46.55 was the SJBL’s second-swiftest, after THS/NHS’ 46.19, and fifth overall behind Kremmling West Grand’s 46.07, Collbran Plateau Valley’s 46.17 and Hotchkiss’ 46.29.

Bryan Gram was league runner-up to Hayes in the 400, and fifth overall with a 57.44 (down a bit from a 55.38 in the prelims) in the sprint’s finals. He was the SJBL’s fourth fastest (but 21st overall) in the 800, booking a 2:26.39. Chase Sanchez was seventh in league (21st overall) with a 5:38.42, and Gram (6:06.10) eighth/25th in the 1,600—won by Telluride’s Jack Plantz in 4:36.07.

Nick Herrera tied for a SJBL fourth (ninth overall) in the high jump by clearing 5’5”, and Keith Joosten left the Grand Valley sixth in the SJBL (15th overall) in the triple jump at 35’2.25”.

Greg Bison was sixth overall in the shot with a 39’2”, and Mickey also followed Richmond to complete a 1-2-3 SJBL sweep for Ignacio in the event with his ninth-place 38’1”.

Tenth at the TAI, the Lady Bobcats’ baton brandishing set their pace during the two-day G.J. stay.

The 4×2 (Amya Bison, Rachel Cooper, Jaylynn Herrera, DaShona Lloyd) finished as SJBL runners-up with 1-minute, 59.53-second haste. Only Dolores’ 1:52.78 was faster, but it still was good for just fourth overall [IHS’ was eighth] out of all the 2A teams – Western Slope Leaguers PHS and HHS placed 1-2 in 1:47.70 and 1:47.99, respectively – competing.

Ignacio’s 4×1 (Bison, Lloyd, Savannah Turner, Chrystianne Valdez) also earned a SJBL second with a seventh-overall 55.45. Telluride/Norwood led the loop with a 53.15, which held up for fourth overall—both trailed PHS’ winning 50.97 and Meeker’s second-place 51.34.

Cooper was fourth between all SJBL entrants in the 3,200-meter run with a 14:05.03 that also garnered her ninth place overall behind winner Natalie Anderson (11:56.91) of HHS. She also was a SJBL seventh (14th overall) in the 800 with her 2:47.91. Bison brought back a SJBL fifth in the long jump with a tenth-overall 13’5”, and Valdez tied Ouray’s Holly Harrington for seventh/thirteenth at 13’3.75”.

Valdez and Jayce Stricherz tied each other in the pole vault with a league-leading 6’3”, but tied each other for eighth overall [Oak Creek Soroco’s Jessica Rossi reigned with an 8’2”]. Stricherz, Krissy Velasquez and July Stricherz were the SJBL’s 7-8-9 (23’10”, 23’5.5”, 23’0”) finishers in the shot, and Jayce Stricherz was #4 amongst circuit discus throwers (11th overall) with an 85’4” best.

So all told, the Bobcat thinclads competing during the season’s closing weekend are: Knoll (200m, pole vault), Hayes (400m, long jump), Perez (110m hurdles), Tyler Riepel (pole vault), Joosten (pole vault), Herrera (long jump), Richmond (shot), Jayce Stricherz (pole vault), Valdez (pole vault). IHS’ boys’ 4×1, 4×2 and 4×4 relays also qualified to run amongst the classifications best.


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