Thu May 20th, 2021
Special to the Drum
Tags: Alric Hudson, BOBCATS TRACK & FIELD, Cross Country Season, Custer County, High Altitude Challenge, IHS Trackstars, Jace Peters, Jeremy Roderick, Jonathan Pierce, Josh Medina, Laci Brunson, Lady Cats, Levi Tichi, Lexy Young, Micah Zeller, Nathaniel Ellis, Pine River Invite, Pole Vault, Trajan Garcia, Tyler Barnes
If young Ignacio Bobcat Trajan Garcia ever wondered what it would be like to essentially never stop running between the fall cross-country season and the springtime track-and-field season, he saw it up close and personal Friday evening, May 14, at the Alamosa-hosted 2021 High Altitude Challenge.
Looking to find his distance legs again, the freshman took 21st in the 800-meter run, clocking 2 minutes, 59 seconds, and finished 22nd in the 1,600 with a 6:20.12. Placing 1-2 in each event, meanwhile, were south-central Colorado XC stars Micah Zeller (1:59.04 in the 800, 4:27.07 in the 1,600) of Westcliffe-based Custer County and AHS’ own Josh Medina (2:02.84 and 4:28.43), with Zeller – a shoo-in for Athlete-of-the-Meet if such an award was actually given – even winning the 3,200m run in 10:08.13, or almost a full minute ahead of Durango’s Nathaniel Ellis.
Ellis, however, did help the Demons rack up a first-place 122 team points – well clear of runners-up La Jara Centauri’s 85 – while IHS, paced by Tyler Barnes in the pole vault, managed to accumulate 8.5 and place 16th.
Barnes’ third-place clearance of 8 feet, 6 inches ended up good enough for third place in the specialty and a half-dozen team points; DHS’ Levi Tichi topped out at a winning 11’6”, while Leadville-based Lake County’s Jace Peters took second (9’0”). Ignacio’s John Riepel managed to clear 7’6”, tying Gunnison’s Jonathan Pierce for eighth place and halving a team point.
Bobcat thrower Alric Hudson earned two points in the shot put with a seventh place best of 35’0.75”, and Jeremy Roderick also placed top-20 with his 19th-place 30’7”. Hudson took 14th in the discus (91’8”) and Roderick 16th (89’9”).
Riepel was a top-20 finisher in both short sprints, taking 18th in both the 100 (12.65 seconds) and 200 (26.72) meters. 29th in the 100 with a time of 13.19 seconds, Jawadin Corona earned 15th in the long jump with a 16’1” effort. Barnes finished 32nd in the 200, clocking 28.92, while a 4×400 relay squad took ninth in 4:17.98.
Expected to perform well this spring for the Lady ’Cats, Lexy Young grabbed five – of IHS’ seven total – team points in the short sprints. Her sixth-place 13.97 in the 100 was less than a second off the winning 13.19 posted in the same sixth – and final – heat by Alamosa’s Aani Hardesty, while Young’s seventh-place 29.76 in the 200 trailed Center Lady Viking Alexis Tafoya’s winning 27.56.
Overall, the Lady ’Cats placed 17th, while Durango’s 145.5 points blew away second-place AHS’ 72.
Laci Brunson was IHS’ No. 2 behind Young in the 100, clocking a 21st-place 15.03; Trinity Strohl was 30th in the 200 with a 34.30. Brunson also took 14th in the 400 meters with a 1:11.95, while Strohl placed 23rd in 1:21.34. Lauren deKay took 23rd in the 800 with a 3:31.85, while Moriah Ashley was 17th in the 1,600 (7:20.15), deKay 24th (7:47.40) and Rachel Sanburg 26th (7:58.03). Rediscovering along with Ashley their own cross-country legs, deKay also finished 13th in the 3,200-meter run with a 17:24.52.
Ignacio’s 800m sprint medley relay earned two points with a seventh place 2:28.81.
In the field, Brunson tied Bayfield’s Elissa Mars for ninth in the long jump with a 13’4” best, while Ashley ranked 32nd with an 8’11”.
Up next on the schedule, IHS is slated to compete Saturday, May 22, in Bayfield at the Pine River Invite (start time 9 a.m.), then travel to Mancos the following Saturday (also a 9 a.m. start).