High School boys end track season 17th in G.J.

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Ignacio School District

Barnes, Riepel show well in pole vault

Bettering three other placers – including seventh-place teammate John Riepel – in the pole vault, Ignacio junior Tyler Barnes’ fourth-place clearance of 9 feet, 2 inches at 4A Grand Junction’s Tiger Invitational (June 17-18) still wasn’t enough to earn Ignacio’s junior a spot at the next week’s 2021 CHSAA State Track & Field Championships. 

A season-best ultimately standing 28th in all of Class 2A prior to the grand finale up at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, Barnes’ effort accounted for most of the Bobcats’ seven team points at the Tiger; the boys finished 17th out of 21 scoring squads. 4A Durango (100 points) captured the title, holding off 4A G.J. Central (78), 5A Fruita Monument (65.5), Craig-based 3A Moffat County (64) and 2A La Jara Centauri (50). 

Riepel managed to clear the bar with a 7’8” vault, but all entrants were left looking up at DHS’ Levi Tichi, who cleared 13’0” before the Ralph Stocker Stadium crowd’s eyes. Otherwise, IHS’ best result came in the 4×400-meter relay; graduated senior Jawadin Corona, senior-to-be Alric Hudson, Barnes and Riepel combined to post an 11th-place time of 3:55.45 against Central’s winning 3:25.83. 

Already one of Ignacio’s strong suits which should only improve in 2022, the throwing corps of Hudson, senior-to-be Jeremy Roderick and sophomore-to-be Kyle Rima performed relatively well at the Tiger. Hudson placed 16th in the shot put with a 34’3.5” best, while Roderick took 29th (31’6.5”) and Rima 35th (27’1.5”). By comparison, 2A/1A San Juan Basin League ruler Connor Showalter of Mancos won with a 48’5.5” heave, with Durango’s William Knight (48’1.75”) a close second. 

(In pursuit of qualifying for State, Hudson’s season-best 35’0.75” booked at 3A Alamosa’s High-Altitude Challenge ended up 64th-best in 2A; Roderick’s 34’11.5” at MHS’ Blue Jay Invite was 65th.) 

In the discus Hudson took 20th via a best throw of 98 feet even, while Rima took 29th (88’9”) and Roderick 31st (81’0”) as Knight prevailed with a 146’4” far outdistancing the 129’7” of Central’s Cash Walker. (Hudson’s season-best 104’9”, achieved at 3A Bayfield’s Pine River Invite, ended up pacing the Bobcats and ranked 42nd in 2A prior to State.) 

Sophomore-to-be Camron Cooper finished 23rd in the 800m run’s preliminaries, but his 2:17.77 wasn’t enough to land him in the final. Classmate Trajan Garcia stood 35th with a 2:43.09. Cooper also placed 27th in the 1,600m, clocking 5:14.17, while Garcia’s 5:58.66 netted 42nd. As expected, Durango finished 1-2-3 led by winner Land Lambert’s 4:23.73. 

In the 100 meters, Riepel stood 29th after the prelims with a time of 12.73 seconds, or 1.63 behind Central’s Justin Blanton (who’d win the final in an even faster 10.90). Barnes was 41st in 13.17 and Corona 42nd in 13.30. Riepel ended up 32nd in the 200 prelims with a 26.48, while Barnes was 34th in 26.59 and Corona 44th in 28.44. 

Corona would also finish 26th in the long jump with a 16’11” maximum. With his season-best 17’1” ultimately ranking 79th in 2A pre-State, Cooper ended up 28th in Grand Junction at 16’3.25” and Garcia (12’2.5”) 39th against the winning 21’1” logged by 4A Palisade’s Donovan Kemp. 

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