Thinclads make last bids for State berths

Seeking out as many last-chance State-qualifying numbers as possible, IHS Track & Field traveled to Grand Junction for GJHS’ May 12-13 Dennis Teeters Tiger Invitational. And though the figures weren’t as lofty as any ’Cat would hope, Ignacio will still be represented at the 2023 CHSAA Class 2A State Championships. 

On the girls’ side inside Stocker Stadium at Lincoln Park, Fruita Monument piled up 97.5 points and narrowly defeated runner-up Cedaredge’s 87. New Castle-based Coal Ridge came in third with 66-1/3 points, with Montrose (50) and Durango (48.5) rounding out the standings’ top five. Ignacio, meanwhile, totaled 3.5 points and placed 23rd out of 25 scoring squads. 

Junior Lauren deKay managed IHS’ best individual result overall, placing seventh in the Day 1 pole vault feature with a best clearance of 7 feet, 9 inches and earning two team points. By comparison, Durango’s Sydney Wells placed first at 9’3” and Rifle’s Sophia Craig followed at 8’9”. 

Junior Maci Barnes earned IHS a top-ten on Day 1 in the 800-meter run, clocking 2 minutes, 28.56 seconds and, after the conclusion of four heats, finishing eighth behind winner Ava Lane (2:19.01) of Basalt. Also on Day 1, Barnes just missed top-ten status in the 400; after seven heats her 1:03.77 ranked 11th, but was not quick enough to make the six-runner final – won by CRHS’ Mikayla Cheney, who lowered her preliminary-pacing 58.48 to 58.34 on Day 2. 

During the Saturday session, Barnes earned IHS’ last half-point by tying Mancos’ Aysia Mathews for eighth in the triple jump (30’8”). Freshman Samantha Riddell was top-20 in the high jump, peaking at 4’5.5”, Barnes ended up 22nd in the long jump (14’9.5”) and Riddell recorded the Lady Bobcats’ last top-25 effort by taking 23rd in the 200m prelims. 

Freshman Lincoln deKay cleared 9’3” in the pole vault and placed 11th overall, but no other ’Cat crept closer to a top-ten result as Ignacio’s boys were unable to register a team point. Tallying 135, Montrose placed well ahead of nearest challengers Coal Ridge (73) and Grand Junction Central (67), with Delta (65) and meet-hosting GJHS (57-1/3) filling out the top five. 

Clocking 55.05 seconds in the 400m dash on Day 1, sophomore Kendrick Nossaman ended up 13th after all seven prelims had been run. Only the top five entrants advanced to the next day’s final, with Montrose’s Alonzo Leiba (51.45) out-striding teammate Zack Browning (51.63) across the finish line. 

IHS’ James Martin placed 14th in the 3,200-meter run (11:38.61), deKay ranked 16th in the 110m hurdles (19.11), and freshman Zane Pontine was 16th in the pole vault (8’9”). Junior thrower Kyle Rima placed 21st in the shot put with a 35’5” best, and 28th in the discus with a 105’ maximum, and freshman Dillon Brann finished 26th in the triple jump (28’9.75”). 

Ultimately, only Barnes will be Lakewood-bound. Thanks to her Teeters time, she will run the 800 inside Jeffco Stadium, and will also compete in both the long (thanks to a runner-up 15’10” at the San Juan Basin League Championships, May 2) and triple (thanks to a first-place 31’10.5” at Pagosa Springs’ Terry Alley Invitational, May 6) jumps. 

According to the State meet’s tentative schedule, the 2A Girls’ triple jump was to begin at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 18. The finals-only 800 is set for 12:35 p.m. on the 19th, and the long jump listed for a 1 p.m. start on the 20th. 

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