Record run leads IHS to State

Standing at the podium next to boys’ coach Tony Kimball Monday, May 20, at Ignacio High School’s year-end athletic banquet, girls’ track-and-field coach Kathy Herrera told of a simple target set for Bobcat Track & Field in 2013: “We wanted to take a bus up there.”

Noting that the full squad this spring was composed of nearly 40 student-athletes, Herrera not only pointed out that IHS did qualify enough thinclads to necessitate a bus ride up to Jefferson County Stadium just four days before, but also that “we not only represented — we went out and competed.”

They made a little school history as well: In leading the Lady Cats to a sole share of 23rd place, senior Michelle Simmons — named the girls’ team MVP — clocked 26.37 seconds in her 200-meter dash preliminary heat at the CHSAA State Championships, breaking Jocelyn Swayze’s Ignacio record 26.40 set in 1988.

Simmons’ 26.44 in the finals was ever-so-slightly slower, but still good enough for fifth in Class 2A.

In addition, the inclusion of the 4×100-meter (DNP; 52.56 in prelims) and the 800-meter medley (DNP; 1:55.80 in prelims) relays marked the first time since 2002 that Ignacio was represented at the State Championships by a baton.

Simmons also tied for seventh in the high jump (5 feet) to account for all the girls’ eight team points. Sky Cotton nearly added to the total in the long jump, but settled for 11th with a best of 15-feet-2.5. Chrystianne Valdez was 11th in the pole vault with a 7-foot-2 best, but was still 6 inches out of the points.

For the Bobcat boys, team MVP Klayson Smith and Wyatt Hayes each were multi-event qualifiers in Lakewood, with Smith scoring the squad’s best individual result: a split of fourth in the high jump, by clearing 6 feet, 2 inches. Peyton’s Chris Epps won at 6-feet-6.

Unable to make it out of the 400-meter prelims with a time of 53.23, Hayes — a co-recipient of the Coach’s Award, along with Cotton — managed to take 12th in the long jump (19-feet-0.5), and Smith added a 14th in the pole vault (10 feet). Kelton Richmond was 15th in the discus with a 119-foot, 11-inch throw.

The 4×1 (46.61 seconds) and 4×2 (1:36.80) relays were eliminated in the heats.


1.Lyons 142, 2.Hotchkiss 56, 3.Yuma 36, 4.Parker Lutheran 32, 5.Meeker 31, 6.Rye 30, 7.Hoehne 26, T-8.Paonia/Fort Collins Liberty Common/Loveland Resurrection Christian 24, 11.Eads 20, 12.Limon 19, 13.Rangely 17, T-14.Crested Butte/Custer County [Westcliffe] 16…. T-36.Sedgwick County [Julesburg-Ovid]/Fairplay South Park 6, T-38.Wiggins/Hayden 5, T-40.IGNACIO/Oak Creek Soroco 4, 42.Del Norte 3, T-43.Sanford/Walsenburg John Mall/Crowley County [Ordway] 2, 46.Fowler 1. (Note: 13 teams did not score.)


1.Paonia 87, 2.Akron 86, 3.Hotchkiss 79, 4.Lyons 78, 5.Dolores 50, 6.Ault Highland 47, 7.Mosca Sangre de Cristo 40, 8.Parker Lutheran 36, 9.Colorado Springs Vanguard Charter 29, T-10.Miami-Yoder/Wray 26, T-12.Kremmling West Grand/Crested Butte 24, 14.Simla 18, T-15.Rye/Eads 17…. 22.Fowler 11, 23.IGNACIO 8, T-24.Calhan/Las Animas/Merino 6…. T-40.Holyoke/Custer County [Westcliffe]/Sedgwick County [Julesburg-Ovid]/Oak Creek Soroco 1. (Note: 19 teams did not score.)

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