Track pack battles N.M. winds

With a name like ‘B&B’ in the event’s title, one could assume there would be an overnight stay involved for the out-of-town teams attending and competing at Aztec, New Mexico’s April 25-26 meet.

Unfortunately for Ignacio – if that were indeed the case – rooms could have been reserved for all the Bobcat thinclads, but only one would have needed the good night’s sleep and breakfast.

Senior Christian Knoll was IHS Track-and-Field’s lone athlete to see day two of the 2014 B&B Invitational, and laid down a seventh-place, 56.88-second pass – slower than his 54.26 in the day-one preliminaries – in the 400-meter dash to contribute greatly to the boys’ sixth-place team finish amidst windy, deteriorating weather conditions.

Coming off a fourth-place finish at 3A Bayfield’s Pine River Invitational the previous weekend, the Bobcats amassed 25 points, with a big chunk coming from senior Kelton Richmond’s third in the discus (a 125’10” toss) and fourth in the shot (40’0”) during Friday’s session in Fred Cook Memorial Stadium.

He’d been third in the discus (125’8”) and the shot (40’10.25”) in Wolverine Country Stadium.

Sophomores Nick Herrera and Wyatt Hayes also turned in top-ten efforts on day one in Aztec, with the former placing seventh in the high jump (5’9”) and the latter eighth in the triple jump (37’5.5”).

Farmington, N.M., won the boys’ championship with a 123-point haul in 4A, and the host Tigers were second with 74. BHS (60), 4A Durango (59) and 3A Pagosa Springs (48) rounded out the top five.

Sixth at the PRI, luck wasn’t as kind to the Lady Bobcats in Aztec; sophomore Chrystianne Valdez’s 10th-place 7’0” in day one’s pole vault was the girls’ best showing.

AHS won with 157 points, followed distantly by FHS (73), PSHS (61), BHS (31.5) and 3A Socorro, N.M. (30.5), in the top five.

Not shown as scoring any points in the girls’ 11-team title hunt, Ignacio’s cause was hindered by the absence of multi-sport freshman Rachel Cooper (who played in the soccer team’s home finale at IHS Field), who’d won (in a time of 14:10.93) the 3,200 meters at the PRI.

Annika Zschiegner tied for tenth in the high jump (4’2”), Jayce Stricherz was 12th in the pole vault (6’6”), and DaShona Lloyd was 13th in the 100-meter dash (14.54).

Stricherz finished 17th in the 300m hurdles’ prelims, running a 55.50, Zschiegner (1:00.32) was close behind in 20th, and Sharmaine Price was 23rd in the 400 with her 1:22.81. With a 31.36-second dash, Jaylynn Herrera placed 26th in the 200.

Valdez, a sophomore, did finish in a tie for sixth amongst Colorado entrants in the B&B’s long jump (13’5.25”), as it did serve as a state-qualifying meet for those squads.

Back on the boys’ side of the meet, Hayes was tenth in the 200 with a 24.21 and Blaine Mickey 15th in the 100 with his 12.24. Mike Perez was 12th in the 110m hurdles’ prelims at 18.53.

Relays were strong for the ’Cats, with the 4×2 [Hayes, Mickey, Knoll, Perez] taking second in 1:38.02, and the 4×1 third in 46.66. The quartet’s try in the 4×8, however, yielded no time.

A different lineup – Bryan Gram, Justis Herrera, Fabian Martinez, Chase Sanchez – than reported had registered a second-place 10:28.43 in the discipline at the Pine River Invite, while a 4×4 of Gram, Hayes, Nick Herrera and Perez (time of 3:39.63) had also finished second.

Joao Campos tied for 11th in the high jump (5’4”), and Knoll and Tyler Riepel tied each other for 12th in the pole vault (10’0”) with Mickey tied for 15th (9’0”). Greg Bison took ninth in the shot (36’5”).

Keith Joosten had cleared 11’3” in the pole vault for second at the PRI, with Riepel (8’9”) third.

Victorious over all in the PRI’s long jump with a 19-foot, 3-inch maximum, Hayes was Colorado’s best at the B&B Invite with an 18’10.75” leap.

Up next, Ignacio will hit Pagosa’s Terry Alley Invitational on Saturday, May 3, and then regionals in Grand Junction on the 9th and 10th. The State Championships, held at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, are set for May 15-17.


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