RIFLE, Colorado - Travis Alderson won the long jump title at the Rifle Invitational track and field meet by less than a foot. Literally.
The Glenwood Springs High School senior popped off a leap of 20 feet, 101⁄2 inches on his first attempt of the day, and it turned out to be the mark that held up. Second place ended up going to Rifle's Ryan Moeller, whose jump of 20-41⁄2 was also well ahead of the field.
On Moeller's final attempt, however, the senior scratched when his toe went over the jump line. It was a decent jump, however, and Moeller, a senior bound for the University of Colorado to play football next fall, asked for a courtesy measurement.
He shook his head when he heard the proverbial tale of the tape: 21-1.
"The way that Ryan jumps, he's going to be a major target this year," said Alderson, who also competed in the triple jump later in the day. "Him and I are great friends, but we just go to different schools. He'll definitely be someone I'll go after."
Alderson, of course, won this round. That might be partially attributed to the work he put into training for the event - an event he didn't compete in as a junior - when he trained with his brothers, John and Nick, in Boise, Idaho, during the summer.
Some indoor track and field training during the wintertime also helped Alderson, who tuned up his techniques to help him get more distance out of his jumps. And it's paying off, as his jump on Saturday beat his previous personal-best mark by more than six inches.
"The taller you [stand] when you're jumping off the board, the more lift you have," Alderson said. "I've taken a lot of things into account."
Prep athletes might also want to take into account the girls 4x200-meter relay team at Class 3A Coal Ridge. Becca Mitchell, Mariela Martinez, Kelsey Fauser and Alicia Hampton won the event by a more-than-convincing margin, with 4A Glenwood's Rachel Orosz, Hannah Padgett, Annie McGraw and Monica Reynolds coming in a distant second.
Also finishing first by a convincing margin was Coal Ridge senior Andy Bowles, whose high-jump height of 6-5 was five inches better than the second-place jump of Stockton Rock of Grand Junction.
Britini Allen of Coal Ridge won by a full foot in her event, the girls shot put. Her toss of 38-4 was better than the second-place mark of 37-4 by Glenwood's Kenzie Nelson-Buehler, with Rifle's Joey Kuheim (37-2) coming in third.