Moeller takes silver in triple jump, Kittle bronze in pole vault
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
LAKEWOOD, Colorado – There are times a busy state track and field meet schedule takes its toll on Ryan Moeller. But it’s always worth it.
“Sometimes I just wish I was done,” said the Rifle High School junior, who is competing in the long jump, triple jump, 100-meter dash and the 200 at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood. “Then you get back to the hotel and I’m glad I still have this many races left.”
On Thursday, Moeller opened the three-day meet with a second-place finish in the Class 3A triple jump. He covered 44 feet, 10 1/2 inches to finish behind only Kent Denver’s John Reynolds, whose top mark was 47-3 1/2.
“I didn’t jump as far as I wanted to,” Moeller said. “I didn’t even PR today, but that’s all right.”
Moeller has plenty of time to add to his medal collection. He qualified for the finals in both the 100 and 200 by virtue of strong preliminary showings on Thursday and will compete in the long jump on Saturday.
Coal Ridge’s Tyler Guettler claimed 14th in the triple jump. His best leap covered 40-2 1/2.
Moeller’s teammate, Brandon Kittle, earned a medal on Thursday, placing third in the pole vault. He cleared 13 feet, a personal best. Last year at state, the senior finished second.
“I’m pretty happy with what I’ve accomplished,” he said. “I like to help the team out and get some points.”
Kittle’s been pole vaulting since he was a freshman, but he’s peaked the last two seasons.
“It’s just practice,” he said. “I practice every day and you have to have the mentality that you’re going to do it.”
Kellin Leigh placed ninth (11-0) and Anthony Valdez 11th (10-6) for the Bears.
Elsewhere among Thursday’s field event happenings, Carsyn Copeland placed fifth in the high jump. The sophomore, who cleared 5-2, credits a higher power with fueling her performance.
“I’m just thankful,” she said. “It’s nothing I’ve earned. It’s just a gift God gave me.”
Roaring Fork’s Taila Howe placed eighth (5-1). Rifle’s Emily Armstrong and Grand Valley’s Kristen Schubert both cleared 4-8 to place 18th.
On the track, Rifle’s girls and boys 4×800-meter relay teams competed in finals.
Jake Statler, Adam Rice, Tanner Rust and Aaron Wagler nabbed fifth for the boys in 8 minutes, 19.14 seconds.
The girls squad, which was composed of Erika Salazar, Ashlyn Taylor, Kelly Coombs and Tani Jorgenson, finished 16th in 10:50.99.
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