Rifle flashes potential at home meet

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jeff Caspersen Post Independent

RIFLE, Colorado – Jerry Shafer doesn’t hold back on the praise when assessing the potential of Rifle’s boys track and field team. The head coach knows that, when fielding a full-strength squad, his Bears can hang with anybody.

“I’ll put this squad against anyone – 4A, 5A, 3A, whatever,” Shafer proclaimed. “When we’re healthy, we’re good. These kids are faster than the kids that won regionals three years ago – Tyler Thompson, [Nick Alderson], all those kids.”

Shafer’s Bears flashed glimpses of that greatness at Saturday’s Rifle Invitational, particularly in the day’s final event – the 4×400-meter relay.

Ryan Davis, Andrew Proebstle, Tyler Rust and Joe Burgess sped to first place by some 50 or 60 yards in the grueling relay. The foursome clocked in at 3 minutes, 23.74 seconds.

The 4×400 is the pride and joy of Rifle track.

“I think we’re running better,” Burgess said. “We’re about where we were at our best last year, and it’s earlier this year. We’re working so hard. We know, from last year, what it took. We’re just trying to match that and go after it.”

The Bears’ relay success wasn’t exclusive to the 4×400. Rifle’s boys also won the 4×200 (1:30.43).

On the girls side, the Bears won the 4×100 (52.51) and the 800 sprint medley (1:55.4).

Individually on the track, Proebstle, a sophomore, won the boys 200, clocking a 23.26 run.

In the field events, James Martinez dominated the pole vault, clearing 13 feet, 1 inch to notch an event win.

Rifle finished second behind Fruita Monument in the boys team standings. The Bears were sixth in the girls team chase.

Glenwood Springs’ girls cleaned up at Saturday’s meet, winning the team title over second-place Fruita Monument.

Allison Brown (200, 26.78), Jolie Dubois (100, 12.89; 400, 58.67) and Madi Goodstein (300 hurdles, 46.83) won individual events for the Demon girls.

Glenwood’s girls also won two relays – the 4×200 (1:45.56) and the 4×400 (4:16.01).

Ryan Buchanan (300 hurdles, 40.65) and Chad Montover (shot put, 50-5 1/2) won events for the boys, who finished third as a team.

Led by Chelyn McCain’s win in the 100 hurdles, Coal Ridge’s girls took fifth overall as a team in Rifle. McCain clocked in at 15.94.

The Titan boys got a win from their 4×800 relay squad (8:35.81) on the way to a sixth-place team finish.

Zach Browning led Roaring Fork at Saturday’s Rifle Invite, winning the 400 with a time of 50.75. He finished just ahead of Taylor Browning (50.9).

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