Bears boys take two golds in relays, Glenwood sweeps team scores
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado ” Relays are what Rifle does best on the oval, and it showed at Saturday’s Rifle Invitational track and field meet.
The Bear boys twice scored relay gold ” one in the 4×100-meter relay and one in the 4×400 ” to help the home squad to a third-place finish in the team standings at its annual tourney. Rifle’s girls matched the boys’ effort, also taking third as a team.
All told, the hosts sprinted to two first-place relay finishes and three silvers.
Relays tend to be tops on the list of event favorites for the Bears.
“I like relays best, for sure,” said Rifle junior Joe Burgess, who ran legs for both winning relays. “I know I can count on my teammates and they know they can count on you.”
Rifle athletes also tasted success as individuals on a windy Saturday in Rifle.
Natalie Whitmore won her first individual event ever, outpacing the field in the 200 with a time of 27.62 seconds. She edged out Glenwood’s Meg Waibel by a fraction of a second.
“I’ve been in a lot of relays, but this is the first meet I’ve done really well in an open event,” Whitmore said.
As they typically do, the Bears dominated the day’s pole vaulting competition.
Rifle’s Kyle Zumbrennan and James Martinez both cleared 12 feet, 8 inches to win on the boys side (though Zumbrennan technically won as he had fewer misses) and Tori Jorgensen dominated the girls vault, clearing 8-7. Jorgensen’s mark gave her the victory by more than a foot and a half.
Gusty winds kept the junior from approaching her personal best of 9-6.
“It was really bad,” she said. “It was windy and cold.”
Had the Rifle Invitational been held on a Friday night, as it typically has been in recent years, the elements might have been all the more harsh for Jorgensen and company.
Bears coach Jerry Shafer he switched his home meet to a Saturday afternoon this year for a number of reasons. Among them: Athletes didn’t have to miss school and volunteers were more readily available.
While passing clouds made for weather that teetered between warm and cold, neither snow nor rain really ever fell as Mother Nature did Shafer and the Bears a favor.
“It’s good weather,” Shafer said. “It’s the first time we’ve had a meet with nice weather all year. It turned out better than I thought.”
Add in a solid showing for his young squad, and Shafer was a happy man.
Glenwood Springs put forth its usual dominant effort on Saturday, sweeping the team titles and spreading 12 wins between its boys and girls squads.
Just as she did at last weekend’s Demon Invitational, Glenwood sophomore Kristy Moore slipped past senior teammate Laura Young in the girls 300 hurdles. Moore’s 47.68 clocking barely beat out Young’s 47.76.
Jolie Dubois (100, 13.17), Allison Brown (400, 1:00.72), Katrina Selsor (800, 2:29.46) and the Demons’ 4×200 (1:47.8), 4×400 (4:07) and 4×800 (9:57.05) relay teams also scored wins for the girls.
Travis Whitman (400, 51.87), Ryan Buchanan (1,600, 4:42.12), Dakota Stonehouse (300 hurdles, 40.64), Greg Orosz (shot put, 47-6 3/4) and Glenwood’s 4×200 relay squad won events for the boys.
Grand Valley sophomores Omar Melendrez and Brandi Krieg had big afternoons in Rifle.
Melendrez won the boys 200, speeding across the line in a time of 23.81, while Krieg held off Basalt’s Chiara Del Piccolo to win the girls 1,600 in 5:24.19. Melendrez added a silver finish in the 400 and Krieg nabbed second in the 3,200.
Corners are the key to Melendrez’s success, or so his teammates and coaches say.
“I’m good at the corners ” that’s why,” he said, explaining his 200 success. “That’s what they always tell me.”
Senior Colton Cowan chipped in a win in the boys 110 hurdles, helping the Cardinal males to a fifth-place team finish. Grand Valley’s girls finished sixth.
Roaring Fork senior Tyler Thompson easily won Saturday’s long and triple jumps.
The defending 3A long jump state champ recorded a top leap of 20 feet, 9 1/2 inches in the long jump. He covered 44-11 1/2 in winning the triple jump.
Jon Araujo took second in the discus (131-3) for the Ram boys, who placed fourth in the team standings.
Coal Ridge’s Chelyn McCain bested the field in the girls 100 hurdles with a time of 16.87 to score the Titans’ lone event win on Saturday.
Colby Fauser took second in the boys 200 (23.99).
The Titan girls finished seventh as a team, while the boys nabbed ninth.
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