Bears have solid showing at Fruita Invitational |

Bears have solid showing at Fruita Invitational

GRAND JUNCTION – The thrill of competition under the lights at Stocker Stadium brings out the best in Rifle’s track teams.Three individual runners, along with three Bear relay teams, recorded their fastest times to date this season at Friday’s, eight-team Phil Wertman/Fruita Invitational meet.The name of the annual event was changed this year to honor Wertman, the longtime Fruita Monument High School head track coach, who retired after the 2005 season.Rifle’s girls team earned the Bears’ highest event placings.Jessica Martinez, the area’s top female hurdler, shaved time off her previous best marks in two third-place finishes of 16.91 seconds in the 100 and 50.64 in the 300 hurdles.The Bear 4×100 girls relay team had similar success. The foursome of Martinez, Rachael Rung, Nicole Bendetti and Lindsay Bowen, hit the finish line in a season-best 52.76 for second place.Bowen also notched Rifle’s lone first-place mark of the meet by coming in at 1 minute, 2.76 seconds in the 400 meters.Bears relay teams hit the jackpot in the boys meet.The 4×800 team of Scott Rust, Francisco Nevarez, Tyler Chapman and Hazen Moss buzzed in second at 8:52.28, a full eight seconds ahead of third-place Montrose. Earlier, the Bear 4×100 relay team clocked a season-best mark of 45.98 for third.Hurdler Eric Simms had the highest boys individual finish – a 42.27 third-place time in the 300 hurdles. In the sprints, Tyler Thompson (200) and Jose Villagrana (100) clocked season-best marks of 24.05 and 12.17, respectively. The Bears are idle until Friday, when they host their own Rifle Invitational meet, a twi-night affair, starting at 3 p.m. at Bears Stadium.

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