Bears put on show for home crowd
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colorado ” Hazen Moss is growing mighty familiar with Battle Mountain’s Aaron Wilcox.
The two have traded wins throughout the track and field season and added another chapter to the burgeoning rivalry at Friday’s Rifle Invitational.
This time, Wilcox got the upper hand on Moss, edging the Rifle senior in a thrilling 100-meter dash finish.
Moss finished second in a heated battle in which the top three sprinters clocked times within .03 seconds of each other. Wilcox nipped Moss’ time of 11.83 with a 11.81-second run. Palisade’s Zach Adair only slightly tailed the two with a time of 11.84.
Moss, who’s only been running the 100 for about three weeks and usually faces Wilcox in the 200, enjoys having someone to push him.
“For sure,” he said. “It’s cool to see who will win. It makes things more fun.”
Moss also took third in the 400, an event he had already qualified for state in entering Friday’s meet.
Also providing good theater for the home crowd at Rifle’s evening meet was Clayton Spillane, who found himself edged by Grand Valley’s Colton Cowan in the 110 high hurdles.
Clipping a hurdle during his run didn’t help matters for the Bear, whom Cowan caught with a late push.
“I didn’t see him,” Spillane said. “It felt like a pretty good race.”
In the end, it was Cowan timing in at 16.54 seconds, with Spillane a fraction of a second behind at 16.59.
“(Teammate) Jared Tonder told me he was pretty close with the kid,” Cowan said, “so I thought I could get him.”
Also finishing high for the Bear boys at their home meet was their boys 4×200 relay team, which took third (1:34.21). Kyle Zumbranen and Abram Dennis finished 1-2 in the pole vault, both clearing 11 feet, 6 inches.
On the girls side, Natalie Whitmore was third in the 200 (27.16). The Rifle girls 4×200 relay team took second (1:51.88) and its 4×800 relay squad third (10:40.89).
The Bears clearly savored their chance to compete in front of a home crowd.
“It’s nice to show ’em what we can do,” Moss said.
“That’s the fastest I’ve seen you run,” Sharaya Selsor told her sister, Katrina.
The impetus for the remark: Sharaya had just watched her little sister pick off two runners in the final 100 yards to win an event she’s competed in only once this season: the 800.
Katrina beat out Moffat County’s Alicia Nelson and Delta’s Phaelen French in a heart-packed sprint down the stretch. The Demon junior clocked in at 2:23.26 to win by a fraction of a second.
An exhausted Katrina only passed on the praise in wrapping up her performance.
“They’re both great runners,” she lauded. “I knew I had my work cut out for me. I just went out there and tried to pace with them.”
She did more than that, calling on what she had left in the tank to erase a sizable gap down the stretch.
Katrina also pulled off a big win in the 1,600.
And, per the norm, she won the event handily, knocking off her nearest competitor by a quarter-lap in clocking a 5:29.42. Selsor, who’s already punched her ticket to the 4A state meet in the 3,200, is still seeking a state-qualifying mark in the 1,600. She fell less than 9 seconds short on Friday, but will take aim at the mark at next weekend’s big Cherry Creek Invite.
In an energy conservation effort, Selsor took the 3,200 off at Rifle, running the 800 instead.
Also for the Glenwood girls, Meg Waibel nipped Delta’s Aliecia Gieck in a neck-and-neck 400, timing in at 59.62 to Gieck’s 59.73. Fellow Demon Allison Brown, wasn’t far behind in third, clocking a 1:00.68.
Laura Young coasted to a win in the girls 300 hurdles for the Demons (46.17), while Theresa Gabriel the triple jump (33-5).
Demon girls relay teams won the 4×100 (50.53), the 4×200 (1:50.76) and the 800 sprint medley (1:56.91).
On the boys side, Glenwood junior Donnie Jennert continued to decimate all comers in the high jump and long jump, events he had already qualified for state in earlier this season.
In the high jump, Jennert matched his personal best by clearing 6 feet, 8 inches and, in the long jump, he leapt 22-11 to take first. Both marks surpassed the CHSAA state-qualifying standard.
Jennert added a win in the 200 (23.26) to a productive day. Also finishing first for the Demon boys were Connor Riley (400, 51.44), Kurt Hartmann (300 hurdles, 42.2).
After winning the girls 100 hurdles, Coal Ridge sophomore Chelyn McCain finished second and, more importantly, notched a 3A state-qualifying mark in the 300 hurdles on Friday.
The young Titan beat out Grand Valley’s Erin Vanderpool by a fraction of a second to win the 100 hurdles in 18 seconds and then finished just a fraction of a second behind Glenwood’s Laura Young in the 300.
Also finishing high for Coal Ridge was its boys 4×100 relay team, which placed third (45.86).
Roaring Fork junior Tyler Thompson’s 42-9 leap in the triple jump wasn’t good enough to win the event, but it was good enough to qualify him for the Class 3A state meet. The state standard is an event 42.
Moffat County Brian Ivy edged Thompson by just a mere half-inch to record the victory.
Up against Jennert in the long jump, Thompson also came up silver with a leap of 19-8 1/4. Jennert covered 22-11 with his best jump, setting the bar high from the start.
“His first jump was 20-11,” Thompson noted. “That’s kind of hard to beat.”
That said, the Ram junior relished going up against one of the area’s best long jumpers.
“I enjoy it,” he said. “It pushes me to jump farther.”
Grand Valley’s Brandi Krieg continued her fabulous freshman season with a win in the 3,200 and a second-place finish in the 1,600.
After rallying during the final 200 or so yards to beat Battle Mountain’s Kenzie Grant for second place in the 1,600, Krieg easily beat out the field in the 3,200. The Cardinal clocked a mile time of 5:40.77. An exact time for the 3,200 was not available at press time.
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