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Bears win both team titles at RHS Invitational

Phil Sandoval

Everything seems to be coming together at the right time for both the Rifle High boys and girls track teams.

The team’s depth allowed the Bears to win both team championships at Saturday’s Rifle Invitational.

Rifle was the only school in the meet to reach triple figures in team points.

The boys racked up 133 points, well ahead of Hotchkiss’ 84 points. Glenwood Springs was seventh with 49 points.

Likewise, the Bear girls breezed through their half of the meet. Rifle amassed 126 points, while Moffat County (89 points) and Glenwood Springs (80) battled for second and third place.

Rifle sprinter David Suminski earned three gold medals. He and Glenwood’s Chas Salmen, were the only double first-place event wins in the boys meet.

Suminski, a junior, won the 100 and 200 meters in times of 12.03 and 23.31 seconds respectively, then helped the Bears to a win in the 1600 meter relay.

He teamed with Micheal Birdsley, Brent Lawson and Justin Steffen for a time of 3 minutes, 37:47 seconds, compared to the Indians’ 3:40.82.

Salmen, a senior at GSHS, timed in at 4:45.06 in the 1600 meters and at 9:45.49 in the 3200.

As usual, younger brother Marco finished second in both races.

Steffen earned two individual medals in the hurdles. He beat Glenwood’s Brandon Jackel 42.53 to 43.86 in the 300 intermediates and finished third (18.79) in the 110 highs.

Ryan Enright squeezed in a 38 foot, 8 1/2 inch, second place effort in the triple jump between acting as leadoff man for Rifle’s first-place winning 400 meter relay team.

Enright combined with Brock Milhorn, Ryan Schoeppner and Brian Hileman for a 45.44 finish.

The Bear 3200 meter relay squad of Birdsley, Lawson, Mark Worley and Jess Robinson recorded a time of 8:50.84 for second place to Moffat County.

A host of area girl athletes also shined.

Rifle’s Terena Leuallen, like Suminski, was a triple-winner. She ran a 13.63 100 meter time, defeating teammate Jenny Kitchens, then bested Olathe’s Jessica Martin 27.46 to 27.62 in the 200 meter dash.

Leuallen also collected relay gold as a member of the Bears’ 400 meter relay team. Brooke Pierce, Amber Canard, Leuallen and Kitchens roared to a 52.38 finish, beating Grand Junction and Moffat County to the tape.

Rifle also finished first in the 800 meter relay. The team of Savanna Beecraft, Lauren Pleva, Krista Wagstrom and Brooke St. Pierre clocked in at 1:52.35.

Roaring Fork’s Caroline Cretti bested Moffat’s Charlotte Steele in two of three events they squared off against during the day.

The Ram senior’s 1600 time of 5:23.48 bested Steele by 17 seconds.

Steele rallied to beat her Class 3A rival in the 800, 2:25.97 to 2:27.90.

Cretti obliterated the field in the 3200, finishing the race in 11:21.81, compared to Steele’s 12:07.97. Both of her first place marks were new meet records. And both old records were held by former Ram great Dana Boyle.

Glenwood’s Abbey Walters was third in the 800 and 1600. She turned in times of 2:32.59 and 5:47.58.

Megan McKinnie kept her winning streak alive in the 300 hurdles. She posted an event best 47.47 while staving off Rachel Schmucker of Hotchkiss.

Demon sophomore Amber Sutherland qualified for next month’s state meet in the discus with a second place toss of 121 feet, 11 inches on Saturday.

The regular season ends this Saturday. All three area teams are scheduled to participate at the Craig Invitational before returning to Grand Junction for the annual Class 2A-4A Western Regional meet at Stocker Stadium on May 11 and 12.


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