Bowen races to hat trick of wins at Panther Invite
In a jumbled up track meet of three Class 5A teams, three 4A teams, five 2A squads and five teams from Wyoming or Utah, the Rifle boys and girls track teams each placed fifth in Saturday’s Panther Invitational in Rangely.”It was kind of a surprise because we didn’t have all of our relay teams,” Rifle head coach Scott Winter said. “It was really nice to see our individuals step up and get some points for us.”The star of the day was Rifle’s Lindsey Bowen, who dashed her way to three first-place finishes. Bowen first won the 100-meter dash in a time of 13.03 then took the 200-meter dash title by posting a 27.22 mark. The junior also took eighth in the high jump after clearing a 4-foot-4-inch pole.”Lindsey Bowen was fantastic – three firsts and an eighth. She came on strong, and it’s always good to go against those 5A teams. I think she is going to be really solid for us this year. She has really stepped it up a notch.”Bowen’s third victory came as the anchor of the 800-meter medley relay team. Bowen, along with Lacey Kruckenburg, Jess Martinez and Nicole Bendetti, finished the race with a time of 2:00.53.”We kind of changed up that relay and put some new girls in, and they did great,” Winter said. “I think we found our medley team.”Kruckenburg also took sixth and seventh in the 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash respectively, while Bendetti finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdles and Martinez took sixth.In the 3,200-meter run, Rifle’s Maddi Steffen took fifth with a time of 13:42.25 while Lauren VanRoekel finished eighth in 14:52.85. Rachel Rung jumped 4 feet and 6 inches to finish sixth in the high jump and Amber Massey threw the shot put 29 feet and 10 inches to take seventh in the event.On the boys side, Eric Simms shined for the Bears, running the 300-meter hurdles in 42.03 for a second-place finish and running the 110-meter hurdles in 16.12 for a fourth-place spot. Colby McFarlin placed third in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.26. Simms ran the 300 in the second heat because he was a few seconds late arriving to the start line and almost broke a record.”(Simms) basically ran the whole thing by himself (because he was so far ahead) and came within .05 of a second of setting a new meet record,” Winter said. “It is a great time for this early in the season – for him and Colby. We are hoping to get them both below 40 by the end of the year.”Justin Harris recorded four high finishes, taking fourth in the high jump by leaping 5-feet-8-inches, placed fifth in the triple jump by bounding almost 38 and a half feet, sprung almost 19 feet in the long jump for sixth place and took seventh in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.20.Tyler Thompson placed fifth and seventh in the 400-meter dash and triple jump respectively and Josh Gustad recorded a fourth-place finish with a 44-feet-4-inch shot put toss.
Racing against older athletes and seven teams in higher classes, the Coal Ridge boys and girls teams each placed 10th at Saturday’s Panther Invitational. Brady Gasaway led the way for the boys squad, taking fourth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 43.98 and placing seventh in the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 17.78. Skyler James chalked up some more points for the Titans leaping 5-feet-8-inches in the high jump.Matraisa Beecraft guided the girls with two fifth-place marks after finishing the 800-meter run in 2:51.56 and the 1,600-meter run in 6:12.66. Jessica Needham threw the discus 93 feet to take sixth place.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.