Cards shine in windy meet
PARACHUTE A gathering of small-school track and field teams learned firsthand the meaning of “high wind advisory” at Wednesday’s Grand Valley Invitational.With Mother Nature dishing out gusts up to 40 mph, athletes from Soroco, Basalt, Hayden, Plateau Valley, DeBeque and host Grand Valley had an adventuresome day on their hands.”It was like an obstacle course,” first-year Grand Valley coach Dora King quipped.In the end, Soroco’s boys and Hayden’s girls conquered the field of six in the team standings.The host team fared well, though, placing second in the boys competition and third on the girls side.
Grand Valley’s Sam McKinley took gold in three events, speeding to wins in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and also winning the shot put with a toss spanning 39 feet, 1 inch.McKinley, the reigning Class 2A state champ in the 100 and 200, has a full plate this spring, participating in both track and baseball for the Cardinals. Juggling the two seems to have taken its toll on the senior, who ran an 11.22 in the 100 and a 23.11 in the 200. “I wish I could have had a little more wind on that,” McKinley said after finishing up the 100. “(My times) are OK. They’re not where I want them to be, but it’s pretty hard to do track and baseball.”The senior realizes that repeating at state will take a bit more work.”I need to start coming to more track practices,” he said. “It’s a little pressure. Everybody expects me to go back and repeat and that’s not easy to do.”McKinley’s Cardinal teammates also enjoyed a solid day at their home meet.
Colton Cowan swept the hurdles, winning the 110 at 16.8 and the 300 at 45.54.Matt Zollars took the high jump by clearing 5-foot-6 and Jesse Forney took third in the shot put (35-9 1/2).Jared Tonder wound up second to Cowan in the 300 hurdles and placed fourh in the 110. Coach King likes what she’s seen of Tonder thus far.”I could tell him to run 10 miles and then tell him to go run 100 sprints and he’d do it,” she joked. For Grand Valley in the girls comps, Emily Adkins won the 200 (27.45) and was tailed closely by teammate Erin Vanderpool, who took second in 28.72.
Vanderpool also ran to first in the 100 hurdles (18.38).Natasha Segreto nabbed second in the 100 (13.4), Sami Jo Krieg second in the 1,600 (6:29.14) and Caitlin Brody third in the shot put (27-1 1/2).Grand Valley’s 800 medley relay team placed second with a 2:02.68 to round out the Cards’ top finishers.Not a bad day for the Cards, their coach noted.”The thing is I stepped into this amazing program,” said King, who’s gearing up her athletes for an end-of-season push, when times and marks matter most. “It’s all going to depend on how much they want it. It’s coming down to the nitty gritty.”Notes: The Cardinals were without distance threat Katie Bryan, who is suffering from a stress fracture. … Next up for Grand Valley is a Saturday invitational at Eagle Valley.
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As the heat of the summer gives way to cooler mornings, summer trail race opportunities are slowly coming to an end.