Demon boys win first league title since 2012
Despite missing three key athletes Saturday at the Western Slope League multi-league championship meet at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction, the Glenwood Springs boy’s simply went out and picked their first league championship since 2012, topping the Palisade Bulldogs (115 points) by just nine points to cap off the big weekend.
“We were really facing some adversity with three of our top athletes out with injuries,” Glenwood Head Coach Blake Risner said, as the Demons were without Benny Smith, who came up lame after the 1,600m final on Friday, as well as Gavin Olson and Larry Flores. “So, a big part of our program was missing this weekend, and the rest of the team stepped up and fought every step of the way. Every event counted, every point counted and we ended up with the league championship.”
Risner was quick to give a lot of credit to senior thrower Jesse DuPlesys, who bested his personal record in the shot put by 4 feet to take third at 44-03, breaking up the Palisade sweep.
“That was a big turning point for us in this meet,” Risner said. “Each and every person did something to step up and contribute.”
The team championship came down to the wire in the 4×400 relay, where Glenwood’s Alex Cutright was able to outkick a runner from Eagle Valley to give the Demons a second-place in the event with a team time of 3:37.26, while Palisade finished fourth, giving the Glenwood boys the league championship.
In individual events for the Glenwood boys, Bryce Risner (16.27 seconds) and AJ Crowley (16.90 seconds) finished 2-3 in the 110m hurdles, while Miguel Peralta (11.33 seconds) and Luke Gair (11.50 seconds) finished 2-3 in the 100m dash for Glenwood.
The Glenwood boy’s 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams picked up big wins in the event, pushing the Demons to the top of the 4A team standings, while Crowley (40.54 seconds) and Wyatt Ewer (42.69 seconds) finished first and third in the 300 meter hurdles. Crowley’s time in the 300m hurdles was a new personal record for the standout junior.
Risner went on to win the high jump with a mark of 6-03.00, while Ewer (39-10.50) and Risner (39-07.50) placed 2-3 in the triple jump for the Demons.
Glenwood’s Gavin Harden later placed second in the 3,200m run with a time of 10:21.31, setting up the 4x400m relay team’s heroics.
On the girl’s side for Glenwood, the Demons placed fourth overall with 85 points.
In the 100m hurdles, Glenwood swept the podium as Sequoia Kellogg (15.82 seconds), Kourtney Gasaway (16.84 seconds) and Ally Rosenmerkel (17.31) seconds finished 1-2-3 in the event, getting Glenwood off to a strong start.
Reese Prough then followed up with a second-place finish in the 100m dash for the Demons with a time of 13.16 seconds before the 4x200m relay team won the event with a time of 1:47.61.
Glenwood’s 4×100 relay team followed the 4×200 team with a win of its own, turning in a time of 51.80 seconds, finishing nearly three seconds ahead of Palisade.
In the 200m dash, Saylor Warren turned in a strong performance with a second-place finish, clocking in with a time of 27.22 seconds, while Kellogg placed second in the 300m hurdles with a time of 48.48 seconds.
Wrapping things up for the Glenwood girl’s, Kathryn Quintero placed third in the shot put with a mark of 68-01, while Kaitlyn Bianco won the triple jump for the Demons with a distance of 14-04.00.
In 3A, Coal Ridge continued its run of dominance as the Titan boys picked up their fifth straight league title, while the Titan girls won the league championship for the fourth straight season.
The Coal Ridge girls won the league title with ease, scoring 150 team points to finish well ahead of Delta (104 points), while the boys scored 142 team points, finishing well ahead of Moffat County in second place with 98 points.
“This year’s group is one of the absolute hardest working, from top to bottom, that we’ve ever had,” Coal Ridge Head Coach Ben Kirk said. “They worked hard and trusted the process. We talk about that all the time, how track is a process. It’s different than teams sports where have to perfect your offense and see how good you are, but it takes a season to get ready for a day like today. The thing that’s most important to me is that the kids did what they were supposed to do, or better. If you can bump up one or two spots, that’s huge, and we had a lot of that this meet.”
Outside of Coal Ridge in 3A, the Roaring Fork boys placed fourth with 85 points, while Rifle (59 points) placed sixth. For the girls, Grand Valley placed third with 98 points, while Rifle (79.5 points) and Basalt (72 points) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
Coal Ridge senior Dana Kotz came through with a big day for the Titans, placing first in the 100m dash with a time of 12.97 seconds, while teammate Faith Wood placed second with a time of 12.99 seconds in a close race.
“I felt really good today,” Kotz said. “It’s hard running in the heat,but you just have to work through it. It’s good knowing that all of my four years of high school we got the team title, and that means a lot.”
Kotz also placed second in the 200m dash with a time of 27.33 seconds, finishing just behind Grand Valley’s Shaya Chenoweth (27.04 seconds).
Starting out the day, the Coal Ridge girl’s 800m medley placed second with a time of 1:56.64 seconds, placing just behind Basalt (1:55.06) but just ahead of Rifle (1:59.21).
From there, the Coal Ridge girls won the 4x800m relay and the 4x200m relay while placing second in the 4x400m relay behind Grand Valley and third in the 4x100m relay behind Basalt and Rifle.
In the 400m run, Kara Morgan placed second with a time of 1:00.93, finishing just behind Grand Valley’s Jordyn Pittman, who clocked a time of 59.71 seconds to win the event.
In the discus, Rifle’s Jahaira Luna placed third with a toss of 74-05, while Grand Valley’s Kylyn Rigsby stole the show in the 100m hurdles winning the event with a time of 16.44 seconds. The Cardinal standout also won the 300m hurdles with a time of 48.23 seconds, giving her three individual league titles after winning the high jump Friday afternoon.
Rigsby was also named the 3A Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year at the meet.
“It’s pretty special, the 300 hurdles are my specialty, and it’s what I want to do,” Rigsby said.
The 100 hurdles has taken some extra work to get where she is leading up to the 3A state meet in two weeks. She credited Dave Walck for stepping in to help with her 100m hurdling technique.
“I finally got to where I was three-stepping all way through and was sprinting through the hurdles, not just getting to the next hurdle. He just really cleaned stuff up for me and it clicked in my brain, and that really showed on the track today.”
On the boy’s side, Roaring Fork’s Justin Thompson and Jasper Germain finished 1-2 in the 110m hurdles, turning in times of 15.19 seconds and 15.45 seconds, respectively, while Coal Ridge’s James Nalley placed third in the event with a time of 15.67 seconds.
Basalt’s Noah Williams placed second in the 100m dash with a time of 11.49 seconds, while Rifle’s Jack Rubalcave placed third in the 1,600m run with a time of 4:33.70.
In the long jump, Thompson won the event for Roaring Fork with a mark of 20-07.25, while Coal Ridge’s Ezequiel Contreras (20-03.00) and Roaring Fork’s Germain (19-05.75) placed second and third, respectively.
Wrapping things up in the high jump, Germain won the event with a leap of 6-03.00, while Coal Ridge’s Hunter Gerber (6-01.00) and Connor Detlefsen (6-01.00) placed second and third for the Titans.
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