Demons clean up at 4A WSL Championships
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” A dripping wet Blake Risner didn’t seem to mind all that much that his Glenwood Springs track and field athletes conspired to douse him with the icy contents of a water cooler.
Not even a little water and ice could damper the longtime Demon coach’s spirits on Saturday. Not after his boys and girls squads swept the team titles at the weekend’s Class 4A Western Slope League championships.
“It’s great to achieve these goals we set,” Risner said with a big smile as he stood on the infield at Mesa State College’s Stocker Stadium. “These kids are doing great things all over the track, and in the field.”
Risner wanted nothing less than team titles entering the Friday-Saturday WSL championships, and his Demons made the feat look pedestrian.
Both the girls and boys coasted to their titles, the females putting up 173 points and finishing 54 ahead of second-place Eagle Valley and the males racking up 150 and placing 21 points in front Eagle Valley, which also took second in the boys standings.
“It’s a very good day,” Glenwood senior Meg Waibel said. “Coach was telling us how important it is to win both. We came out here with that in mind.”
Perhaps the most eye-opening of the Demons’ long list of high finishes was their utter domination of the hurdles.
Glenwood’s girls took home a 1-2-3 sweep in the 300-meter hurdles, while the boys went 1-2 in both the 110 and 300 hurdles.
Laura Young (46.12), Kristy Moore (47.25) and Madi Goodstein (47.41) led the field to the finish in the girls 300. Dakota Stonehouse edged out teammate Kurt Hartmann for first place in both boys hurdles.
Hartmann credited hurdles coach Mike Kishimoto with keeping Glenwood’s hurdlers in top shape.
“He definitely works us pretty hard,” Hartmann joked. “This week he made us hurdle past the finish line, so we had to run the 300 and 110, plus two hurdles. It definitely helps.”
The Demons scored a slew of other event wins.
Jolie Dubois took the girls 200 (26.06) and William Rosas won the boys 400 (51.65) to round out Glenwood’s individual event wins.
Demon relay teams won the boys 4×100 (43.9) and the girls 4×100 (50.3), 4×200 (1:47.33), 4×400 (4:01.07), 4×800 (10:37.04) and 800 sprint medley (1:50.45).
Risner’s athletes will have to wait until this afternoon before they know for sure if they’re headed to next weekend’s state meet in Lakewood.
Class 4A no longer qualifies athletes to state based on regional competition. Instead, event-by-event rankings are kept during the season and athletes holding the state’s top 18 marks in each event are invited to the state meet.
Saturday was the last chance for track and field athletes statewide to post top marks. The rankings will be finalized and released this afternoon.
Joe Burgess blazed through the final 100 yards of Saturday’s 4×400 relay at the 4A WSL championships and right into the Rifle High School record books.
As the Bears’ anchor, he finished off a school-record run of 3:23.75 and helped put the foursome in prime position to land a state-meet berth.
“We were wanting to beat it,” said Burgess, whose relay leg followed laps by Ryan Davis, Humberto Guerrero and Tyler Rust. “Everyone ran their hearts out.”
The 4×400 record effort was one of several event wins for the Bears, which also saw Rust win the boys high jump (6-2), Kyle Zumbrennan win the boys pole vault (13-4) and Tori Jorgensen win the girls pole vault (9-0).
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.