Demons fired up to run in the cold |

Demons fired up to run in the cold

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

A long, chilly, rainy track meet on prom night failed to deter Glenwood Springs from facing up to the challenge.

Told to “be prepared for anything,” by head coach Blake Risner prior to the start of Saturday’s 26th annual Demon Invitational, the girls and boys teams responded with their best collective effort of the 2006 season.

“We told them they had to step it up if they want to act like champions and be champions, because the other guys are going to be whining and complaining about the conditions and want to drop out of their events,” Risner continued.

“Glenwood Springs is not going to do that. That was a message sent to our kids and they responded in amazing fashion,” the coach said. “Nobody backed out. When it came down to it, they all stepped on the track and did every single event they were supposed to do ” and did it well.”

How well did the Demons fare?

The 12-member girls squad won its team meet with 99 total points in a three-way showdown against league rivals Palisade, by 16 points, and 18 team points over Eagle Valley.

It was the first time a Glenwood girls team claimed its own meet title in at least three years.

“We knew going in that we were putting our kids in the right place to score points,” Risner said. “But we didn’t know if the lack of depth was going to carry us through. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results ” winning a team championship with 12 girls out there against everyone else.”

Freshman sensation Katrina Selsor gave the Demons a boost by winning both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs ” both by commanding margins.

In her first individual event, Katrina Selsor bested 3,200 runner-up Amy Lund of Basalt by almost a quarter-lap while posting a winning time of 12 minutes, 3.18 seconds.

Later, in the 1,600, Steamboat’s Brittany Long suffered the same fate, finishing a distant second to Selsor’s 5:44.24 mark despite turning a second-place time of 6:09.51.

Both wins came under intolerable conditions to most, but the youngsters took the rain in stride and kept on pushing.

“I thought that I could get a PR (personal record) today. But the weather was just horrible, so I just fought through it,” said Katrina Selsor. “It didn’t change the way I was going to run. I just had the mental attitude to run the race.”

Running with fellow frosh Melissa Buchanan, who’d also sprinkle her own magic in the girls 800 meters, and 4×800-relay teammates Abbey Barnes and Meg Waible, Selsor buzzed to a seasonal-best time of 10:38.00 for one of Glenwood’s three girls relay wins.

In the 800, Buchanan spearheaded a 17-point Demon pickup by taking first place in 2:26.55 as Barnes and sophomore Sharaya Selsor earned valuable team points on second and fifth-place marks of 2:41.72 and 2:45.48, respectively.

The Demons boys took second overall, with 86 points, well back to team champ Eagle Valley’s 127. That was the lone dim point on Glenwood’s effort.

Senior Chris Benson established himself as the Western Slope’s best Class 4A track athlete with a 200-meter dash victory over Eagle Valley’s top sprinter Sean Matheson, plus field-event wins in the triple jump and high jump against EVHS athletes Mike Smith and John Gabriell.

“This reinforces what we already knew we had,” said Risner. “And, at the same time, they were challenged to go out there and take all those victories. They did and that’s going to set them up for bigger victories later on this season.”

As well as Glenwood’s mainstays performed, Risner pointed out, it took strong efforts from all of the Demons’ athletes to earn the accomplishment they achieved on Saturday.

“To win team championships, it’s not just about your stars,” he said. “That means the other kids stepped up and placed where they don’t normally place. That’s what wins team championships ” when you have the supporting cast doing more than what they are accustomed to doing.”

Other area bests

Laura Wright’s billing as track athlete equals her running ability. The Roaring Fork High School senior runs fast and is starting to get noticed as a big-time player on the Western Slope.

In between Glenwood Springs’ dominance of the girls side of Saturday’s Demon Invitational meet, Wright grabbed a piece of the spotlight by winning the 200-meter dash, then earning medals in the long jump and triple jump.

As a runner, Wright’s 27.91 second mark in the 200 was the second-best time this season turned in by an area prep girl in the event. Emmy Adkins of Class 2A Grand Valley High School currently holds the area’s fastest time at 27.02.

However, Wright has half a season ahead of her to better that mark.

In the field events, she took third place with a 14-foot, 8 and 3/4 inch best in the long jump and finished fourth in the triple jump at 28-6.

Racheal Rung of Rifle was the only other area girl to win an event. That came in the high jump where she posted an event-best 4 foot, 10 inch mark.

The Rams’ Collin Stewart posted the highest finish among other area boys at the Demon invite by taking second place in the 3,200 meters. His time on Saturday of 10:39.86 is the best in the area in that event.

David Anderson of Coal Ridge took fourth place in the boys 400 at 55.07 and tied for sixth in the 200. Titan Skylar James finished third in the high jump at 5-8. Justin Harris of Rifle also finished sixth in the triple jump.

Roaring Fork, Glenwood, Coal Ridge and Basalt are scheduled to compete at Friday’s Rifle Invitational.

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