Demons victorious against the elements
The Glenwood Springs Track & Field coaches and athletes had been looking forward to the fourth week of April for most of the season. Three track meets were scheduled in a five-day span and each meet would provide a unique opportunity for the Glenwood tracksters.
However, Mother Nature had other plans for the Demons.
The Husky Invitational, hosted by Battle Mountain, was the first meet that felt the impact of the weather. The Tuesday meet was cancelled due to snowy conditions in Edwards. Thursday, Glenwood had entered five pole vaulters in the High Country Pole Vault Championships at West Grand High School in Kremmling. Once again, poor predicted conditions forced meet administrators to move the vaulting exhibition to another date.
Finally, a trip to the Front Range and a spot in the prestigious Grandview Invitational was thwarted by another spring storm.
Fortunately, Glenwood Springs coach Blake Risner was able to convince the Grand Junction Central meet director to grant his squad a spot in the Warrior Invitational on Saturday. And the
Glenwood track & Field athletes stepped up and made the most of the opportunity.
Determined to keep their impressive winning streak alive, the Glenwood boys scored a comfortable victory over the 11 opponents accumulating 149 points. 5A Grand Junction was second with 99 points and 5A Fruita Monument was third with 77. The win marked the 7th consecutive victory for the Demons in Western Slope invitationals.
The scoring started quickly for the boys with AJ Crowley (2nd), Bryce Risner (3rd) and Kai Uyehara (5th) all scoring in the 110m Hurdles.
Glenwood did not take the foot off of the gas pedal, continuing to score in every track event except two.
Top 3 track performances by the boys included Luke Gair sprinting to 3rd in the 100m dash, Benny Smith churning out a 1st in the 3200m run and a 3rd in the 1600m, and Flores and AJ Crowley earning 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the 300m hurdles.
A win and two seconds by relay teams running without super sophomore Gavin Olson demonstrated the Demon depth. The gold medal run by the 4 x 200m relay team of Kuba Bartnik, Gair, Larry Flores and Ismael Villegas was followed up by silver medals in the 4x100m (Bartnik, Gair, Crowley & Miguel Peralta) and 4 x 400m (Peralta, Flores, Alex Cutright & Daniel Ortiz).
The Glenwood boys’ jumpers scored their fair share of points to represent the field events. Bryce Risner earned 1st place in the high jump with a leap of 6’ 2”. Also scoring big were Wyatt Ewer (2nd) in the triple jump and Alex Cutright (4th) in the long jump.
The Lady Demons decided to show the competition in Grand Junction that they should not be overlooked. Several Glenwood girls turned in stellar performances to help rack up some points and place second out of 12 schools. Battle Mountain was solid en route to scoring 109 points, followed by Glenwood with 93 and Grand Junction with 85.
Sophomore Sequoia Kellogg had a big scoring day in winning the 100m hurdles (15.91), the triple jump (36’ 4 ¼”) and anchoring the 4x400m relay to victory. In that relay, the foursome of Morgan Hollenback, Saylor Warren, Claudia Hirons & Kellogg closed the day in style with a season-best 4:17.63 performance.
Kellogg’s three gold medals were not the only winning performances on Saturday. The Glenwood 4 x 100m relay team of Kourtney Gasaway, Warren, Ally Rosenmerkel and Reese Prough sprinted to a huge season-best time of 51.54 to outdistance the competition by nearly a second.
Senior hurdler Gasaway had a breakthrough day with a 3rd place run in the 100m hurdles and followed that up with a gutsy 2nd place finish in the 300’s. “Kourtney has worked so hard this season to show her new teammates what she is made of and to accomplish some major lifetime goals” said Risner. Gasaway has competed in three varsity meets for Glenwood Springs since transferring from Coal Ridge.
“Her progress has been remarkable.”
Top 3 performances at the Warrior Invite were also turned in by Ally Rosenmerkel (3rd) in the 300m hurdles and Saylor Warren (3rd) in the long jump.
The Demon squads will now prepare for the annual Western Slope League Championships next weekend. The events begin on Thursday with the pole vault competition at Grand Junction High
School. Then the 2-day chase for a league title will resume at Stocker Stadium.