Glenwood ‘exceeds expectations’ at regionals |

Glenwood ‘exceeds expectations’ at regionals

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

GRAND JUNCTION – The future is now for the Glenwood Springs track and field team.On the immediate horizon, the Demons are sending four relay teams and qualified in seven individual events to the Class 4A state meet in Lakewood by finishing among the top three in separate events at this weekend’s regional meet.It was the kind of performance head coach Blake Risner anticipated from the Demons.”Our girls and boys met and exceeded our expectations,” he said. “We did set some goals as a team. Even though the final score doesn’t show it, there’s no disappointment in how our team fared in terms of team scoring.”

On that note, the Glenwood girls took fourth place. The boys finished sixth. Eagle Valley won both regional team titles.The Demons won six regional-event championships. The girls won five titles, while senior Chris Benson earned the regional boys triple jump title on a season-best mark of 44 feet, 114 inches.”I felt like I got better as I went on, because I started off really terrible,” he said. “I only jumped 42 feet at the beginning. I got stronger and more comfortable as I went on.”After that first attempt in the finals, Benson nailed a 43-footer. A good mark for most – not for him.

“I thought it was about time for me to get going,” he said of the effort, which he followed up with his best of the meet.Later, Benson racked up his second state-qualifying mark of the day with a second-place time of 22.54 seconds in the 200 meters. He will also see action at the state meet in 4×100 relay prelims with running mates Alex McPherson, Justin Montover and Tyler Setterberg after the team took second place in that event’s regional final in 45.27.Prior to the regional meet, the Glenwood girls came in with plenty of potential, which they backed up by producing some of their best times of the season.Katrina Selsor, Friday’s 1,600 winner, added to her list of regional titles Saturday by taking the 3,200 in 11:56.64, 25 seconds ahead over runner-up Chrystin Rodrick of Battle Mountain.Melissa Buchanan raced to a season-best 800 mark to date – 2:21.07 – for her first regional championship of her high school career – winning the title in her accustomed method of taking the lead at the gun and holding through to the wire.

“I always do that,” she said. “Most 800 runners aren’t used to running a 1:06 first lap. My coaches have taught me that.”While Buchanan won comfortably, she did admit to feeling a threat from Moffat County’s Angie Charchalis and Alicia Nelson during the race.”I could hear them behind me,” she explained. “But in that last 200 (meters) I can sprint and do my kick. And (Charchalis) doesn’t have a kick.”The freshman was also a member on all three of the Demons’ state-qualifying relay teams. Two of those squads – the 4×800 team and the 4×400 unit – became regional champs this weekend with their fastest times of the year. The 4×200 placed second.

On Friday, the 4×800 relay team finished in 9:54.54, breaking its own school record. Saturday’s 4×400 unit of Meg Waibel, Laura Young, Lyndsey Wesson with Buchanan running the third leg, posted a time of 4:09.34.Individually, Waibel squeezed in a couple of third-place times in the 200 (27.21) and 400 (1:01.48) to qualify for the state meet in those events.Rifle, in the midst of a rebuilding year after being hit hard by graduation, ended the weekend with three state qualifiers.Regional high jump runners-up Rachael Rung (5-112) and Justin Harris (6-2) will represent the Bears in their respective divisions in Lakewood starting Friday. Colby McFarlin moved on with a 41.19 third-place finish in the boys 300 hurdles.For more results, see Scoreboard on next page.

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