Last-chance meet kicks off Friday
Personal-best and last-chance efforts to qualify for state will be on the minds of all of the Grand Valley, Coal Ridge and Roaring Fork track and field athletes as they enter their respective District Tournaments Friday and Saturday at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.Grand Valley and Coal Ridge will be competing in the Class 2A Region 5 meet against 19 other teams. The Cardinals and Titans will be aiming for one of the top three spots in each event to earn an invitation to the state meet on May 19 in Pueblo.Grand Valley has already had three runners qualify for the state meet: Jonathan Thompson (1,600 meters), Sam McKinley (100) and Emmy Adkins (400). Cardinal head coach Jason Arthur is hoping more will qualify at regionals, especially distance runner Katie Bryan.
“I think we will get Katie in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 and our 800 girls sprint medley team,” Arthur said.Bryan’s season-best times of 2 minutes, 36 seconds in the 800 and 5:45 in the 1,600 are within two seconds of qualifying for state and her 3,200 time of 12:25 is within 30 seconds. Bryan, along with Natasha Segreto, Danya Rodgers and Adkins have recorded a season-best time of 1:57.50, a little over two seconds shy of qualifying, in the sprint medley. As far as scoring high as a team, Arthur believes his smaller squad of 18 athletes can still score points. “I think a top-10 finish for both our boys and girls would be great. I’d like the girls to score in the high 30s and the boys in the high 20s,” Arthur said. “We’ve got some good ones, it’s just slim.”
Amber Lyons became the first Coal Ridge track and field athlete to qualify for state when she ran the 400 in 1:03.42 at last week’s Western Slope Championship. This week, head coach Don Beecraft hopes more will be joining her.”DaLin Murphy in the two mile, he is looking really good as far as going to state. David Anderson in the 400 and 800. He was only one half of a second away from qualifying last week in the 400 and he set a PR in the 800 last week. Skyler James in the high jump is extremely close,” Beecraft said. “Brady Gasaway has a got a chance in the hurdles. Matraisa Beecraft in the one mile and two mile. Mary Ellen Lyons has an opportunity. She did really well at league.”Coach Beecraft also anticipates a close race in the 1,600 between Titans Kody Roper, Thomas Simms and Murphy.
“Kody was one-hundredth of a second away from qualifying. I honestly think that at least one of these guys can make it in the mile,” Coach Beecraft said. “I am really looking forward to seeing that race.”Roaring Fork’s track and field events will be competing at the same venue, but in the Class 3A Region 5 against Aspen, Basalt, Cedaredge, Gunnison, Hotchkiss and Olathe. The top three finishers in each event will also compete at state in Pueblo on May 19.Collin Stewart, who has already qualified for state in the 1,600 and 3,200, will lead the way for the Rams. His times of 4:48.88 in the 1,600 and 10:21.20 are top out of all area distance runners regardless of class.Laura Wright will be leading the girls charge as she tries to qualify for state in the 200 and triple jump. Her 27.46 mark in the 200 is a half-second away from qualifying and her best jump of 29 feet, 12 inch is just four inches short of the state required mark.
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The Coal Ridge High School lady track and field athletes notched 15 top-three event finishes, including six firsts, en route to a convincing team win at the 40th annual Demon Invitational Track and Field meet…