PREP ROUNDUP: Rifle boys win Hotchkiss Invitational; Rifle baseball sweeps Summit in doubleheader

Josh Carney
Post Independent

Competing at the Hotchkiss Bulldog Invitational Saturday in the final meet before Spring Break, the Rifle Bears boys track and field team put on a show in Hotchkiss, running away for the team win with 128 points on the day, winning the meet by 33.5 points under head coach Chris Bomba.

Cedaredge placed second in the boys standings with 94.5 points, while Coal Ridge (71), Paonia (62), and Delta (52) rounded out the top five at the meet. Grand Valley placed ninth with 25 points, while Roaring Fork placed 15 with 17.5 points.

On the girls side of things, Delta ran away for the win with 95.5 team points, edging out Montrose (80), Cedaredge (67), Paonia (67), and Coal Ridge (61) in the top 5. Rifle placed seventh with 52 points, while Grand Valley placed ninth with 37 points, and Roaring Fork placed 15th with 9.5 points.

Opening up the meet on Saturday, Rifle senior Tanner Vines got the Bears off to a fast start with a win in 100m dash, clocking a time of 11.67 seconds, edging out teammates Embry Maratino and Tyler Church in fourth and fifth with times of 12.04 and 12.14 seconds, respectively.

Building off of the podium finishes in the 100m dash, Rifle runners finished 2-3-4 in the 200m dash behind Coal Ridge winner Moises Contreras in 24.24 seconds as Dalton Pruett (second, 24.53 seconds), Tanner Cotner (third, 25.00), and Church (25.03, fourth) turned in strong performances in the 200m dash.

Rifle senior Bryce Schanche kept the ball rolling for the Bears with a win in the 400m dash, clocking a time of 52.89 seconds, narrowly beating out Crested Butte’s Josh Merck in second at 52.89 seconds. Grand Valley’s Hector De La Cruz placed third for the Cardinals in the event with a time of 55.86 seconds, while Rifle’s Max Rensberry placed fourth with a time of 55.93 seconds as local runners took three of the top five spots in the race.

Roaring Fork’s Ronald Clemente put the Rams on the board in the 800m and 1600m runs, placing fourth in the 800m with a time of 2:11.67, before then placing second in the 1600m with a time of 4:59.89, scoring 13 points for the Rams in the process.

It was Rifle’s turn to get back on the board though in the 3200m as sophomore Jonathan Hernandez scored a fourth-place finish in the event with a time of 11:34.54, while freshman teammate Patrick Whitt placed sixth for the Bears with a time of 11:43.80.

As the day drew to a close for the boys, local runners finished 2-3-4 in the 110m hurdles as Coal RIdge’s Hayden Reeder placed third with at time of 18.85 seconds, edging out Grand Valley’s Hector Arzate in fourth with a time of 20.42 seconds, and Rifle’s Daniel Carreon in fifth with a time of 20.75 seconds.

Following the 110m hurdles, the Rifle dominance continued in relays, as the 4×100 team of Maratino, Pruett, Schanche, and Vines scored a win with at ime of 45.52 seconds, topping Coal Ridge’s team of Danny Salas, Hitch Young, Colby Hoffman, and Reeder in second with a time of 47.14 seconds. Coal Ridge’s second 4×100 team of Jared Richel, Dominic Centeno, Axel Guzman, and Forrest Reeder placed fourth in the event with a time of 49.73 seconds.

Rifle turned right around and won the 4×200 as well, as Schanche, Cotner, Maratino, and Vines clocked a time of 1:34.86, beating out Cedaredge in second with a time of 1:36.66. Coal Ridge’s 4×200 relay team of Gustavo Archila, Contreras, Jack Price, and Young (1:37.50) placed third.

The boys’ 4×400 saw Rifle and Coal Ridge finish 2-3 as the Rifle team of Church, Cotner, Rensberry, and Schanche placed second with at ime of 3:42.76, while the Coal Ridge team of Reeder, Hoffman, Salas, and Contreras placed third with a time of 3:43.70 as the two local schools remained near the top of the scoreboard in the boys standings. Rifle’s 4×800 team of Rensberry, Nicholas Heil, Whitt, and Hernandez placed fourth in the event with a time of 9:15.74.

Rounding out relay events for the boys, Rifle’s 800 sprint medley team of Peyton Prettyman, Tyler Vasquez, Church, and Jace Coller clocked a winning time of 1:48.84.

In field events, Coal Ridge’s Irvin Ortega placed second in the high jump with a height of 5-08.00, while Cotner placed third in the long jump for the Bears with a distance of 19-01.50. Centeno then placed second in the triple jump for Coal Ridge with a distance of 37-08.50, while Coal Ridge’s Charles Spell and Grand Valley’s Kellen Jansen placed third and fourth in the shot put with distances of 38-08.00 and 37-05.00, respectively.

Closing out the competition for the boys, Coal Ridge’s Damien Spell placed second in the discus with a distance of 113-06, while Rifle’s Andrew Borrego placed third with a distance of 111-09.

Opening up the girls’ competition Saturday in Hotchkiss, Grand Valley’s Jordyn Pittman turned in a stellar performance in the 100m dash for the Cardinals, winning the event with a time of 13.30 seconds, edging out Rifle’s Delaney Phillips in second with a time of 13.49 seconds. Rifle’s Halie Holmes and Roaring Fork’s Lily Nieslanik placed fifth and sixth in the event as well, clocking times of 13.55 and 13.79 seconds, respectively.

Coal Ridge’s Peyton Garrison, who had a spectacular performance last Friday at the Rifle Invitational in her varsity debut, started strong on Saturday, winning the 200m dash with a time of 26.98 seconds, winning by nearly a full second over Phillips (27.82) and Pittman (28.06), as well as teammate Kara Morgan (28.20), and Nieslanik (28.70). Pittman then followed up the third-place performance in the 200m with a second-place performance in the 400m with a time of 1:00.95 for the Cardinals.

No local runners placed in the top five in the 800m, 1600m, or 3200m at the Bulldog Invitational, but Coal Ridge’s Raeanna Nelson put Garfield County back on the board in the 100m hurdles, scoring a fourth-place finish for the Titans with a time of 17.87 seconds. In the 300m hurdles, Grand Valley’s Ryley Sackett (51.35) and Alex Mendoza (52.00) placed fifth and sixth in the event.

Moving on to relay events, the Rifle girls started strong by winning the 4×100 relay. Maddy Valencia, Amanda Green, Hope Kehr, and Holmes clocked a winning time of 53.31 seconds, while the Coal Ridge relay team of Hartleigh Porter, Mary Bolitho, Nelson, and Ari Cornejo placed fourth with a time of 54.63 seconds.

Coal Ridge then turned around and won the 4×200 relay as Phoebe Young, Morgan, Nelson, and Garrison clocked a winning time of 1:50.11, edging out Montrose by a full second. Rifle’s team of Holmes, Kehr, Green, and Phillips placed fifth with a time of 1:55.27.

The Titans’ 4×400 relay team stayed hot for Coal Ridge in relay events, placing third in the event as Alyssa Wenzel, Garrison, Natalie Smyte, and Morgan clocked a time of 4:25.80 in the early-season meet.

Closing out relay events, Rifle’s 800 sprint medley team of Holmes, Kehr, Green and Phillips turned in a time of 1:57.83, good for second place. Coal Ridge’s team of Bolitho, Cornejo, Porter, and Wenzel placed fifth in the event with a time of 2:05.94.

In field events, Morgan placed fifth in the high jump for the Titans, clearing a height of 4-10.00, while Porter and Valencia finished fifth and sixth in the long jump for the Titans and Bears, respectively, with distances of 14-05.75, and 14-04.50.

Grand Valley’s Sackett placed fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 31-11.00, while Valencia placed sixth for the Bears in the event with a jump of 31-07.50.

In the final event of the day, Rifle’s Jahaira Luna placed sixth in the discus with a throw of 85-11.

Rifle, Coal Ridge, Grand Valley, and Roaring Fork now enter spring break and return to action at the Cedaredge Invitational on March 30.


Game One: Rifle 9, Summit 2

Game Two: Rifle 19, Summit 10

Hosting the Summit Tigers Saturday afternoon for a 4A Western Slope League doubleheader, the Rifle Bears baseball team rolled to a doubleheader sweep of the visiting Tigers, picking up a 9-2 win in the first game, before taking the nightcap 19-10.

In the first game, Rifle scored two runs in the second, one run in the third, two runs in the fourth, and four in the fifth, scoring nine runs on 10 hits.

On the mound in the Game One win, Rifle’s Randy Starks worked five innings of one-run ball, striking out eight Summit hitters. Offensively, Starks had a single, a walk, and a sacrifice fly RBI in the win.

Derek Wagler had a great day for the Bears, going 2-for-4 in the first game with a single, a triple, and two runs batted in. Eddie Medina added a pair of singles and an RBI in the win, while Wyatt Warfel singled, walked twice, scored two runs, and drove in a run for the Bears. Charlie Hisel added two singles, a double, two runs scored, and two RBIs as the Bears received a balanced offensive output in the first game.

Game Two saw the Bears score two runs in the first inning, seven runs in the second inning, seven runs in the third inning, and three runs in the fourth inning to roll to the 19-10 win, pounding out 13 hits in the game.

Wagler had a monster game for the Bears in the nightcap, going 4-for-5 with two singles, a double, a triple, four runs scored, and three runs batted in. Starks stayed hot in the second game as well, adding a single, three walks, three runs scored, and an RBI.

Medina added a single, a double, a walk, four runs scored, four stolen bases, and an RBI. Warfel also chipped in with a single, a walk, reached base on a Summit error, and drove in four runs in the win.

David Corral closed out the offensive outburst for the Bears with 2 singles, a walk, 2 runs scored, and an RBI.

Rifle improves to 3-1 (2-0 in 4A WSL) on the season.

The Bears return to action April 2 on the road at Delta for a non-league matchup with the Panthers.

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