Glenwood Springs boys, Coal Ridge girls place second at Rifle Invitational

Josh Carney
Post Independent
A Rifle sprinter runs away from a teammate and a Grand Valley sprinter during an event at the Rifle Invitational Friday morning.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Nice weather finally hit the area Friday morning, and the Glenwood Springs boys and Coal Ridge girls took advantage of the sunny skies and warm temperatures, snagging second-place finishes at the Rifle Invitational at Bears Stadium.

Glenwood Springs scored 86 team points on the day, finishing behind Grand Junction High School with 103 points. Grand Junction Central placed third with 67 points, while Eagle Valley (50) and Battle Mountain (44) rounded out the top five boys teams.

Coal Ridge’s boys team placed eighth with 21 points, and the Rifle boys placed ninth with 18 points.

“I was very pleased with how the boys responded,” said Blake Risner, Glenwood’s veteran head coach. “We were missing our top two point scorers in Wyatt [Ewer] and Bryce [Risner], but the rest of the boys really responded and put on a nice performance today.”

In the girls team standings, Coal Ridge scored 65 team points, finishing just 7 points behind Battle Mountain with 72 points. Rifle placed third overall with 55 points, Glenwood Springs placed fourth with 46.50 points, and Moffat County placed fifth with 44.50 points, rounding out the top 5.

“I thought the girls did really well today,” said Ben Kirk, Coal Ridge’s head coach. “They’re a young group, but they’re very talented, well rounded and fun to watch.”

Opening up the Rifle Invitational Friday morning, the Coal Ridge girls 4×100 relay started fast for the Titans, claiming an early win as Mary Bolitho, Peyton Garrison, Hartleigh Porter, and Raeanna Nelson clocked a time of 53.13 seconds, holding off the Glenwood Springs relay team of Christina Hippensteel, Daniela Barajas-Lee, Hadley Yellico, and Sequoia Kellogg as the Demon relay team placed second in 53.41 seconds.

The Rifle relay team of Jamie Caron, Felicia Kirby, Anna DeLuna, and Abigaile Pinkerton placed third in the 4×100 with a time of 54.09 seconds as the three local schools got off to fast starts.

Moving on to the 4x800m relay, the Glenwood Springs girls relay team of Ella Johnson, Alexa Helms, Matlida Barth, and Annika Bucchin placed third in the event, clocking a time of 11:22.60, finishing just under a second out of second place.

As the invitational transitioned to individual events for the girls, a pair of local sprinters came through with big performances as Coal Ridge’s Garrison and Rifle’s Delaney Phillips placed second and fourth in the 100m dash as Garrison clocked a time of 12.99 seconds, while Phillips clocked in with a time of 13.46 seconds.

Garrison’s sub-13-second 100m was just the third time in school history a Coal Ridge girl clocked under 13 seconds in the event, and it just so happened to be her first ever varsity meet.

Glenwood’s Kellogg followed up the 100m dash with a win in the 100m hurdles, clocking a time of 16.47 seconds, while the Coal Ridge duo of Nelson and Phoebe Young placed third and fourth in the event, clocking times of 17.86 and 18.38 seconds. Kellogg and Phillips then placed second and third in the 200m dash with times of 27.08 and 27.22 seconds, while Garrison and Grand Valley’s Ryley Sackett and Alex Mendoza finished 2-3-4 in the 300m hurdles.

Kellogg, who specializes in the triple jump and the 300m hurdles, stayed away from her top two events on Friday, instead focusing on speed now that she’s recovered from injuries suffered last season that hindered her. Focusing on speed, it led to a strong day for the Demon senior.

“Sequoia is really leading us so far,” added Risner. “She’s looking like she did as a sophomore when she was really strong. Last year she was hurt throughout the year, but she’s healthy now and looks really good. We’re super excited for her, she’s having a lot of fun right now.”

Local athletes continued to turn in strong performances Friday at Bears Stadium in Rifle as Phillips clocked a time of 1:02.24 in the 400m dash, winning the event by 30 one-hundredths of a second. In the 800run, Glenwood’s Sophia Vigil and Emily Worline placed seventh and eighth with times of 2:32.21, and 2:34.36.

In field events for the girls, Coal Ridge’s Taylor Wiescamp placed fifth in the high jump with a height of 4 feet, 8 inches, while Young won the pole vault for the Titans with a height of 10-1.00, edging out a pair of Rifle vaulters in Ashley Manera and Emilee Demann, who cleared heights of 8-10.00 and 8-4.00 respectively. Young’s 10-1.00 set a new school record for the Titans.

Wrapping things up on the day in girls events, local athletes went 2-3-4-5 in the triple jump as Glenwood’s Yellico placed second with a distance of 33-02.00 while Barajas-Lee placed third for Glenwood with a distance of 32-11.25. Rifle’s Maddy Valencia placed fourth with a distance of 32-03.50, while Grand Valley’s Sackett placed fifth with a jump of 32-02.50.

Opening up the day in boys events, the Coal Ridge Titans 4x100m relay team of Adrian Garcia, Jack Price, Hitch Young, and Moises Contreras placed third with a time of 46.57 seconds. In the 4x200m relay, Rifle and Glenwood Springs finished second and fourth as Rifle’s team of Bryce Schanche, Tanner Cotner, Embrey Maratino, and Tanner Vines clocked a time of 1:35.99. The Glenwood team of Ale Angeles, Taber Uyehara, Patrick Young, and Jahirie Labare clocked a time of 1:38.20.

Glenwood’s Gavin Olson, making a push for the state meet in the 100m, 200m, and 400m in his senior year, finished fifth in the 100m dash with a time of 11.57 seconds, while teammates Jacob Wolf and Uyehara placed second and third in the 300m hurdles for the Demons with times of 43.82 and 45.09 seconds.

In the 400m dash, Glenwood’s Kuba Bartnik edged out Rifle’s Schanche for third place with a time of 53.73 seconds, narrowly defeating Schanche at 53.74.

The 800m run saw Glenwood runners place first and fourth, as Gavin Harden won the event with a time of 2:03.04, while Henry Barth placed fourth with a time of 2:09.55. The duo also swept the 1600m run as Harden and Barth finished 1-2 with times of 4:31.27 and 4:36.44.

Barth is coming off of a strong cross country season and is in just his second year running track, while Harden is the front-runner for the Demons. According to Risner, the duo works well off of each other, leading to individual and team success.

“It’s great to see Henry getting confidence,” said Risner. “Last year was his first year running track, but this year he seems much more comfortable and is healthy. Obviously, he’s coming off the great cross country season, so Henry’s really responding well. The plan is for Henry is to feed off of Gavin. Gavin is a front runner. He likes to jump into it and pull away early, so if Henry can keep up with Gavin, it develops confidence and obviously leads to success for the team. The two of them are working so well together.”

Field events saw the Demons get off to a strong start as Glenwood’s AJ Adams placed second in the high jump with a height of 6-0.00, while Coal Ridge’s Irvin Ortega placed fifth with a height of 5-6.00.

In the boys pole vault, Coal Ridge’s Hitch Young placed third with a height of 13-4.00, while Glenwood’s Adams and Coal Ridge’s Dominic Centeno placed third and fourth in the triple jump, recording distances of 38-4.00 and 37-11.00, respectively, wrapping up the invitational at Bears Stadium.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.