Rifle sweeps pole vault
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” Before the bulk of the Class 4A Region 1 track meet’s events have even taken place, Rifle High School already has two regional champions.
Competing in the pole vaulting event Tuesday night at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction, junior Kyle Zumbranen and sophomore Tori Jorgensen won the individual regional titles.
“You can’t do any better than that,” said Rifle head track and field coach Jerry Shafer, who just introduced pole vaulting to the Bears this year.
Zumbranen cleared 12 feet to not only finish as the top jumper in 4A, but in all of the classes (2-5A) competing on Tuesday. Shafer said Zumbranen almost vaulted over 12-6, but his foot caught the bar on his way down after he had already cleared it.
Jorgensen, the lone female pole vaulter for the Bears, managed to get over the 8-6 bar to claim the girls regional title. Like Zumbranen, Jorgensen just picked up pole vaulting this year. Her mark of 8-6 not only set a Rifle school record, but also put her at third overall in the Western Slope regional, regardless of class.
James Martinez, a sophomore also in his first year of pole vaulting for Rifle, placed third at regionals after surpassing the 11-6 mark.
As the top three finishers in every regional event automatically qualify for state, Zumbranen, Jorgensen and Martinez will all be competing at the 4A state track meet in Denver.
Their high-point finishes will also apply to Rifle’s regional team scores. The rest of the Bears track and field squad will look to build off their early totals when the rest of the meet hits Stocker on Friday and Saturday.
Last year, the Rifle boys won the team title, but the Bears lost a big, talented senior class.
Rifle senior Hazen Moss will look to return to the track for the Bears this weekend after almost a month off because of a strained hamstring. If everything is feeling OK with his leg Moss, who has already prequalified for state in the 400-meter dash, could add the 100 and 200 dashes to his state list, as well as some Rifle relays.
The Bears’ star hurdler Clayton Spillane, who has turned in numerous top-three finishes this season, will be aiming high again with hopes to make a state trip in his senior campaign. Fellow hurdler Adolfo Ruiz, a sophomore, will be making a push to join him.
The Rifle girls will also being gunning for top-three finishes in its 4X200 and 4X400 relays ” two events the Bears have finished high in all year.
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