Rifle’s depth secures repeat at Demon
In track, the Rifle boys track team’s depth, together with five first-place marks at Saturday’s Demon Invitational meet, made for a hard combination to beat.
Twenty-four teams tried – and all of them came up short – as the Bears ran away with their second straight Demon team championship with a commanding 107 team points.
Rifle was the only boys team to finish in triple figures. The Bears ended the meet 31 points ahead of second-place Eagle Valley’s 76.
“The boys team is doing a really good job and they’re coming around well,” said Bears’ coach Justin Price.
And the Bears appeared to be coming around especially well in the relays, where they won three of four events and finished second in the other.
The 4×200 foursome got the ball rolling with a 1-minute, 36.22-second winning time, besting second-place Soroco by 2.1 seconds.
Later, the Bears’ 4×100 relay team of Marcus Carrion, Kalvin Deere, Brian Hileman and Troy Weiss added win No. 2 with a 46.34 clocking.
And in the 4×400 relay, the meet’s final event, the Bears zoomed to a 3:38.58 finish, nearly four seconds faster than Eagle Valley.
Individually, Michael Birdsley, a member of the 400 relay team, coasted to a 51.74-second victory in the 400-meter run. Carrion recorded the Bears’ other event winner with a 129-foot, 3-inch toss in the discus.
But host Glenwood Springs, with a much smaller roster than Rifle’s, finished a strong third with 71 points.
“It was an amazing accomplishment for our boys to finish in the top three at this time of the year,” said Demon coach Blake Risner. “I’m really riding high about our boys team right now.”
Marco Salmen set a new 1,600-meter run meet record of 4:28.27 while nipping Rob Thayer of Hotchkiss at the wire. Salmen’s mark shattered by eight seconds the one set by older brother Chas a year ago.
In the 3,200, Salmen bested Thayer again, clocking in at 10:12.83. But both runners finished well behind Plateau Valley’s Glenn Randall’s winning mark of 9:53.80.
In the throwing events, Matt Wilson took second in the discus. Chase Warner was third in the shot put.
The Demon 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 relay teams finished third in times of 1:38.76 and 3:43.81, respectively.
James Leonard earned Roaring Fork’s only third-place mark in the boys’ meet with a 20-foot best in the long jump.
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