Stone’s throw highlights invite |

Stone’s throw highlights invite

Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker

RIFLE ” Confidence and some home cooking turned out to be a winning combination for Rifle High School shot-putter Andrew Stone on Saturday.

Competing in his final Rifle Invitational track meet in front of a home crowd, Stone recorded a thrower’s version of baseball’s triple play, taking out records and competitors with a shot put throw of 50 feet, 83⁄4 inches.

Not only was Stone’s heave the best toss among 45 competitors, it also smashed the Bear senior’s previous lifetime best, which he set a mere two weeks ago at the Wildcat Invitational in Grand Junction.

The third jewel in Stone’s crown came when the mark was announced as a new meet record, breaking ex-RHS star Alfonso Alfini’s 4-year-old mark of 49-51⁄4.

Rifle throwing coach Stacey O’Dell said Stone’s ability to improve each week is a matter of confidence.

“He’s sure of himself and he knows he can do it,” O’Dell explained. “The more confident he gets, the farther he throws.”

On Saturday, Stone out-threw runner-up Maurice Manley of Grand Junction Central by more than a foot.

Later, Stone wrapped up his day by taking second place in the boys discus with a personal best of 141-9, three feet back of Manley’s 144-2 winner.

The Rifle thrower was one of two athletes who set new meet records on Saturday.

Eagle Valley hurdler Brad Gamble’s 14.72-second win in the high hurdles shaved three-tenths of a second from the mark of former record holder Ryan Enright of Rifle.

Gamble broke his own Rifle Invite standard in the 300-meter hurdles by more than a half-second with a 40.06 time.

Besides Stone, three other area track athletes took home first-place awards.

In the girls meet, Rifle sprinter Ali Little won the 200 in 27.08 and teammate Savannah Beecraft recorded a 2:29.15 time to win the 800 meters.

Glenwood Springs’ Angela Gabriel also netted a gold medal. Competing for the first time this season in the triple jump, the Demon senior hit a 31-10 vault to beat Central’s Erin Kame by nine inches.

In the team competition, Hotchkiss won the girls meet with 115 points with Rifle in the runner-up spot with 105.5 points. Glenwood, minus some key personnel, scored 43 points and finished eighth.

Moffat County, with 115 points, was the boys’ team champ, ahead of Eagle Valley (92 points) and Rifle (87). Glenwood was 10th overall with 28 points.

For more results see Scoreboard, page 15.

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