Titans shine at first-ever Coal Ridge Invite | PostIndependent.com

Titans shine at first-ever Coal Ridge Invite

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

PEACH VALLEY, Colorado ” Bradey Gasaway said it best.

“It feels like a big practice,” proclaimed the Coal Ridge senior, who on Friday seemed to be savoring every minute of his school’s inaugural track meet.

Much to the delight of Gasaway and his fellow Titans, seven teams convened in Peach Valley for the first-ever Coal Ridge Invitational track and field meet.

And it was about time the Titans used their track for something other than practice.

“Having our own meet here seems like we finally have a place on the map,” Gasaway explained “It seems like everything’s coming together this year. It seems like a real senior year.”

Coal Ridge, in its fourth year of existence, installed a true track surface just before the school year started, so hosting any earlier wasn’t a possibility.

“Last year we just had a three-lane, pavement-type thing,” Gasaway recalled. “We would have to spray paint the lanes. For our relays, the first time we really practiced with our handoffs and spikes was our first meet. This year, we started from the get-go.”

The extra practice seems to be paying off, as the Titans made Friday a night to remember in more ways than one, winning the boys team title and finishing second in the girls standings.

With a 41.34-second run and victory in the 300-meter hurdles, Gasaway was one of seven Coal Ridge athletes to win individual events.

Teammate Chelyn McCain swept the hurdles on the girls side, timing in at 16.4 in the 100 and at 48.27 in the 300.

“If it was a (state) qualifying meet, I would have pre-qualified for both,” said McCain, who topped the 300 field by more than four seconds. “I’m hoping to qualify next week in Rifle (at the Rifle Invitational).”

Jessica Needham also pulled a double for Coal Ridge, claiming both the girls shot put (32 feet, 7 1/2 inches) and the discus (85-7).

Titan senior DaLin Murphy blitzed the boys 3,200 field. His time of 10:53.65 bested Rangely’s Hyrum Byers’ second-place time (12:08.75) by well over a minute.

Colby Fauser (200, 22.9), Brandon Schlegel (triple jump, 40-4 1/2) and Robert Rausin (discus, 123-11) also picked up win for Coal Ridge, which also locked down boys relay wins in the 4×200 (1:33.43) and 4×400 (3:44.65) and a girls 4×200 relay triumph (1:52.96).

But Friday was clearly about more than results for the Titans, who took a big step in cementing a track and field identity by at last hosting a meet.

“It’s amazing,” McCain said.

Added Titans coach Meggie Kirk: “It feels very official.”

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