Titans tower over track field again
Complete results from Friday and Saturday’s Class 4A and 3A Western Slope League meets can be found online at http://stockerstadiumtrack.wikispaces.com.
GRAND JUNCTION — The Coal Ridge High School track and field team had a repeat. And then, the Titans had a three-peat. All in one day.
Even while assuming a different identity than in previous seasons, the Coal Ridge girls claimed their second consecutive team title while the boys won for the third consecutive season to highlight the overall performances of Garfield County athletes at the Class 3A and 4A Western Slope League meet at Stoker Stadium.
“Everything has been falling into place to make this happen,” eighth-year Coal Ridge coach Ben Kirk said. “We have a great coaching staff that can coach in every event, we’ve had really good numbers. Plus, we’ve had a group of kids who have been willing to buy in to what we’ve been doing over the past three years.”
That’s for sure.
Coal Ridge, which prior to 2013 had never won a 3A WSL championship, has now won five in the past three years. And they did it convincingly, too — both teams had the top spot in the team standings locked up with two running events remaining.
“Everyone has stepped up for us this year,” junior Jenny Call said. “Our coaches have made an emphasis on us just doing our best and getting the highest place that we can get, and this was the result.”
Really, it was the Titans’ overall depth that won their titles. For the boys, a victory in the 100 meters by Sergio Valentin (11.32 seconds) and in the high jump by Roman Plano (5 feet, 10 1/2 inches) were the only individual championships. It did, however, help the Titans score 194 points, with Gunnison (162) Basalt (108) and Moffat County (102) following.
Coal Ridge’s girls, however, won a meet-high six events (tied with Moffat County), including first-place finishes in the 4×100 (52,66) and 4×200 (1:50.92) and a second-place finish in the 4×400. It not only showed that the Titans have depth, but the overall performance left the team feeling it could take their success to another level.
“We came into the season expecting to compete for a state title,” Call said. “We believe that we can do it.”
The meet, in a sense, sort of served as a last-chance meet for some to qualify for the Class 3A State Championships, which take place May 14 through 16 at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood. One who took advantage of that chance was Lyle Luckett of Roaring Fork, who posted a 10-second lifetime best of 4:39.20 — good enough for third place. It brought him within the classification’s Top 18 times, which is the standard used to determine state qualifiers.
“That was my goal all day,” Luckett said not long after. “I hope I got there.”
Grand Valley’s hurdlers shined in the 3A meet. In the 110 final, senior Ben Coleman won in 15.70, coming from behind to beat Gunnison’s Leo Ferraro down the stretch. On the girls side, sophomore Kylyn Rigsby won the 300 hurdles in a personal-best 48.33, rallying past Coal Ridge’s Amber Bowles and Moffat County’s Selena Hernandez down the stretch.
Meanwhile, Glenwood Springs has a hurdler who everyone in the 4A boys ranks is chasing.
Senior Kaden Weller won the 100 meters in 11.05 seconds, which moved him into the Top 5 among sprinters in Class 4A. He also won the 300 hurdles in 38.93, which is well off the personal-best time of 38.39 he posted during the Dakota Ridge Invitational on April 18.
“I worked hard to get to this point,” said Weller, who finished second in the 300 hurdles final last year. “I screwed up an lost that state title. This year, I’m coming back to show everyone what I can do.”
Weller’s performance — he also finish third in the 110 hurdles — helped Glenwood finish fifth in the team standings with 76 points, with Rifle finishing in fourth place with 102. Palisade won the meet with 179 points, with Battle Mountain (142) and Eagle Valley (131) following.
Glenwood missed out on some points at the meet, however, as members of the boys team were suspended for the week for breaking team policy, Glenwood coach Blake Risner said.
Earning points for the Demons was Riley Prough, who’s time of 2:08.91 was good enough for first place in the 800. For Rifle’s boys, top finishers on Saturday included Jose Prado an Joe Kosht in the shot put (second and third place, respectively), Rifle’s Eric De La Rosa (second in the 100 and 200) and the Bears’ 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams (second place).
Rifle’s girls, who finished seventh in the eight-team league meet, got a third-place finish by their 4×100 relay (54.04) and a sixth-place finish from Deleny Aguirre in the discus.
Glenwood’s 4×400 girls relay team capped the Demons’ day off well with its performance, winning the event in 4:09.03.
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In an eerily quiet Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, the masked Glenwood Springs Demons hosted the Basalt Longhorns Tuesday to kick off the Covid-shortened 2021 high school basketball season.