Tribble, Demons hurdling toward regionals
Post Independent Sports Editor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Auston Tribble isn’t a towering figure.
At 5 feet, 9 inches tall, the Glenwood Springs High School senior doesn’t have the prototypical height a successful hurdler might have. Many successful athletes who compete in the hurdles have tallness extending past 6 feet. That makes Tribble typically one of the shortest people running in his primary event, the 300-meter hurdles.
What Tribble lacks in height, however, he makes up for in plenty of other ways. And people around him can see it.
“He’s only 5-9, but he has tremendous strength,” said Glenwood assistant coach Mike Kishimoto, who coaches hurdlers with the team. “I stole him as a freshman, and he caught on very quickly. And his determination, especially this year, has been phenomenal.”
Tribble’s times are a result of that determination. His personal-best time of 38.76 seconds, which came at the Montrose Invitational last month, is the best among athletes on Colorado’s Western Slope, the fourth best among Class 4A athletes, and is ranked 12th in the nation among times posted at http://www.maxpreps.com.
And with that time, Tribble looks to extend the Demons’ dominance in the event at the Class 4A Western Slope League Regional meet, which runs today through Saturday at Stoker Stadium in Grand Junction. Glenwood has won the regional title in the event each year since 2007.
“We’ve kind of dominated this event for a while,” longtime Glenwood coach Blake Risner said. “And we haven’t always needed tall guys to do it.”
Risner was quick to point out how successful the Demons have been in the 300 hurdles without someone to tower over the people in the other lanes. One he pointed to was Ryan Buchanan, who went on to finish second in the 4A state meet in the 300 hurdles in 2011 even though he typically was the shortest runner in the field. He also set the school record that year with a personal-best time of 39.10.
Tribble broke that record this season in Montrose, and he was undefeated in the event this season until he finished second at this past weekend’s Cherry Creek Invitational. How Tribble reached that school-record time in Montrose, however, was what his coaches are still beaming about three weeks later.
Delta’s Chris Black, a senior who has close to a one-foot height advantage, held close to a 10-meter lead right after the second-to-last hurdle of the race. That’s when it seemed like Tribble shifted into another gear, pulling even with Black on the last hurdle and slipping past him right at the finish line.
Granted, Tribble likes the progress he’s made to reach this level. He feels, however, like he’s still playing catchup even though he’s set the pace in the event much of the year.
“I kind of look back and think where I would be if I’d not been too lazy to show up to those 6:30 a.m. weight-room sessions as a sophomore or junior,” he said.
“[Kishimoto] asked me at the beginning of the year what I wanted to do,” he continued. “At some point, you’ve got to be OK with not being average and being the best you can be.”
Tribble is also part of another record-breaking Glenwood squad in the 4×100 relay. At that same Montrose meet, Tribble, Travis Alderton, Henry Hill and Kaden Weller won the 4×100 in 43.29, which broke the school record that team set at the Demon Invitational in April.
The 3A regional meet will also take place at Stoker Stadium. Roaring Fork, Coal Ridge and Grand Valley will take part in the 3A meet, with Glenwood and Rifle vying for position in the 4A meet.
Andy Bowles of Coal Ridge is one to watch for the Titans. The 6-5 junior has a personal-best time of 15.07 in the 110 hurdles, a 39.08 in the 300 hurdles, and has gone 6-6 in the high jump.
Also worth watching for Coal Ridge is the girls 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 relays, each of which have posted some of Class 3A’s best times. Some of the relay members, however, are also members of the Coal Ridge girls soccer team which will host a first-round match in the 3A state tournament this afternoon.
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