Track teams host home meet this Saturday

The early May snow has thrown every athletic teams' practice schedule out of kilter, and track is no different.

Along with limiting the amount of practice time, the inclement weather also has the chance to stifle any state qualifications Saturday at the Moffat County High School Invitational.

According to coaches Mike Gleason and Gary Tague, cold and wet weather is not the most conducive climate for fast times on the track.

"The team usually runs some of its faster times during its home meet," Gleason said. "But after the snow, I really don't see that happening."

The Lady Bulldogs are still hoping to place a few more girls into state competition.

Charlotte Steele and Stephanie Hurd are battling for a state-qualification in the 800-meter run, while Sheila McNicol looks to qualify in the two-mile run.

Heather Urbanoski, who has missed much of the season due to a stress fracture, ran her first meet last week since sustaining her injury. Urbanoski took second in the 100-meter at last Saturday's Rifle Invitational. She was edged-out for first by teammate Jill Adamek by four-tenths of a second.

Urbanoski still has a chance to qualify for state, but her late comeback has not helped much. Aside from the 100-meter, she will also compete on the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.

"We're still concerned more with what's coming up," Gleason said. "But we need the competition and conditioning that this meet will provide it's like interval training, it makes the girls push themselves."

The boys team usually walks away with the home Invitational title, but this year may be different. Tague doesn't foresee his young team taking top honors when its squares off with more experienced teams from around the region.

One Bulldog, though, should fare well despite the weather and class of competition.

Senior Jarrod Burns has been on a winning streak in the 3,200, and this weekend should prolong his stint at the top.

Chad Hettinger, fresh off the disabled list with a hip flexor is expected to have a strong showing in the mile and the 800. Joe Jacobs also looks to make strides in the distance events.

"The times are all going to depend on how quick this weather moves through, you just don't run fast times in the cold," Tague said. "The most important thing for us to do is build some momentum going into regionals, and home meets are excellent for that."

The majority of the 14 teams attending the Invitational will be from Class 3A, with the exception of Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Steamboat Springs.

The three Western Slope Conference teams will create the bulk of competition for Moffat County, but a number of the 3A teams have class athletes as well.

"We really can't look past anyone, all the events will have tough kids in them," Tague said. "Just because an athlete goes to a smaller school doesn't make them less of a threat."

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