Going 20 days without a meet didn't put coach Gary Tague's Bulldogs asleep. The boys' track team finished in 10th place Saturday at the Hotchkiss Invitational.
The Bulldogs, who haven't stretched their legs since the March 9 Rifle Quadrangular, quickly found their paces at Hotchkiss, placing in three individual events and five relays. The eight events place Moffat County High School in 10th with 30 points. Class 5A Grand Junction won the meet with 116 points.
"I was extremely pleased with how the boys performed Saturday," Tague said. "The effort they put forth against a field of good Class 5A and 4A teams was very impressive. Overall I was pleased."
The revamped 4x800-meter relay team that placed eighth at state last year knew it had one spot to fill with Jarrod Burns graduating but Saturday two new faces were passing the baton.
Sophomores Anthony Loughran and Kilven Grinolds ran for the first time on the relay team and helped it to a second-place finish. Senior Drew Morris and junior Tim Bailey were the two veterans from last year's 4x800 team but senior Colton Grinolds, who also returns from last year's team, was missing because of a school field trip.
Bailey found top-five glory in an individual event, running a 2:08.00 and a fourth-place finish in the 800-meter run. Bailey is one of five cross country runners who constitute the Bulldogs' middle- and long-distance threats.
According to Tague, senior Joe Jacobs wasn't pleased with throwing the discus 124 feet and 10 inches but it earned him a sixth-place finish. The senior wasn't pleased because in practice, what little the throwers have had in this icy spring, he has hurled the discus as far as 140 feet.
"I wasn't attacking the front of the ring as aggressively as I should have and I wasn't using my leverage," he said. "Both are minor details and are easily corrected this early in the season."
The jumper who is expected to come on this season is sophomore Cody Palmer, who in his first year in Bulldogs' blue was just edged out of state in the long jump. Palmer suffered a late-season injury in basketball that has held him out early in this track season but has left the door open for fellow sophomore Brad Hurd to shine.
In his second outing of the season, Hurd nailed a 5-foot-10-inch high jump, two inches short of what he rose to at Rifle but good enough to place him fourth.
"We expect Hurd to keep improving over the season if he stays healthy," Tague said. "But that's how it goes for all of our boys. If they stay healthy they'll keep improving."