Track talent on display

The weatherman is predicting an 80 percent chance of rain or snow; coach Vicki Haddan is predicting some quality racing.

Chances are that both will be correct about today's Clint Wells Invitational track meet at Moffat County High School.

"The weather's going to be bad, but I just hope people will want to come out and see our athletes," said Haddan, the Bulldogs' head girls coach. "There are going to be some great races."

Seventeen teams are scheduled to compete today, starting at 9 a.m. It's the 49th consecutive meet hosted by MCHS.

"We'd prefer better weather, but hopefully it will be better the next couple of weeks," boys coach Gary Tague said.

The meet will be the last for some of the Bulldogs as the team cuts its roster for the final three meets of the year. Today will also be a chance for some Bulldogs to earn spots on the relay teams.

The girls 3,200-meter relay team is still undecided, but a race off in the 800 between a couple of girls will settle the team.

"It's nice that we have the depth" to keep it competitive, Haddan said. "(The 3,200 relay) is a race that people want to be a part of."

The 3,200 relay team is traditionally strong at Moffat County. Last year, the boys team finished third in the state and the girls were eighth. The girls relay team is undefeated this year and has been a state placer the past five years.

"Girls know that they'll go to state if they're on that relay," Haddan said.

Teams competing today are mostly the smaller Western Slope schools -- Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Battle Mountain and Green River, Wyo. The Grand Junction schools and other schools south competed at Montrose on Friday.

"We've had a horrendous week of practice," Tague said. "With nicer weather we'd like to see improvement everywhere, but we'd like to see all the relays improve."

The boys 800-relay team is undefeated this season and the other three relay teams have been consistently finishing in the top three.

After today, the track teams have three meets remaining, the Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction next Friday and Saturday, the regional meet in Grand Junction the next week, followed by the state meet in Lakewood.

To qualify for state, an athlete can either meet the pre-qualifying standards set by the Colorado High School Activities Association or by finishing in the top three at the regional.

David Pressgrove can be contacted at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.

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