As a sophomore, Derek Duran ran on the school record-breaking 3,200-meter relay team. Two years later, he's found a new relay team that could put his name on the school record board again.
The 800 relay team of Andrew Drake, Jake Bilodeau, Sam Weeldreyer and Duran continued its undefeated streak this year with a convincing win Friday night at the Clint Wells Invitational in Craig. The 800-relay squad didn't run its seasonal best, but the team is within a second of the school record.
"We've run against everybody in the region, and we haven't lost," Duran said. "We have set the goal of winning the region, qualifying for state and setting the school record."
Duran was a part of at least two first-place relay teams Friday. He also ran on the 3,200 relay team, along with Jake Miller, Jeremy Bird and Mike McNicol. They won the race in a seasonal-best 8:19.30, with six seconds in front of Battle Mountain.
"I like the adrenaline rush of the 200 relay," Duran said. "It's a new event that's fun for me."
As of press time Friday night, (with the 3,200 run and 1,600 relays remaining) the Bulldog boys were in second place as a team behind Eagle Valley with 72 points compared to 79.
In addition to the two relay victories, McNicol won the 1,600, and Drake won the 200.
"The good thing about Drake's win was that he relaxed," coach Gary Tague said. "That helped him drop his time."
McNicol pulled away from the pack in the 1,600 on the backstretch. Times in the individual events weren't tremendously fast because of a strong wind in the afternoon.
Girls clear hurdles
At the Rifle meet last week, junior Kiera Moore came to a stop at the last hurdle in the 300 hurdles. A week later, she kept enough momentum down the homestretch to clear all the hurdles.
"I have to work on my conditioning," she said. "It's such a long race, it's hard to keep going hard at the end."
Moore finished fourth in the race and was also third in the 100 hurdles.
Freshman Erin Urbanoski cleared her own hurdle by earning her first win in the 100 dash. She also won the long jump with a jump of 16 feet, 1 inch -- four inches from qualifying for state.
"I feel better in the long jump, but it was nice to get the win in the 100 because I've been struggling," she said. "I had no idea what to expect at the beginning of this year, but now I know who is my competition."
The 3,200 relay team of Angie Charchalis, Jorgiea Raftopoulos, Amber Suits and Alicia Nelson beat Glenwood Springs for the first time this season, but it came with an asterisk. Glenwood didn't enter its best runners in the race. The Demons still provided a challenge for Charchalis, who had to make up a 40-yard deficit on the final leg.
Another highlight for the girls team was April Sanchez's personal best throw of 108 feet, 4 inches for third place in the discus.
After 15 events, the girls were well ahead of second-place Glenwood Springs, 103 to 71. The Bulldog girls had 19 top-eight finishes and had placed in all but one of the 15 events that were scored.
"In a meet like this, with a lot of smaller schools, our depth really helps us," coach Todd Trapp said. "We'll need to improve more in some of the areas to be the best team at the regional meet."
Together, the two Moffat teams combined for 32 top-eight finishes through 15 events on each side. Other top finishes for the boys as of press time were: Hillewaert, fifth in the 100 and seventh in the long jump; Bilodeau, fifth in the 200; McNicol, third in the 800, Paul Nelson, seventh in the 800; Logan Foster, fifth in the triple jump; Cory Pike, fifth in the discus; J.T. Haddan, third in shot put; 400 relay team (Weeldreyer, Drake, Bilodeau, Hillewaert), fifth.
Other top finishes for the girls were: Melissa Blackstun, fifth in the 100; Anna Herring, third in the 200; Charchalis, third in the 400; Raftopoulos, eighth in the 400; Nelson, fifth in the 1,600; Markie Workman, sixth in the long jump, third in the high jump and fourth in the triple jump; and the 400 relay team (Melissa Blackstun, Maggie Blackstun, Herring and Urbanoski), second. The 800 relay of the same runners as the 400 relay was second.
Next up for the varsity track teams is the two-day Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction on Friday and Saturday.