The show must go on

Ailments won't hinder state runs for track team

Kiera Moore celebrated the end of the track season with a cookie dough party.

On Wednesday the Moffat County junior learned that her celebration was premature.

At Tuesday's practice, freshman sprinter Erin Urbanoski fell, and when she tried to catch herself, she landed on her arm and broke part of her elbow.

Urbanoski, who had qualified for state by winning the regional championship in the long jump and a second-place finish in the 100 meters, was going to run the 800-sprint medley at the state meet. She had surgery on her elbow Wednesday and won't be competing.

Coach Todd Trapp told Moore on Wednesday that she would take Urbanoski's place in the 800-sprint medley.

"I would rather have gone (to state) in something I qualified in myself," said the hurdler and sprinter. "But I'm going to do everything I can to help the team."

Trapp was disappointed for Urbanoski because he said she was developing her abilities in the long jump and the 100.

"She could have placed in the long jump if she kept improving like she did," he said. "It's unfortunate, but to keep it positive, she's a freshman. She had a great season, especially considering she's a freshman."

Urbanoski's injury was the second piece of bad news the Bulldog track team received before the state meet started today.

On Monday, the boys team found out that sophomore distance runner Mike McNicol had been diagnosed with mononucleosis. However, the illness will not keep him out of state competition.

"Mike's doctor cleared him to run the race," coach Gary Tague said. "He's trained well enough to have some left."

McNicol is a part of the boys 3,200-meter relay, which lost to a Western Slope team for the first time at the regional meet.

The team's time of 8 minutes, 7.54 seconds makes juniors Jeremy Bird and Jake Miller, senior Derek Duran and McNicol the second-best team in school history. It also seeds them in the top eight going into the state race.

The quartet is focused on beating regional rival Battle Mountain, who bested them by less than two seconds at the regional meet.

The boys team's other two relays, the 800 and the 1,600, could take them into the finals with good preliminary races today.

"The 800 relay needs to run about a second faster," Tague said. "For the 1,600 team to make it, they'll have to run a bit faster than their best time this year, which wasn't what they ran at the regional."

Four boys also will compete individually at the state meet. Senior Malcolm Hillewaert and junior Andrew Drake will compete in prelims today in the 400 and 200, respectively. Duran and Bird will race in the 800 finals on Saturday.

"It will be tough for Andrew to get into the finals in the 200, with how many great sprinters there are in 4A," Tague said. "But those other three could find a way to place."

For the girls, freshman Alicia Nelson will be busy. She'll compete individually in the 1,600, the 1,600 and 3,200 relays today and the 800 final on Saturday.

The girls 3,200 relay team of Nelson, sophomores An----gie Charchalis and Jorgiea Raftopoulos and junior Jeacey Robinson hope to add to the tradition of Bulldog success in the event.

Moffat County has placed at state 14 of the last 15 years in the event.

"Right now, their time would have finished them seventh last year at state," Trapp said. "I think they can improve on that time and have a good chance to place."

Charchalis, the 3,200 team's anchor, finished seventh at state in the 800 last year. She has yet to better her time of 2:21.21, but she came within one second at the regional.

"We haven't had the best news this week," Tague said. "But I think both teams are going in with chances to earn some points and get state medals."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.