State-bound

Seven Bulldogs athletes qualify at regionals for 4A state track and field

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GRAND JUNCTION -- The end result is still the same. Some of the Moffat County High School track and field members may not have been happy with their results Friday at the 4A regional championships, but they still qualified for state May 18 and 19.

The MCHS boys and girls finished second among 10 4A schools at Grand Junction's Stocker Stadium in temperatures in the low 90s.

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Seven Bulldogs qualified for the 4A state championships with top-3 finishes -- Alicia Nelson, Jeremy Bird and Mike McNicol (800-meter run), My-iah Bengston (shot put), J.T. Haddan (discus) and Amber Suits and Jake Miller (3,200-meter run).

"It wasn't my best time, but it got me to state," Bird said after winning the 800 in a time of 2 minutes, 31 seconds.

"This was probably one of the hottest meets of the year," he said.

Due to the radiating heat, the infield officials sprayed the 3,200-meter runners with a mist of water.

"I'm state-bound," Suits yelled with her arms in celebration. The senior represented Hayden High School as a sophomore on the 3,200 relay and is excited to showcase her talents on an individual level.

Suits finished in second-place with a time of 12:50.73.

Bengston came in third place with a throw of 32-8 and, despite the fact it was nearly two feet less than her personal best (34-7), was ecstatic about qualifying for state.

"It just means I have to work that much harder this week," Bengston said with a smile. "But this is my first time at state and I'm pretty excited about that."

Haddan, a junior, saved his best throw for the finals to earn his first trip to compete among the best discus throwers in the state.

His third-place throw of 143-3 inches exceeded his previous best by nearly three and a half feet.

Advancing to the second day of regional competition with qualifying placements in their respective races were an additional five MCHS student-athletes.

Andrew Drake advanced to Saturday's finals in the 200 in a time of 23.61 seconds. In the 400, Josh Classen clocked a 52.05, Erin Urbanoski (12.84 in the 100), Kylie Bauman (27.98 in the 200), and Megan Knez (1:05.02 in the 400).

Track and field events continue today until approximately 4 p.m., at which time team awards will be presented.

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