'Way ahead of last year's pace'

MCHS track team qualifies two for state

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When the dust finally settled Friday at the Fruita Invitational, Moffat County High School girls track coach Todd Trapp said he was pleasantly surprised.

MCHS boys coach Gary Tague echoed his fellow coach's sentiments, saying he was impressed.

For good reason.

The MCHS track team qualified two individual performers Friday for the state championship tournament, beginning May 16.

Senior J.T. Haddan threw a distance of 51 feet 4 inches in the shot put, becoming the third 4A athlete in the state to qualify in the event.

The mark was the first toss of more than 50 feet for Haddan, the distance falling 2 inches short of the MCHS record of 51-6, set in 1984.

"J.T. is amazing," Tague said. "He's so explosive, and he still has so much to work on yet. He's only had time to throw at meets with the way it's been outside. It's a huge feat for him to accomplish what he did so early in the year."

Junior Erin Urbanoski - the defending girls 4A long jump state champion - became the first 4A girl in the state to qualify for the state finals in her chosen event.

Urbanoski's distance of 17'1'' easily captured first.

"Qualifying for state is always a very high standard to reach at this time of the year," Trapp said. "Erin did a great job. It's going to take a lot of pressure off of her to have that out of the way."

The MCHS girls team finished third as a team, the boys placed fourth.

Urbanoski also captured the girls 200-meter dash title, finishing in 27.73 seconds, and placed second in the 100 with a time of 13.24.

Angie Charchalis won the 400 in a time of 1:02.67.

Charchalis - a senior - last competed for the MCHS track team as a sophomore.

"Angie did a great job coming back after not running for more than a year," Trapp said. "She came out and won her first event."

Junior Alicia Nelson continued her dominance in the 800. Nelson captured first place - her third win of the season - in a time of 2:25.16. Freshman Maddy Jourgensen ran a time of 2:35.16, earning fifth.

The girls 4x100 relay team - senior Millie Blackstun, freshman Lauren Roberts, junior Kylie Bauman and Urbanoski - placed second with a time of 53.17 seconds.

The girls 4x800 relay team - Charchalis, Jourgensen, sophomore Katy Nottingham and Nelson - placed second, as well, finishing the race in 10:18.85.

MCHS had three athletes place in the girls shot put.

Junior Myiah Bengston placed second with a throw of 34 feet, missing first-place by 2 inches.

Sophomore Shylar Hadley's throw of 30-4 placed third and sophomore Jessica Asselin placed seventh with a distance of 30-3.

"We had a couple of surprises," Trapp said. "We had three girls place in shot put, and the younger girls are coming along. They are feeling confident. The kids are starting to shape up, and they are competing hard.

"We are way ahead of last year's pace."

Besides his qualifying throw in the shot, Haddan also placed second in the discus, recording a distance of 140 feet.

Sophomore Brian Ivy came close to winning his second triple-jump event of the season, leaping 19 feet 8 inches, capturing second place.

Senior Colton Conrad won the boys 200 in a time of 24.08, another pleasant surprise for the MCHS coaches.

"I am just tickled with" Conrad, Tague said. "It was a surprise to see him win in his first race."

The boys 4x800 relay team - sophomore Corey Wojtkiewicz, senior Mike McNicol, senior Paul Nelson and senior Tucker Bilodeau - placed second (no time available) and the 4x200 team of Ivy, Bilodeau, Conrad and Nelson ran a time of 1:37, placing third.

The boys 4x400 relay team - McNicol, Nelson, Bilodeau and Conrad - placed fourth in a time of 3:39.

Despite the teams' success during the weekend, Tague said the workload at practice this week will remain tough.

"Monday and Wednesday are really tough this week," he said. "We are still at a disadvantage in the field events. We qualified two events last weekend, but we have almost 60 kids on the team. There is still a lot of work to do."

MCHS competes at 9 a.m. Saturday at Palisade High School.

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