Garrett Spears, a Moffat County High School senior, practices throwing the discus March 7 outside MCHS. Spears finished in sixth place in the shot put at last year’s 4A state track meet and will look to place in both shot put and discus in his final season.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Garrett Spears, a Moffat County High School senior, practices throwing the discus March 7 outside MCHS. Spears finished in sixth place in the shot put at last year’s 4A state track meet and will look to place in both shot put and discus in his final season.

MCHS track and field seniors set sights on state

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Alfredo Lebron, a Moffat County High School senior, will look to chase down multiple state titles in his final season for the MCHS track and field team. Lebron is the top returning runner from last year’s 4A state meet in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter events.

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Lance Scranton

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Todd Trapp

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David Pressgrove

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Pat Moore

Team at a glance ...

Coaches:

• Boys head coach Lance Scranton

• Girls head coach Todd Trapp

• Sprint and hurdles coach David Pressgrove

• Jumping coach Pat Moore

Returning state qualifiers:

• Senior Johnny Landa

• Senior Alfredo Lebron

• Senior Miguel Molina

• Senior Rene Molina

• Senior Garrett Spears

Athletes to watch:

• Senior Alfredo Lebron — Lebron is the top returning placer from the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races from last year’s state meet and also won the 4A cross-country championship in the fall.

• Senior Garrett Spears — Spears entered last year’s league championship meet ranked 23rd in the state in shot put. Spears took second in the WSL and sixth the following weekend at state.

• Junior Eryn Leonard — With the departure of graduated senior Maddy Jourgensen, head coach Todd Trapp said he expects Leonard to step up and fill the role as the top distance runner on the team.

Schedule ...

Remaining 2012 Moffat County High School varsity track and field schedule:

(Time — date — place — event)

• 9 a.m. — March 24 — away — Mickey Dunn Invitational

• 3 p.m. — March 30 — away — Central High School Invitational

• 1 p.m. — April 13 — away — Coal Ridge Invitational

• 3:30 p.m. — April 20 — away — Fruita Monument Invitational

• 1 p.m. — April 27 — home — Clint Wells Invitational

• TBA — May 4 — away — Tiger Invitational

• TBA — May 5 — away — Tiger Invitational

• TBA — May 10 — away — Western Slope League Invitational

• TBA — May 11 — away — Western Slope League Invitational

• TBA — May 17 — away — 4A state meet

• TBA — May 18 — away — 4A state meet

• TBA — May 19 — away — 4A state meet

Alfredo Lebron said he has grown accustomed to the expectations placed upon him.

Lebron, a Moffat County High School senior, was expected to be the top 4A cross-country runner in the fall and in October, fulfilled his goal of a state title.

Now with track and field season here, Lebron again is expected to be the runner to beat in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races as the top returning placer from last year’s state meet.

“I’m not really nervous and I try not to sound cocky, but you get out there with a different mindset that you can do good if you put in the work,” he said. “I know a bunch of people will be going for me, but I will go out there and do what I can do and hopefully that is enough to get an undefeated season.”

Gunning for history

At last year’s state track meet, Lebron finished third in the 1,600-meter run and fourth in the 3,200-meter run — each time finishing behind only seniors.

Lebron said winning the state cross-country title has only made him raise expectations he has for himself on the track.

“It feels like I should be able to win track as well because of winning the cross-country state title,” he said. “That is my goal and I don’t want to settle for anything less than winning state because I know I have what it takes.”

A state title, however, isn’t the only thing Lebron will have on his checklist this season.

Last year, he broke the school 800-meter record.

This season, he is after two more individual records in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races. Clint Wells set both records in 1993.

Lebron’s best times in each race is only a second off the respective records — 4 minutes, 20 seconds in the 1,600, and 9:33 in the 3,200.

“If I peak at the right time around state, I want to be able to crush those records,” he said. “The records are 18-year-old records so it would be a good feeling that if I got those records, it could be a long time until someone can beat mine.”

Todd Trapp, the girls head coach and distance coach, said the records are set high, but Lebron has what it takes to knock them off.

“Clint Wells was a very accomplished runner and he ran in the Olympic Trials,” he said. “When I first got here, I wasn’t sure if his records could be broken. He set the standard high at Moffat County with his records, so if Alfredo can break those he will set the standard even higher.”

Return to the top

Both the boys and girls track and field teams took fourth at last year’s Western Slope League meet.

However, Trapp said he feels both teams have athletes in each event that can make a push toward the front of the pack.

“Both teams have a lot of depth, with a good number of sprinters, jumpers and we basically cover all events,” he said. “I think we have individuals in each event that can succeed.”

Along with Lebron, the boys team returns four other state placers from last year.

Seniors Johnny Landa, Miguel Molina and Rene Molina competed with Lebron on the 4-by-800-meter relay, taking fifth at state.

This season, Trapp said the relay team would push for a state title.

“All four of these guys are talented and work hard,” he said. “I think they trust each other, so they are able to consistently push each other in workouts and push each other to believe in one another.

“If they put in the work, they can achieve their goals.”

Senior Garrett Spears made a run at the end of last season, moving from the 23rd ranked position in shot put before the league meet to placing sixth at state.

Lance Scranton, the boys head coach and throwing coach, said Spears should be in a position this season to place in both shot put and discus.

“Garrett really managed to about perfect his rotation in both shot put and discus,” Scranton said. “He put a lot of time in on his own in the ring and is motivated to do good this season.”

While the girls team lost both of their state qualifiers from a year ago, Trapp said junior Eryn Leonard will be a leader for the team.

“At the end of the cross-country season, I don’t think (Leonard) was where she expected to be,” he said. “Early this season, we want to develop her speed by having her run the 400, 800 or mile and speed can be a strength in her races.”

In the end, if both teams want to push for a league title, Trapp said everyone would have to be at their peak at the league meet in May.

“The goal for everyone is to kind of work into the season and not do too much at the beginning of the year,” he said. “The first month may not be the best performances for everyone, but we want them to perform their best when it counts at the end of the season.”

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