Day 1 strong for Moffat County track, field at leagues
Friday marked the opening day of the Western Slope Multi-Leagues Meet, and among the mix at Grand Junction’s Stocker Stadium were Moffat County High School track and field athletes, with Bulldog girls sitting in third and boys seventh after the first half of competition.
With preliminary races for sprint events, the goal wasn’t to go all out but to qualify within the top eight for the Saturday finals. Even so, MCHS’s Jared Atkin set the pace in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, placing first in both events at 15.29 seconds in the former and 41.48 in the latter, more than a full second in front of the pack in the 300.
Atkin will be looking for the gold in each race Saturday after spending most of the season as the contender to beat within the 3A division, though he won’t be going completely alone after Logan Hafey earned third in the 300 at 44.42.
Prelims went well for Victor Silva in the boys 100 dash, clocking in second at 11.52 behind Olathe’s Elias Ramirez, whose 11.38 will be tested if Silva gets back to his personal best 11.24 after the Clint Wells Invitational.
Silva narrowly missed the finals for the 200 dash, taking ninth (24.69), though the 400 went well for teammate AJ Barber, hitting his fastest time ever at 53.07 to move into finals ranked fourth.
Kevin Hernandez and Cale Scranton hit 16th and 17th, respectively, in the 100, while Taran Teeter followed Silva with 25th in the 200 and was 17th in the 400.
On the girls side, all five individual sprint races will see Bulldogs in the finals, as Stephenie Swindler took sixth in 100 dash prelims (13.22), and Halle Hamilton fourth (27.08) and Emaleigh Papierski sixth (27.36) in the 200.
Papierski hit a new best with second in the 400 to crack the one-minute mark for the first time this year at 59.32, Hamilton close behind at fourth (59.64).
Hurdler Alayna Behrman made the cut in the 100 at 18.56 for seventh, as well as seventh in the 300 (50.91), though teammate Abbe Adams surged ahead with a season-best 50.67 for fifth.
In the 100 dash, Raine Harrell took 18th and Hannah Vasquez 24th, while Rylie Felten placed 14th in both hurdles.
In distance events, MoCo’s Liberty Hippely took the silver in the 3,200 run at 13:02.94, with Lydia Berkoff fourth (13:34.47) and Tate Severson 11th (14:35.23). The two-mile boys race saw Coltyn Terry earn fifth (10:51.93).
In the 800 run, Wilson Eike lowered his best time to 2:08.28 to take fifth, followed by Carter Severson in eighth (2:10.66) and Carter Behrman 27th (2:28.96).
Swindler ventured into the half-mile for the first time this year, making huge cuts for 2:29.89 and fourth place, with Kelsey McDiffett ninth (2:36.01) and Sara Beason 16th (2:43.41).
In the field, girls high jump saw Emma Jones, Adams and Vasquez each record a height of four feet, nine inches, with Jones and Adams tying for seventh and Vasquez taking 10th in jump-offs. Over in the long jump pit, Swindler got the bronze (16′ 3.25″), Papierski sixth (15′ 07.25″) and Olivia Profumo 20th (12′ 09.75″).
For the boys triple jump, Hafey took ninth (37′ 09.25″), Cale Scranton 11th (35′ 3″) and Connor Etzler 14th (33′ 4.5″).
For Bulldog throwers, Day 1 went well as Jesse Earle had his best go ever in the shot put, hitting 44′ 7″ to place third, with Chris Sanderson 13th (37′ 2″) and Corey Scranton 17th (34′ 4″).
For the girls, Caylah Million placed eighth with 31 feet flat, followed by Hailee Herndon 15th (28′ 6″) and Tiffany Hildebrandt 22nd (26′ 3″).
The 3A sprint finals, relays, the 1,600 runs, boys long jump and high jump, girls triple, and discus take place Saturday.