Moffat County juniors lead way for Bulldogs at state track meet |

Moffat County juniors lead way for Bulldogs at state track meet

Joshua Gordon

From left, Garrett Spears, Johnny Landa, Rene Molina, Alfredo Lebron and Miguel Molina pose with their medals Thursday at the 4A state track and field meet in Lakewood. Spears took sixth place in shot put while Landa, Rene, Lebron and Miguel took fifth place in the 4-by-800-meter relay.

The rise in the shot put state rankings continued for Garrett Spears on Thursday.

Two weeks ago, Spears, a Moffat County High School junior, was ranked 22nd and didn't look to be competing in the 4A state meet.

At the regional meet May 14 in Grand Junction, Spears threw a personal-record 48 feet, 2 inches to move up to 11th and make the state cut.

During Thursday's opening day of the state meet, Spears continued throwing his way up the rankings. His furthest mark, 47 feet, 11 inches, was good for a sixth place finish and a state medal.

"I feel I could have done better, but I was happy with what I got," Spears said. "I was definitely the smallest guy out there and I beat people who were ranked higher than me."

One factor that helped Spears was the weather, he said.

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On a cold, rainy day at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, Spears said the competitors from the Denver area "didn't know how to throw in bad weather."

"The rain made it wet and slick," he said. "I definitely had the advantage when it came to the cold because we have been throwing in that type of weather all year."

Spears said the main reason he was able to go from 22nd to 6th in two weeks was because he peaked at the right time.

"The weather finally got nice at the end of the year so we had more repetitions," he said. "I got my technique down for the last few meets, and I hope I can carry that over to my senior year."

The only running event the Bulldogs competed in Thursday was the boys 4-by-800-meter relay.

The team, consisting of juniors Alfredo Lebron, Johnny Landa, Miguel Molina and Rene Molina, ran a season-best 8 minutes, 9.6 seconds, good for fifth place.

"I'd say that we did great," Lebron said after the race. "My other teammates were quick and we got good handoffs that kept us at a good time."

Lebron started the race for the Bulldogs and was right in the mix for the top three when he handed the baton off.

However, four teams were able to pull away from the MCHS team, led by Cheyenne Mountain, who finished in 7 minutes, 58.05 seconds.

Pueblo West, Thompson Valley and Broomfield took second through fourth, respectively.

"All our times were average of what we have ran all year," Lebron said. "We run a good race, the competition was just tough."

Landa said he didn't allow the tough competition to get to his head.

"The race was physically tougher, but mentally, I didn't think it was that bad," he said. "The competition was really tough, running under 8 minutes, but we ran a great personal race."

As all four members of the relay are juniors, Landa said they are already excited for next year.

"We didn't really get down on ourselves for taking fifth," he said. "We are ready for next year, as seniors, to take state."

Senior Lauren Roberts was the only other Bulldog to compete on the day. Roberts didn't place in high jump after failing to clear the starting height of 4 feet, 10 inches.

"Lauren said she felt good, she just couldn't get the starting height," coach Lance Scranton said. "She will rebound and come back to compete in long jump (today)."

Lebron and senior Maddy Jourgensen will both compete today in the 3,200-meter run.

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Moffat County High School varsity track and field team’s individual results Thursday at the 4A state meet at Jeffco Stadium:

(Name — event — time — place)

• Moffat County — boys 4-by-800-meter relay — 8:09.6 — 5

• Garrett Spears — shot put — 47’11” — 6

• Lauren Roberts — high jump ­— no mark — DNP