Moffat County track, field honing strong points at Tiger Invite
The final run before the biggest event of the year saw Moffat County High School track and field athletes trimming down running times, perfecting their jumping and throwing motions, and otherwise getting prepped for their last stand.
MCHS girls stand at fifth place and boys ninth after the first day of competition at Grand Junction High School’s Tiger Invitational, the penultimate weekend of the season before the 3A CHSAA State Championships.
Emaleigh Papierski took the gold in the girls long jump with the longest leap of her career at 16 feet, 8.5 inches as Bulldogs set new standards left and right.
Though other relays will take place Saturday at Tiger, the event began with the longest group run, the 4×800-meter relay, as MCHS girls placed second, demolishing the previous season best with a time of 10:04.57 as Halle Hamilton, Kelsey McDiffett, Emma Jones and Lydia Berkoff trimmed nearly 20 seconds from their mark.
The two-mile relay was nearly as productive for boys, who cut 13 seconds off their previous low, as Wilson Eike, AJ Barber, Logan Hafey and Carter Severson finished fifth at 8:38.39.
With hurdle events following, Jared Atkin, who won the 110 race at the Western Slope Multi-Leagues Meet a week earlier, finished Friday preliminaries as the quickest of the day at 15.25, also placing second in the 300 at 41.87. Prelims saw Alayna Behrman rank 14th in the 100, though she will move on to finals in the 300 event (50.76), picking up fifth as teammate Abbe Adams had the third-best qualifying time at 50 seconds exactly.
Adams also hit a mark of four feet, seven inches to tie for 12th in the high jump.
While no MoCo girls entered the 100 dash, Papierski progressed to finals in the 200, fifth at 26.75.
In the girls 3,200 run, Liberty Hippely earned sixth place at 12:40.87 after getting the silver in the lengthy race at the league meet among 3A teams.
Over in the discus sector, Jesse Earle’s league win somewhat continued as he was the top 3A thrower of the day at 139 feet, eight inches, fifth overall against smaller and larger schools, while Caylah Million hit 30 feet precisely to place 14th and lead the girls for the day in shot put.
Coltyn Terry had his attention focused on one a singular event: the boys 3,200. Up against a number of familiar competitors, leading up to the race, he already knew who would be jostling him the most at the onset.
“It’ll be a hard push to find, but it’s gonna be a lot of fun today, because this is some great weather,” Terry said.
Terry just missed scoring points in ninth place, though he hit his best time in the two-mile event at 10:44.68. His continued improvement has been part of a long-term goal of building his stamina for a summer trip to Australia as part of Down Under Sports.
He added that while he enjoyed the intermittent drizzle that hit the stadium, he was glad it didn’t turn into the downpour that Moffat County athletes sometimes see during practices for cross country in the fall and spring track.
“There were days we’d go on five-mile runs, it’d pour so bad, you’d go out weighing 130 pounds and come back with all your clothes wet, weighing 150,” he laughed.
Victor Silva was in the last heat of the day for the boys 200 dash, placing 17th and missing out on the finals in both that and the 100, nonetheless setting a personal best in the latter with a 12th-place 11.49, wind-legal compared to his gust-aided 11.24 at the Clint Wells Invite.
He’s far less concerned with the solo sprints than Saturday’s relays. While the 4×200 group is all but a shoo-in for state, he’s looking to improve in both the 4×100 and 4×400.
“Just looking forward to qualifying,” he said.