By Tiffany Jehorek
Special to the Herald Times
MEEKER | The Meeker High School Track and Field competed in a pseudo two-day invitational. Pole vault was hosted by Meeker on Friday, May 11 at Starbucks Stadium, and the team traveled to Parachute Saturday, May 12 to compete in the Grand Valley Cardinal Invitational. Grand Valley hosted six schools making this a small meet and allowing many of the younger, less experienced Cowboys to compete as entries were unlimited in all events. The weather was uncooperative and throughout much of the day wind speeds exceeded 2 meters per second, which meant many of the jumps and sprints could not qualify for the state track meet, a rule set forth by Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA). The high winds from the west did set up the perfect scenario for many of the athletes competing in the 100-meter sprint and 200-meter sprint to set personal bests.
A team score of 152 points earned the lady Cowboys first place. Sydnie Main was the top scorer for the girls. Main took first in pole vault with a height of 8 feet 1 inch. That mark comfortably qualifies her for the state track meet next weekend in Lakewood, Colo. Kenzie Turner took third in pole vault with her mark of 7-7, and Addie Joy took fourth with a height of 6-1. Main continued the meet by breaking her own school record in the discus with a throw of 120 feet, securing first place. Main also took seventh in the 100-meter dash and second in the shot put with her throw of 32 feet 7.5 inches. Megan Shelton won the shot put with a throw of 33-9.75, and was second in the discus with her mark of 108. Turner took sixth in the shot with her throw of 28-7.5.
On the track, Gracie Bradfield took third in a very competitive field in the 100 sprint with her time of 12.64 seconds. Bradfield ran on the 4×100 meter relay with Shelton, Sierra Williams and Kirsten Brown. Brown took second in the long jump with her mark of 14 feet 11 inches. In the triple jump Karlee Nielsen took fourth with her jump of 30 feet 3 inches. Williams ran a really tough 800-meter run against the wind taking second place. In hurdles Julia Dinwiddie ran a personal best in the 100-meter hurdles and took second place with her time of 18.01 seconds. Dinwiddie scored points for the team and took third place in the 300-meter hurdles, followed by Sarina Goedert who came in fifth. “Our young hurdlers have been fun to watch improve” commented coach John Strate.
Meeker Cowboy Jake Shelton won the discus with his throw of 125 feet. Brayden Woodward took third in the 110-meter hurdles and sixth in 300 hurdles. Pake Burke took fifth in the 300 hurdles. In the 100 dash Jeremy Woodward tied for seventh with his time of 11.9. Tannen Kennedy took third in the 200-meter run with his time of 24.17 seconds. Kale Burke took fifth in the 400-meter run. Josue Martinez took fifth in the 1,600-meter run. Ridge Williams hit a new personal best in the shot with his mark of 32 feet earning seventh. Andy Kracht took fifth in the long jump and teammate Spud Kent took seventh. Friday, in pole vault the boys had a “solid day,” Strate said. Tevin Pelloni took second with vault of 10-7, Colby Clatterbaugh third with the same height but more attempts, and Cooper Main improved on his previous personal best by more than 12 inches, clearing 9-7 and placing sixth. “Our young vaulters have really improved this year,”Strate said. “We are really excited about how well our vaulters are doing considering this is only the second year we have had the program.”
The state track meet is May 17-18 in Lakewood, Colo., at Jefferson County Stadium. “It should be fun to see if the kids can be at their best when it counts the most,” commented Strate. “On the boys’ side Tannen and Tevin are the only ones with experience. I am excited for the other athletes to get there and see what is all about. They are a young group with a lot of promise.”
The lady Cowboys have some seasoned state track meet competitors returning. Shelton is making her third state appearance where last year she placed in the discus and the shot put. This is the first year Shelton is competing on the track. Main is also going to state for her third trip, previous years she made it in discus and shot put, but this will be the first time on the track and vaulting. Williams is the only senior Meeker is taking for both the boys and the girls, she has qualified all four years and has placed in multiple relays. “Her leadership has been exceptional this year, and I look forward to seeing her continue that at the state,” said Strate. Bradfield is the other veteran on the track. She was a member of three state champion relays last year. Strate commented that Bradfield and Williams “both know what it takes to be competitive on the track at the state meet and how to manage a three day track meet.” Brown made it last year in the triple and Strate says she “can use that experience this year in both her running events and triple jump.”
The top 18 qualifiers have a bid to go to the state track meet. This is very fluid throughout the year and changes in the rankings near the bottom change often. The Cowboys who, as of last week, qualified for the state meet are still in the top 18 after this weeknd. In the state meet each participant may only compete in four events. Throughout the state, Meeker included, many of the athletes qualify for more than four events, coaches then scratch athletes so they can compete in their best events. Relays qualify as a team, not an individual, meaning that a coach may choose to fill a relay with athletes other than those who actually earned the spot in the top 18 in the state. Coach Strate is waiting to see what scratches other coaches make, how this effects the top 18, and the current qualifier list may, in the end, included more names.
Main-Shot, Disc, Pole Vault, 4×200 meter relay
Bradfield-4×100 meter relay, 4×200 relay, 400 meter run, 200 meter run
Williams-4×100 relay, 4×200 relay, 800 meter run
Brown-4×100 relay, 4×200 relay, Triple Jump, 800 meter medley
Shelton-Shot, Disc, 4×100 relay
Abby Rosendahl-800 medley
Brittany Adams-800 medley
Colby Clatterbaugh-Pole Vault
Tevin Pelloni-Pole Vault
Andy Kracht-4×400 meter relay
Jeremy Woodward-4×400 relay
Spud Kent-4×400 relay
Tannen Kennedy-4×400 relay
The Colorado High School state track meets begins at 8:20 a.m. on Thursday, May 17. The first event for Meeker is at 2:10 p.m. where the girls 800 medley relay will compete. The full meet schedule can be found on the CHSAA website at www.CHSAAnow.com.