By Tiffany Jehorek
Special to the Herald Times
MEEKER | Meeker Cowboy track and field competed in the three-day league meet in Grand Junction, Colo., on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 3-5. This meet’s atmosphere is phenomenal for preparing the state qualifiers for Pueblo. The number of competitors—exceeding 1000—and the format—prelims plus finals—create a high stakes environment perfect for preparation.
Coach Strate finds the meet valuable as a “two-day meet, three for pole vaulters, just to learn how to manage themselves in terms of being in the sun too much, eating properly and sleeping.” The state meet only allows competitors to compete in four events, and there will be hard decisions that need to be made on which events some Cowboys will be competing in.
The league meet was successful for the Cowboys. Spud Kent, freshman, qualified for the 400 dash with a time of 54.01 seconds. This was his season’s best and he finished seventh overall in a large pack of runners. The boys’ 4×400 relay had a goal of running their relay in three minutes and 40 seconds, they posted a time of three minutes and 40.04 seconds also qualifying them for state at this time, but they may need to improve on the time to remain qualified. The men’s pole vaulters are a young group, and it “will be fun to see how our young vaulters do at state” coach Strate said. The vaulters had a successful start to the meet on Thursday; both Colby Clatterbaugh and Tevin Pelloni had personal bests set at this meet clearing 11 feet 4 inches. Pelloni cleared this height in fewer attempts than Clatterbaugh and took second place.
Personal bests seemed to be on the menu for the pole vaulters. Sydnie Main cleared 7-10 and took second place. Overall Main had an “excellent” meet, according to Strate, earning all-conference honors in the discus with her winning 118-2 throw. She took fifth in the shot put throwing 31 feet, 11.25 inches, and was a member of the women’s first place 4×200 relay alongside Bradfield, Williams and Brown. In discus, junior Megan Shelton threw 115-7. She and Main are currently sitting second and third in the state and both have thrown 118 feet. Shelton continued to take third in shot put and was member of the 800 medley with Gracie Bradfield, Sierra Williams and Kirsten Brown.
The Cowboys continued the success with Bradfield who took first place in the 400 dash and earned all-conference honors with a time of 59.75 seconds. This is her personal best time and she broke her own school record. Coach Strate said, “it was exciting to see her hard work pay off…Gracie has been looking to break the 1 minute barrier in the 400 meter dash.” Bradfield also took second in the 200 dash. “She had a long two days, but responded well. She ran smart in the prelims and it showed on Saturday in the finals,” Strate said. Also making finals in the 400 dash was sophomore Karlee Nielsen, she ran her personal best with a time of 1:06 seconds, cutting 6 seconds of her time off from the beginning of the season.
Senior Sierra Williams ran a personal best time in the 800 run, with a time of 2:31.31 seconds, blowing three seconds off of her time from last week. “Sierra has been a huge part of our relays over the last four years,” Strate said. “It is great to see her hard work leading to success in an open event.”
Kirsten Brown, another part of the successful relays is also excelling in open events. She took second in the triple jump and third in the long jump. The final meet of the season Brown will make the push to qualify for long jump at state.
The last meet of the regular season is hosted by Grand Valley in Parachute on Saturday, however, Meeker will host the pole vaulters Friday at 10 a.m., as a part of this meet.
Current state qualifiers and their events are:
– Gracie Bradfield – 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 4×100 meter relay, 4×200 meter relay, 4×400 meter relay, 800-meter medley
– Sierra Williams – 800-meter run, 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay, 4×400 relay, 800- medley
– Syndie Main – Pole vault, discus, shot put, 4×200 relay
– Megan Shelton – Discus, shot put, 4×100 relay, 800 medley
– Kenzie Turner – Pole vault
– Kirsten Brown – Triple jump, 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay, 4×400 relay, 800 medley
– Jake Shelton – Discus
– Tevin Pelloni – Pole vault
– Colby Clatterbaugh – Pole vault
– Spud Kent, Tannen Kennedy, Jeremy Woodward, and Andy Kracht as part of the 4×400 relay
– Spud Kent – 400 dash