MHS Cowboys open track season in Rifle

Meeker’s defending Class 2A 100-meter dash state champion T.J. Shelton, right, is pictured running the 100 in the first track meet of the season in Rifle. Shelton won the race, then traveled to Denver to wrestle in the Rocky Mountain Nationals, where he finished seventh in the 18-and-under division. Sheridan Harvey was a runner-up in the 15-under division and Casey Turner placed fifth at Rocky Mountain Nationals.

Meeker’s defending Class 2A 100-meter dash state champion T.J. Shelton, right, is pictured running the 100 in the first track meet of the season in Rifle. Shelton won the race, then traveled to Denver to wrestle in the Rocky Mountain Nationals, where he finished seventh in the 18-and-under division. Sheridan Harvey was a runner-up in the 15-under division and Casey Turner placed fifth at Rocky Mountain Nationals.

MEEKER I The Meeker Cowboys Track and Field team had a solid start to their season at the Rifle Invitational on Friday. The team was fortunate enough to take 45 hard-working athletes to the meet despite the fact that many team members were still playing basketball at the state tournament in Pueblo.
There were certainly some bright spots for the boys’ and girls’ squads. The trio of Halle Ahrens, Linda Olivas and Madison Russell took fourth, sixth and ninth places, respectively, in the 100-meter dash.
“Against the 4A and 5A high schools at this meet, shows there are great things to come for this group of sprinters,” head coach John Strate said.
The same group, with the addition of Taylor Ahrens, took second place in the 4×100-meter relay with their impressive early season time of 52.96. Hallie Ahrens also ran her way to second-place finish in the 200-meter dash with her time of 27.41.
Senior Ohana Mataia had a strong first outing for the Cowboys in the discus. Mataia was able to earn second place honors with her throw of 102 feet 3 1/2 inches, matching her career best.
For the boys’ side of the team, TJ Shelton brought home top honors in the 100-meter dash.
“His goal starting the year is to defend his title from last year in this event,” Strate said.
Among other returning state qualifiers are Aaron Cochran, Anthony Watt and Caleb Lange. Watt brings versatility to the table as last year he competed at the state meet in three relays, placing in two of them. Cochran and Lange should be able to lead a mid-distance group back to the state meet this year with their work ethic and dedication.
The next meet for the Cowboys is Saturday in Hotchkiss.
“It should be interesting to see how the team matches up with teams of similar size at this meet,” coach Strate said.

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