MEEKER I According to Meeker High School track coach John Strate, the first track meet of the season was held on a cold and windy day in Rifle, but, “We got some pretty solid performances from both of our returning athletes and our freshman.”
Meeker returns several state qualifiers from last year, including Maggie Phelan, Sierra Williams, Julia Eskelson, Peyton Burke, Loran Casias, Madi Russell and Halle Ahrens, along with T.J. Shelton and Austin Russell for the boys.
Phelan placed fourth in the triple jump and jumped to a career-best mark of 14-4 in the long jump, missing a medal by one spot. Phelan, along with Williams, Eskelson and Burke placed fifth in the 1,600-meter relay.
Coach Strate said sprinter Gracie Bradfield “represented the freshman class well,” placing fifth in the 100-meter dash. She was also a part of the 4×100-meter relay team with Ahrens, Casias and Russell, finishing fourth with a time of 53.88.
Coach Strate was also impressed with freshmen Megan Shelton and Sydnie Main. Shelton finished second in the shot put, three-quarters of an inch from first place, and was also second in the discus. Main scored team points with a sixth-place finish in the shot.
Meeker junior Caleb Bradford scored team points for the boys with a fifth-place finish in the shot put, with a throw of 39-6 3/4, which, according to his coach, was three feet further than his personal best. Bradford also had a personal best in the discus and placed sixth in the event.
Coach Strate said T.J. Shelton ran in the 100 dash but was slowed by a strained hamstring, and he said he is excited to see what the “distance duo” of senior Marshal Pool and junior Austin Russell can do this year.
“They hope to qualify in both individual distance events and relays,” coach Strate said.
Meeker will be off this week for spring break.