Panther track gearing up for the season’s finish

RANGELY — The Panther track and field team competed in three meets during the past two weeks and performed well. The team competed twice in Craig and once at home. The remaining schedule includes the league, region and state meets.
The first was at Craig for the North Park Invitational on Thursday. The boys’ team won the meet with 189 points. The girls scored 107 points. The highlights in this meet came from the throwers. There were 15 personal records set by the throwers, and five athletes threw their best in both the shot put and discus.
Hastin Boulger led by breaking the 40-foot barrier in the shot with a 40-4 3/4 throw. He also threw his best in the discus with a 108-6 1/2.
Trent Renshaw threw 116-6 in the discus and also had his best throw in the shot. Nathan Pearce threw his best in both, as did Emily Peterson and Brieanna Stapp. The rings at Craig were very kind.
The meet controversy came as Michael Morton beat Mark Hinaman in the 400-meter dash. Hinaman has beat Morton in all head-to-head battles, but in this meet, they were not in the same heat. Morton won the event with a 55.71 and Hinaman was third with a 55.94. The trash talking began, and the two friends will continue to push each other to faster and faster times.
Another Morton story came in the high jump where Marie jumped 4-2. This was the starting height but Marie thought they were starting at 4 feet. Her mother refused to tell her until after the competition. We intend to tell Marie that the 4- 6 starting height at the region is really 4 feet and hope that she doesn’t read this article.
The Panther Open was held in Rangely last Tuesday and featured six teams.
The Uintah boys took top honors with 168 points, Rifle was second with 158 and Rangely was third with 133.
In the girls events, Rifle won with 133.5 points, Grand Valley was second (125) and Rangely was in forth with 88 team points.
Lewis Murray was second in the 100-meter dash running his best time of 11.41. Lewis ran behind Cylor Morgan of Uintah who won the event in 10.83. Morgan is probably the fastest boy we’ll see all season and is a division one prospect for Uintah.
Murray was the champion in the 200-meter dash with a 23.50. Mark Hinaman won the 400-meter dash running 53.66 and Michael Morton was third with a 55.08.
In the jumps, Kanden Brady was second in the triple jump and finally found the 40-foot mark and added 3 1/2 to it. In the long jump, Brady was third with an 18-9 1/2.
Nathan Pearce was third in the shot put with a 39-1 1/2 throw. The boys were also able to win the 800-meter relay (1:36.70), the 1,600-meter relay (3:40.14) and were second in the 400-meter relay (47.44).
For the girls, Audrey Hogan, Victoria Phelan and Lacie Kinney were the only Panthers to crack the top three. Hogan won the 800- (2:30.32) and 1,600-meter (5:32.61) runs. Audrey held off Brandi Krieg from Grand Valley in an incredible finish that separated the two by only 0.11 seconds.
Victoria Phelan was the long jump champion (14-9 3/4) the 300-meter hurdle champ (51.35) and the runner up in the triple jump (32-1 1/2). Phelan has all of the tools and is working to become an incredible track and field athlete. Lacie Kinney had a nice throw of 84-8 in the discus to finish second. The weather at the Panther Open was incredible and the workers did an excellent job. Thanks to all of the workers who have endured another year of Panther home meets. You all make hosting meets a privilege for me.
Last Friday, the team traveled to Craig again for the Clint Wells Invitational. The meet is named after a Craig athlete who is currently competing in international distance running competitions.
The main story for the Panthers at this meet was again in the boys. Rangely finished in third with 74 points and dominated the sprinting events.
Lewis Murray was the champion of the 100-meter dash (11.68) and second in the 200-meter dash (23.41). The 200 gave us a nice story. Murray just held off teammate Mark Hinaman who ran a 23.45 and the Panthers thought they had gone 1-2 in the 200. When the results came in, the Panthers learned someone in the previous heat had run a 23.40 and won by .01 seconds. It would have been nice to have all three of them in one heat as they were separated by only .05 seconds.
Mark Hinaman got back at Michael Morton again by winning the 400-meter dash with a 54.10 leaving Michael in third with a 55.02. Hopefully the two will be head-to-head three more times this season.
In the other inner-squad competition, Nathan Pearce got the better of Hastin Boulger in this meet by throwing 41-9 in the shot put and placed sixth. Boulger threw 39-10, which is his second best career throw.
The Panthers had several very close inner-squad competitions this year, which has led much of the team’s success. One of the great things about track and field is to see pure competition. When the competition is within your team, it’s golden.
Speaking of competition, Audrey Hogan has faced Brandi Krieg of Grand Valley on several occasions throughout this season. At this meet, Krieg sped by Hogan at the end of the 1,600-meter run to win the match. This is the first time Krieg has got Hogan in the four times they’ve raced. We’ll watch for Hogan’s response at this week’s league meet in Kremmling.