Panthers host 13 teams at invitational track meet

RANGELY — Rangely played host to a 13-team invitational track and field meet during the past weekend. All but four of the teams were from the 4A-5A classifications, which made the competition fierce.
Despite the size of the teams, the Panthers represented themselves very well with some solid performances. Rangely finished seventh with 28 points in the boys and ninth with 32 points in the girls.
Grand Junction High School took top honors in both with 118 girls points and 122 in the boys. Glenwood Springs was second in the girls with 114 and Fruita Monument was second in the boys with 109. Meeker was one of the 2A schools that did battle with the big schools as well. Meeker beat the Panther girls’ team by two points but was bested by Rangely in the boys by 12. Both teams will compete against similar-sized schools next week at the Lynn Whiteman Invitational in Meeker.
The top Panther place winner for the meet was a freshman. Victoria Phelan finished in second place in the triple jump. Her jump of 31-8 earned her the freshman class record that was previously held by state champion Shaylene Brady. The jump also placed her as the No. 3 all-time jumper at RHS in that event. Phelan was also fourth in the long jump with a 14-7 1/2 jump, which is very close to the freshman class record in that event held by Larissa Hinaman, another state meet placing jumper.
Sophomore Audrey Hogan led the girls’ team in scoring by placing in all four of her events. She was seventh in the 800-meter run (2:41.20), fourth in the 1,600-meter run (5:52.00), and third in the 3,200-meter run (13:35.33). Her final event was the 3,200-meter relay where she was joined by Jennifer Barlow, Heather Wanstedt, and Sheina Fehrn for a third-place finish (11:39.80).
Bailey Anderson was the lone Panther girl to set a personal record. Bailey added almost three feet to her discus throw at 54-9.
The boys had a much better day on the personal record front and set 15 new marks. Of those 15, Trent Renshaw set three and Lewis Murray, Hyrum Byers and Michael Morton each had two. The top scorer for the boys was Mark Hinaman with 7.25 points scoring seventh in the 200-meter dash (23.70), fifth in the 400-meter dash (55.26) and leading off the fourth place 1,600-meter relay team (3:48.21). The other members of that team were Blake Mecham, Michael Morton and Lewis Murray. This relay team placed eighth at last year’s state meet and wants to do great things again this year. Last year, they ran only eight seconds faster at the state meet than they ran in this meet. Also, they didn’t run this fast last year until the regional meet. This team could be very good.
Lewis Murray also placed in the 100-meter dash with an 11.55 which is very fast for the first time out. He also anchored the sixth place 400-meter relay team with help from Blake Mecham, Patrick Phelan and Kanden Brady. Brady also placed fifth in the triple jump in his first meet with an effort of 38.
Another Panther athlete scored in the triple jump with a seventh place finish. Michael Morton jumped 37-9 3/4 and ran a 400-meter dash that placed seventh (55.60) as well.
The Panther throwers also scored two in the shot put. Hastin Boulger led with his best throw of 39-2 and a sixth place finish; and newcomer, Nathan Pearce was in seventh with a toss of 38-8.
Both teams have some real talent this year but have had some difficulty in training due to the weather. We will now be working hard to get in shape and try to take this season as far as we can. The team is also looking for another assistant coach. We have volunteer help this season from Dr. Luke Geer, Danna Green, and Jarred Ballard; however, we could use another full-time person to aid coach Walck and myself. Please call the high school if interested.