Panthers share league track championship with Eagles

RANGELY — The Panther boys won its first league title in 20 years Saturday in Kremmling. Rangely scored 128 points and tied with Paonia. Meeker was also in the three-way struggle up to the last few events. All three teams were watching the scores as the long jump and 3,200-meter run were entered.
Rangely got five points in the long jump from Kanden Brady but Paonia came up with 16 points in the event. Rangely still led at this point by six points with two events to go.
In the 3,200 run, Hyrum Byers ran his second best time but finished in seventh for two points. Paonia won the event and gained 10 points and went into the lead by two.
The meet came down to the 1600-meter relay and was placed in the hands of Mark Hinaman, Blake Mecham, Michael Morton and Lewis Murray. If the boys won the event they would be tied unless another team was able to get in front of Paonia.
It became a two-team race after the first leg and the Panthers led from start to finish. Rangely ran its best time of the year (3:39.02) and set a new league record time.
Paonia was missing its anchor leg, who had tied with Mark Hinaman for the win in the 400-meter dash earlier, but Rangely won the event by almost two seconds.
At any rate, the stage is set for this event at the regional meet this weekend.
Despite the win, the Panthers did not perform very well at this meet in the boys or the girls. There were just three personal records set by the girls: Lacie Kinney (86) and Marie Morton (82-9) in the discus and Rose Peterson in the 100 dash (16.26).
The boys fared a bit better setting 10 records, five of which were scoring efforts: Michael Morton (38-3 1/2) and Patrick Phelan (35-9 1/2) in the triple jump; Mark Hinaman (52.87), Jacob Dubbert (56.60) and Justin Prosser (1:06.68) in the 400 dash; Levin Boulger in the 300 hurdles (47.03); Devin Williams in the long jump (13-6); Nathan Pearce in the discus (109-1); and Landon Mecham in the shot put (30-11).
Audrey Hogan was the only girls-champion by running a 2:29.03 in the 800-meter run. This was Hogan’s best time this season. She also ran a nice 1600 race but finished second behind Jessica Linder from Vail Christian.
This is the first we’ve seen of Linder this season but it won’t be the last. Hogan also met a challenge from Brandi Krieg as she had to hold her off at the line — again. Hogan’s time in the 1,600 is actually still in question as this was the only event of the day where the Acutrack didn’t work. Her hand time was a qualifying time and we are hoping that they will be able to get her officially qualified in the event. It really has been a privilege to watch this event during the season with all of the talented athletes on the Western Slope. There are four of the top runners in the state in our league and we’ll see last year’s state champion at the regional meet on Friday.
Finishing in the top two for the boys were Lewis Murray, Mark Hinaman and Kanden Brady. If you win an open event at the league, you are all-conference in track. If you finish in second, you are all-conference honorable mention.
Murray won the 200 dash with a 23.91 and was second in the 100 dash by .01 seconds again this week. Murray ran an 11.94 in this event. Mark Hinaman tied for the win in the 400 dash with his best time of 52.87. Hinaman tied with a Paonia athlete, which became very important later in the meet.
The meet manager joked that we needed to have the two run the race again after the meet to break the tie. I must say that I declined the offer as Hinaman had just run his second 400 in the 1,600 relay and Paonia’s athlete did not run in the event.
Kanden Brady was second in the triple jump with a 39-4 1/2 effort, which is his second best jump of the year.
The boys also won the 800 relay with the team of Mark Hinaman, Cole Barlow, Jacob Dubbert and Lewis Murray (1:35.51) as well as the 1,600 relay, which was covered earlier.
Traditionally, Rangely has another gear when it comes to the regional meet and we’re hoping that proves out this weekend.
Come on out and watch some excellent track and field at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction this Friday and Saturday.