Russell, Burke set new school records

Meeker senior Peyton Burke is pictured practicing her pole vaulting, a new event added to Meeker’s track program this year. Meeker has not had a pole vaulter since the early 1990’s, with Scott Blanke holding the school record at 12-6 for the boys. Burke established the new school record for the girls at 6-10.

MEEKER I The new Bob King Track at Starbuck Stadium was the site of its first track meet last Friday, hosted by Barone Middle School, featuring 12 teams and more than 700 athletes. While most of the Meeker High School track team was helping run the middle school track meet, a new high school record was being established in Glenwood Springs and a school record which stood for almost 30 years was broken the following day.

“It was a great event and I was really proud of how hard our kids worked,” Meeker High School head coach John Strate said of the middle school track meet.
“Everything went very smoothly, we are so fortunate to have such hard working and dependable kids a Meeker High School. I would also like to thank Hallie Blunt, Beth Scoggins, Zach and Tosha Clatterbaugh and Shane and Jen Phelan for helping out.”
The MHS track team sent four girls to Glenwood Springs to make history, competing in the pole vaulting event for the first time in Meeker’s track history.
Meeker sophomores Kenzie Turner and Sydnie Main, along with seniors Delenn Mobley and Peyton Burke, were the first lady Cowboys to compete in pole vaulting and Burke made history by establishing the new school record.
Turner, Main and Burke all vaulted over the opening height of 6 feet, four inches and Burke was the only Meeker girl to clear the next height and establish the new school record at 6-10 for the girls’ pole vault.
Scott Blanke, who was graduated from Meeker High School in 1981, currently holds the Meeker High School pole vaulting record at 12-6 for the boys.
“Our pole vaulters had a good first meet,” coach Strate said. “It will be a lot of fun to watch them improve over the course of the season.”
Saturday senior Austin Russell broke the school record in the 1,600-meter run, set in 1988 by Brian Nottingham. Russell set the new record at 4:36.
“For Austin to run that fast of a time this early in the season is exceptional and really shows the training he put in over the winter months,” coach Strate said. “Austin should continue to take more time off as the season progresses.”
Russell set a new school record but finished sixth in the race, which coach Strate called, “undoubtedly the most competitive mile race I have seen outside of a state meet,” as 15 racers finished under five minutes.
Russell also placed second in the 800-meter run and senior classmate Caleb Bradford scored team points for the boys with a seventh place finish in the shot put.
Coach Strate said the girls were “a little short handed due to some injuries and absences but they still had some good things happen.”
Megan Shelton and Sydnie Main both had personal bests in the shot put, with Shelton placing second with a throw of 37-7.75. Main was third, putting the shot 35-6 out and she also placed third in the discus with a mark of 103-6.
Senior Loran Casias finished seventh in the 100-meter dash and Maggie Phelan had a personal best (34 feet) in the triple jump, where she placed fifth.
Karlee Nielsen, Brair Meszaros, Sierra Williams and Avery Watt finished sixth in the 3,200 meter relay and the 4×400 relay (Phelan, Williams, Watt and Madison Russell placed fifth, with a season best time of 4:24.
Meeker will compete in Coal Ridge Friday, then in Rangely Saturday.