Basketball players jump right into track

MEEKER I One week earlier, teammates Aly Ridings and Sydney Hughes were helping their basketball team win a third-place trophy at state. This past Saturday, they were helping their team to a fifth-place finish in the Hotchkiss Invitational track meet.
“It was great to see some of our basketball players back,” head coach John Strate said. “Sydney won the 100-meter high hurdles and the triple jump, and Aly had a great first meet in the long jump.”
Ridings had the second-best long jump in the girls’ meet and finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles.
Coach Strate said 49 kids are out for the team and the coaching staff is “really excited about the numbers.”
“We have a bunch of young kids as well as some returning veterans who are going to provide some excellent leadership,” Strate said.
Some of the excellent leadership will come from senior Ohana Mataia, who placed third in the shot put and fourth in the discus throw.
“Many of our younger athletes had some really promising performances too,” Strate said. “Jake Henderson made the finals in the triple jump and Julia Eskelson ran great in the 1,600 (sixth) and the 800 (fifth).”
Distance veteran Jordan Smith was sixth in the 3,200-meter run and freshman Halle Ahrens finished third in the 200-meter dash and was on the 4×200 relay team with her sister, Taylor, and classmates Peyton Burke and Madison Russell. The team finished fourth.
In the boys’ meet, defending state champion T.J. Shelton finished a close second in the 100-meter dash for Meeker’s best finish. Caleb Lange was sixth in the 800, senior Aaron Cochran was seventh in the same race and Marshal Pool was ninth. Anthony Watt placed eighth in the 400 and Noah Overton was ninth in the boys’ shot put.
Jake Phelan has returned from a football injury and cleared 5-2 in the high jump for seventh place. Juniors Tristin Pelloni was 10th in the triple jump and Kash Atwood place the same in the shot put.
The Cowboys are on spring break this week and will not compete again until April 8 in Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.