Cowboy sprinters fastest in west; relays break school records

Meeker freshmen Halle Ahrens (above) and Maggie Phelan (right) each won regional titles and will compete in the 2014 Colorado State Track and Field Championships, which start today. Ahrens won a regional title in the 100-meter dash and also qualified in the 200-meter dash and as a member of two relay teams. Phelan was a member of the regional championship 4x800-meter relay team.
Meeker freshmen Halle Ahrens (above) and Maggie Phelan (right) each won regional titles and will compete in the 2014 Colorado State Track and Field Championships, which start today. Ahrens won a regional title in the 100-meter dash and also qualified in the 200-meter dash and as a member of two relay teams. Phelan was a member of the regional championship 4×800-meter relay team.

phmktrack maggieMEEKER I T.J. Shelton and Halle Ahrens were the fastest 2A sprinters on the Western Slope and they will now, along with 20 of their teammates, compete in the 2014 Colorado State Track and Field Championships, with all five divisions running, jumping and throwing in Jefferson County Stadium in Denver, starting today.
The Meeker boys’ and girls’ teams finished second in the league meet in Grand Junction, where they were joined by the San Juan League. Paonia won both Western Slope League team titles.
The Cowboys qualified six relay teams, long, triple and high jumpers, a hurdler and they will also be represented in the shot put and discus.
Shelton won the 100-meter dash in Grand Junction and will enter Jefferson County Stadium as the defending state champion, a title he won as a freshman. Shelton ran the 100 in 11.25, which is currently the second best time in 2A. Shelton will also represent the Cowboys in the 200 meter, where he also made the finals last year.
Ahrens, a freshman, will make her debut in the state meet, running in four events. Ahrens won the 100 meters in Grand Junction, broke a school record in the 200 (26.72), set in 1984, and anchored two relay teams, one of which also set a school record.
The girls’ 4×100-meter relay team, consisting of Ahrens, Linda Olivas, Madison Russell and Sydney Hughes, finished second in Grand Junction but still broke a long-standing school record.
“The fact they ran that time and got second goes to show the competitiveness of our league,” head coach John Strate said.
Strate knows the competition will be even stronger this week, but he is excited about the number of state qualifiers.
“We are taking 22 athletes (including one boy and a girl alternate for relays) to the state meet,” Strate said.
Ahrens will also anchor the 4×200-meter relay team, which also features Olivas and Hughes and senior Aly Ridings.
Ridings also qualified in the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump as did Hughes, who will also represent her team in the long jump.
Ridings and Olivas are joined by Taylor Ahrens and Peyton Burke to make up the state-qualifying 800-meter sprint medley relay and Meeker will also be represented in the 4×800-meter relay team. Olivas also qualified in the 100-meter dash.
Julia Eskelson, Reese Pertile, Piper Haney and Maggie Phelan won the 4×800 regional title, completing the two miles in 10:56.24.
Meeker’s boys’ 4×800-meter team will also represent the Cowboys in the state meet. JC Henderson, Tristin Pelloni, Caleb Lange and Aaron Cochran finished second in Grand Junction.
Henderson is also the starter on the 4×200-meter relay team, which also qualified for the state meet and features Jake Phelan, Anthony Watt and Jeremy Musgrave.
Musgrave, a senior and first-year track athlete, also qualified in two individual events, the high jump and triple jump.
Musgrave’s classmate Ohana Mataia will also represent her school in two individual events, the shot put and discus throw.
The 2014 Colorado State Track and Field Championships start today in Jefferson County Stadium in Denver.