Cowboy tracksters shine in league meet; one left to qualify for state

MEEKER I “The competition in our league on the girls side is undoubtedly the toughest in the state,” Meeker track coach John Strate said after the MHS Cowboys competed in the annual 2A Western Slope League meet in Stocker Stadium on Friday and Saturday in Grand Junction.

Meeker’s final meet of the regular season will be held Saturday in Cedaredge, where the Cowboy athletes will have one more chance to qualify for the 2016 Colorado State Track and Field Championships in Denver the following weekend.
“The league meet went pretty well for both teams,” coach Strate said. “The highlight for the girls’ team was the 4×200-meter relay, consisting of Gracie Bradfield, Sierra Williams, Madi Russell and Loran Casias.”
The team’s season best time of 1:51.73 placed them third in the league meet and put them in the top 10 in the state. The four Meeker sprinters also scored team points in their individual events, with Russell and Bradfield both qualifying for the finals in the 100-meter dash, where Bradfield finished fifth and Russell eighth.
Casias finished fourth in the 200-meter dash and Williams was sixth in the 400 meters.
The 4×400-meter relay team of Julia Eskelson, Maggie Phelan, Bradfield and Williams placed third while Eskelson also placed eighth in the 800-meter run. Although Phelan had “an off day” according to her coach, she still finished sixth in the triple jump.
Peyton Burke made the finals in the 100-meter hurdles and placed fifth in the league meet. Freshman Megan Shelton moved up in the rankings with her shot put of 33-8.75, earning a fifth-place finish while classmate Sydney Main finished sixth in the shot put and fourth in the discus.
Coach Strate said Austin Russell “had a big weekend.”
“Austin ran personal bests in all of his events,” coach Strate said. “He improved his time in the 800 again, with a time of 2:05, placing fifth in the league. He took second in the 3,200-meter run and he finished in third place in the mile.
Twenty minutes after completing his mile, he turned around and ran the second fastest leg on the 4×400-meter relay team along with Cole Brown, Gavin Garr and Josh Cochran, placing fifth.”
Brown also had a big weekend, setting a personal best in the long jump by more than a foot. Brown’s mark of 19-8.25 earned him a third-place finish, and, according to coach Strate, “took him from 42nd in the state to putting him in contention to qualify for the state meet.”
Brown also ran a personal best in the 200-meter dash, placing seventh.
Caleb Bradford continues to perform well, placing fifth in the shot put, and he threw the discus 129-3, a personal best and good enough for a second-place finish in the league meet.
The Cowboys have one more meet Saturday, to get their times and distances into the top 18, qualifying them for the state meet the following week.