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MEEKER I With a “somewhat shorthanded” team the Meeker High School track team competed in two meets last weekend and several of the athletes attending did well. Meeker ran at Coal Ridge last Friday then in Glenwood Springs the following day and the Cowboys will be in Rangely this Saturday for the Panther Invitational.
“So far this season we have been fighting some injuries,” head coach John Strate said. “We are so young this year, we are still trying to figure out where everyone fits and the injuries are just prolonging that process. On a more positive note, the number of athletes that performed well two days in a row shows me that we are in a good place heading into the last five weeks of the season. We loaded some kids up on events.”
Coach Strate said several team members had “great” meets, including senior Tala Atoafa. Atoafa placed third in the triple jump with a personal record (PR) of 40-8 and also had a PR in the 300-meter hurdles, where he finished sixth in a time of 44.19. Atoafa placed eighth in the 110 hurdles in Coal Ridge, then moved up a notch Saturday in the same event. He also earned a fourth place finish in the triple jump and placed sixth in Glenwood Springs in the long jump.
“Tala had the most impressive performances of the weekend,” Strate said.
Meeker senior Bailey Atwood also had a good weekend, setting a PR in the discus in Glenwood Springs with a throw of 103-5 for a fourth place finish and was third in the shot put. Atwood finished fourth in the shot in Coal Ridge and seventh in the discus. Atwood’s brother Kash set a PR in the shot with a put of 30-10.
Ohana Mataia had a PR in the shot put with 32-9 1/2, a seventh place and PR in the discus with 99-4 and a fifth place finish in Glenwood Springs and sixth place in the shot put in Coal Ridge. Samantha Patterson also had a PR in Coal Ridge in the shot put (29-7) and scored team points with an eighth place finish.
Meeker sophomore Sydney Hughes had a PR in the triple jump, placing fourth with a mark of 30-8 3/4. She was third in the 300 hurdles with a PR of 51.1, third in the 100-meter hurdles, also with a PR time of 18.15 and was eighth in the long jump.
Linda Olivas also had two good meets, with a PR in the 100 (13.71), another in the 400 (65.98), where she recorded her first ever team points with a sixth place finish. Olivas also improved the next day with a fifth place finish in the 100 and and seventh in the 400.
Aaron Cochran also scored team points for the boys with a PR in the 800 (2:15) and a sixth place finish.
Several others set PRs last weekend including Bailey Mantle who ran his best times in the 400 (59 seconds) and the 1,600 (5:45), Joe Newman had PRs in the shot and discus, Tom Chitwood had PRs in the high and triple jumps, Anthony Watt in the 200, Marshal Pool and Caleb Lange had PRs in the 1,600. Michaela Kerr earned PRs in the 100 and 200 and Taylor Ahrens had a PR in the 200.
Due to injuries and absences, the Cowboys only had one relay team last week but coach Strate hopes to have more this Saturday.
“I am hoping we can get enough people healthy this weekend,” coach Strate said. “Our men’s 4×100 is currently ranked pretty high (third last week in state standings) and we should have a solid men’s 4×200, as well by the end of the season.”
Coach Strate said there has been a schedule change and they will not run in Fruita this Friday, only in Rangely Saturday.