Meeker tracksters advance to state competition

Meeker seniors Toby Casias and Kathryn Doll sit in front of teammates Sebastian Clarke, Bailey Atwood, Tala Atoafa, Aly Ridings, Lathrop and Sydney Huges, Jake Phelan and Linda Olivas, all qualified for the state meet starting today in Jefferson Stadium in Lakewood.

Meeker seniors Toby Casias and Kathryn Doll sit in front of teammates Sebastian Clarke, Bailey Atwood, Tala Atoafa, Aly Ridings, Lathrop and Sydney Huges, Jake Phelan and Linda Olivas, all qualified for the state meet starting today in Jefferson Stadium in Lakewood.
MEEKER I The Meeker High School Track and Field team competed at the new and improved Stoker Stadium in Grand Junction last Thursday and Friday at the Western Slope League Meet. Warm weather and stiff competition in the girl’s field led to numerous new league records.
All of the meet relay records fell, as well as the records for the 3200-meter run and the 1600-meter run. Meeker did their part with senior Kathryn Doll breaking the triple jump record on the first day of competition with her mark of 37 feet, 5 inches. She not only broke the record, but also finished more than two feet ahead of the rest of her competition. On day two, Doll broke another league record with her leap of 17-5 in the long jump. Not only did Doll break both records, but winning first place automatically gives her all-conference honors in both events. The Cowboys’ Bailey Atwood also earned Western Slope League All-Conference honors in the discus, priming her for the state meet this week in Denver. In the shot, Atwood earned third place. She is going to state in both events ranked in the top six.
The girl’s team saw numerous athletes score points and mark large improvements. In the 800-meter run the trio of Piper Haney, Jordan Smith and Katie Harman placed sixth, seventh and eighth in the league. Smith and Harman each took more than 12 seconds off their best times, and found themselves running below three minutes. Haney also ran a personal best with her time of 2:44. The same group of girls, along with Emilee Khols, was able to earn third place in the 3200-meter relay.
The sprinters and hurdlers also saw large improvement over the weekend. Freshman Sydney Hughes had a personal best in both the 300-meter hurdles and the 100-meter hurdles. Hughes earned second place in the 300 hurdles, and fourth in the 100 hurdles. Teammate Kaitlin Dinwiddie also scored points for the team, earning seventh in the 300 hurdles and eighth in the 100 hurdles. Freshman Linda Olivas earned sixth in the 100-meter dash and eighth in the 200-meter dash. The 4×100 and 4×200 meter relay team of Hughes, Olivas, Aly Ridings and Doll were able to run season best times, score points and still appear to have room for improvement heading into the state meet. They earned third place in both relays. The 4×400 meter relay team of Adrienne Wix, Emilee Kohls, Mariah Jensen and Jordan Smith earned third place, gaining valuable team points.
The boys’ team also had some great performances in the sprinting and hurdling events. Senior Sprinter Toby Casias was able to repeat as regional champion in both the 100 and 200 dash, earning Western Slope League All-Conference honors in both events. Sophomore Sebastian Clarke earned third in the 100 dash, just one hundredth of a second behind the second place finisher. The sprint relays for the boys, consisting of Casias, Clarke, Jake Phelan and Tala Atoafa, were able to win the 4×200 meter relay and place second in the 4×100 meter relay.
Atoafa had a great performance in the 110-meter high hurdles, earning second place and improving on his previous best from the week before by more than a full second.
The middle distance group, much like the girls’ team, took a large amount of time off their races. Led by Lathrop Hughes earning sixth place in the 800-meter run, Caleb Lange and Aaron Cochran were able to come in right behind him in seventh and eighth. Hughes also earned sixth in the 3200-meter run, with Lange right behind him in seventh. Lange put together an excellent race, considering it was the first time he has ever run that race.
This week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the qualifying members of the team head to the state meet in Denver. On the girls’ side, Bailey Atwood will compete in the shot and the disc, and looks to improve on last year’s performance at the state meet.
The 4×100 and 4×200 meter relay team of Sydney Hughes, Linda Olivas, Aly Ridings and Kathryn Doll qualified in the top eight. Individually, Doll is sitting first in both the long and the triple. Hughes is also going to compete in the 100 meter hurdles, and the 300 meter hurdles. Ridings will be right alongside Hughes in the 100 meter hurdles, as they try to make a push into the finals on Saturday.
Qualifying for the boys are the 4×100 and 4×200 meter relays of Sebastian Clarke, Jake Phelan, Tala Atoafa and Toby Casias. Clarke will also run in the 100 meter dash, and compete in the long jump.
Atoafa will compete in the triple jump, and is a surprise qualifier in the 110 meter high hurdles, due to the fact he has only competed in that race the last two weeks of the season.
Casias will run in the 100 meter dash, where he is going in ranked third, and the 200 meter dash, in which he placed third at the state meet last year.