RANGELY | Escorted out of town this past Wednesday by proud family and cheering friends, a claw of Panthers left Rangely for a weekend of competition against the state’s finest athletes at the Colorado State Track and Field Championships. Taking their time to stretch out and run in Georgetown and then eating a big pre-competition dinner at Cinzetti’s Italian restaurant, the small but mighty crew enjoyed their trip to Denver before finally getting to their hotel to rest up and relax for the long weekend ahead.
“The kids were really excited and so was I, but I was also pretty nervous,” admitted head coach Beth Scoggins. “We were a team with very little state experience and I just really wanted everyone to compete as well as they possibly could.”
The team was able to sleep in Thursday before heading to Jeffco Stadium for the championships to start with Kenyon Cochrane in the discus that afternoon. In his first time competing at a state competition, the sophomore secured a podium finish and state medal as he threw 130 feet 8 inches to place seventh. Senior Maya Mercado then kept things going for the Panthers, clearing 4-7 in the high jump to land a spot on the podium with her eighth place finish. Without much rest, Mercado was joined by Hayley Burr, Dixie Rhea, and Mary Scoggins in the prelims of the sprint medley relay. The team sprinted their way into the finals with a time of 1:56.25. Rhea had little rest following the relay, but cruised to a second place finish in her preliminary heat of the 100-meter dash to claim a spot in Saturday’s final. Burr ran just off her personal best in the 100-meter hurdles prelims to place 12th with a time of 17.84. Scoggins then took to the triple jump pit, but was hit with a bit of misfortune as some very nasty weather rolled in. Scoggins just missed qualifying for finals, jumping 32-10.25 to place 11th.
After a great start to the weekend with Thursday’s performances, Hayley Burr led the Panthers off with an inspiring 300-meter hurdles to start the morning on Friday. Burr got out extremely hard, pushing herself to a time of 51.14 to place 14th. Rylee Allred, who just barely qualified for the state meet by claiming the 18th and final spot in the discus, threw extremely well and landed a spot in the finals. After an additional three throws, Allred finished 10th with a distance of 93-2. Burr headed back to the track with her teammates of the sprint medley relay for the finals. Burr handed the baton off to Dixie Rhea, who then put it in the hand of Maya Mercado to give to Mary Scoggins. The team ran hard in a very competitive race, claiming a spot on the podium with a ninth place finish. Less than an hour later, Scoggins stuck her nose right in with a tough field of middle-distance runners in the 800-meter run. Determined to keep moving forward, Scoggins closed hard to finish with a personal best time of 2:28.89 to claim sixth place. Andrew Dorris made his first state track debut running the 800 right after Scoggins’ performance, however, his shoe decided that it didn’t want any part of running two laps at such a hard pace. Dorris and his left shoe finished 16th in 2:09.48, as his right shoe watched from the track after being stepped on and pulled off just over 300 into the race.
On the final day of the meet, the Panthers left for the track bright and early as Timothy Scoggins and Andrew Dorris got things going with high jump. Dorris cleared 5-6 to place 13th, then helped cheer his teammate on to an impressive fifth place finish. Scoggins cleared 5-10 and took home a medal in his first taste of state competition. Rangely High School 100 and 200 record holder Dixie Rhea th☻en shot out of the blocks and flew to a third place finish in the 100 dash, closing in 12.89. Mary Scoggins got another chance on the runway in her fourth and final event of the weekend, leaping 14-11 in the long jump to claim 11th. Rhea stepped back onto the track for the 200 dash finals and ran an incredible 26.98. Rhea ended her career and the weekend of competition for the Panthers with an eighth place finish, taking home her third medal of the weekend.
“It was such a great weekend. All of the athletes competed so hard and I couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them. Witnessing Dixie continue to run with all her heart despite having to deal with an injury the last couple of weeks, watching Mary bounce back in the relay and 800, cheering Hayley on as she put everything into the hurdles, and seeing Rylee move from 18th to 10th were all huge highlights from the weekend. I’m so pleased with how the boys did in their first state track8 and field meets and am so glad that I got the chance to coach and work with Maya this season. I’m so excited about everything that all of the kids accomplished this weekend and this entire season,” said Beth Scoggins.
More photos from the meet are at https://www.theheraldtimes.com/2021-state-track-photos/sports/
Special to The Herald Times