By Patrick Scoggins
Special to the Herald Times
RANGELY | Every year through the second week of May absolute chaos rips through track and field venues all across the state of Colorado. Most track and field athletes are doing everything they can to run their fastest, jump their farthest and highest, and throw their farthest in order to secure a spot at the Colorado State Track and Field Championships. As usual, the Panthers joined in on the last chance frenzy, however, the team split up. Six throwers traveled to Cedaredge on Friday to compete in familiar rings while the rest of the team spent Saturday trying out the new facilities at Grand Valley High School in Parachute. Despite a windy weekend all across the Western Slope, the Panthers did everything they could in order to punch their tickets to Lakewood.
In Cedaredge, the familiarity of the rings proved to be helpful for the throwers, especially in the discus rings. Austin Ficken and Riley Boydstun launched new personal bests of 138 feet 6 inches and 120-10, respectively, taking third and seventh. Cameron Filfred had his second best throw of the season with a toss of 97-3 as well as throwing a strong 32-7 in the shot put. Ficken threw a solid 44-1.75 for second place in the shot put, followed by Boydstun with a throw of 34-8.
On the girls’ side, Breanna Davis threw a massive personal best of 91-5, crushing her previous best by 15 feet. Miekka Peck threw just short of her personal best, finishing with a 93-9. Makenze Cochrane continued her strong season in the discus ring with a throw of 102-8 finishing fifth. Cochrane also threw the shot put 30-6.5, just ahead of Davis’ 30-3. Peck rounded out the evening with a 28-4.75.
Saturday the Panthers continued to battle in Parachute. Marshall Webber started the day for the Panthers with a wind-aided 17.00 in the 110-meter high hurdles, winning the event. Patrick Scoggins then finished the 100-meter dash in personal best fashion of 11.51, good enough for third. RaeLynn Norman, who has really developed as a distance runner this season, went out hard in the 1,600-meter run and pressed herself all the way to a first place finish, running just shy of her personal best with a time of 6:05.12. Chloe Filfred joined Norman in the 1,600, finishing in 7:15.46. Scoggins retook the track for a 52.21 victory in the 400-meter dash, followed very closely by Webber’s 44.76 second place finish in the 300-meter hurdles. Scoggins and Webber then ran the 200-meter dash together, finishing first (23.34) and fifth (25.00), respectively. Filfred ended the day for the tracksters with eight more laps, running her way to a strong fourth place finish in the 3,200-meter run.
Out in the field events, senior Kaylee Mecham led the throwers with her season best 25-10.5, which was good enough for a seventh place finish. Mecham also threw a season best in the discus of 62-10. Anna Forbes threw the shot put 23-5.25 and the discus 73-7, while sister Elena Forbes finished with distances of 22-3.25 (shot put) and 76-6 (discus). Brady Bertoch was the lone boy thrower for the Panthers on Saturday, throwing the discus 81-2 and the shot put 27-3.25. Katelyn Brown, having just finished her soccer season, joined the Panthers for their last meet, triple jumping her way to a second place finish of 31-11.25.
If the Cedaredge Bruin Invitational or Grand Valley Cardinal Invitational was the last track meet of the season for any of these athletes, the coaches couldn’t be more proud of the work that the student athletes put in day after day. While heat sheets have not yet been announced, the Panthers wait eagerly to see who all will be competing one last weekend. Hopefuls for the Colorado State Track and Field Championships include: Riley Boydstun, Katelyn Brown, Makenze Cochrane, Austin Ficken, RaeLynn Norman, Miekka Peck, Patrick Scoggins and Marshall Webber.
By Patrick Scoggins