OURAY – At the final regular-season meet in Grand Junction last weekend, the Ouray (plus Ridgway, Silverton and Lake City) track and field team qualified 12 athletes, eight boys and four girls, for the state meet May 19-21 in Lakewood, near Denver.
Last year, Ouray qualified just one athlete, triple jumper Kaleb Sackman. A senior at Ouray High School, Sackman qualified again this time, finishing first at the San Juan Basin League meet in Grand Junction, and setting a new personal record in the process with a leap of 43’ .25”. He will also compete in the long jump in Lakewood. Sackman finished seventh in triple jump at last year’s state championships.
Also qualifying for the big show, according to coach Bernie Pearce, was hurdles specialist Geordyn MacDougall. The Ouray senior will be competing in both the 100 m and 300 m hurdles. She finished third in Grand Junction in the 100 m, tying her school record time of 17 seconds flat.
Also qualifying were:
Ridgway junior Candace Yengst in the triple jump.
Ouray senior Eli Holmes in the 400 m dash.
Ouray junior “Action” Jaxon Gaita in long jump. (Coach Pearce added: “Jaxon’s dad is food services director at Ridgway High School. He [Jaxon] must be eating right at home too!”)
The squad also qualified three boys’ relay teams and one girls’ relay:
The 4 x 200 m (Holmes, Ouray senior Chris Cramp, Ridgway sophomore Kyle Cotton and Sackman).
The 4 x 400 m (Holmes, Cramp, Cotton and Gaita).
The 4 x 800 m (Jacob Fedel, Noah Hughes, Steven Duce and Gaita).
And the girls’ 4 x 200 m (Jasmin Braund, Sydnee Kimmel, MacDougall and Yengst).
As icing on a very full cake, Pearce added this: “Also, I received a phone call from CHSAA indicating that they were still filling the top 18 slots in the 2A girls' 100 m dash due to a large number of cancellations. [Ridgway freshman] Jasmin Braund was on the waiting list. The wait is over; she's in! So that adds one more event to the total. We have 12 athletes competing in 11 events.”
The SJBL meet also saw Ouray setting a couple of school records. The boys’ 4 x 200 m relay finished first on Saturday (besting the 17 other teams in the 2A/1A grouping; there were 48 schools in all classifications in Grand Junction) in the record time of 1:36.99, shattering the old mark set at the state meet in 1996 by Shane Mims, Eric Edwards, Tyler Batchelder and Guy Music.
The boys’ 4 x 400 m relay finished second on Saturday in a school record time of 3:39.36, almost a second and a half faster than their own record set earlier this year.
With 41 points, the girls’ team finished the weekend in sixth place overall. The boys scored a total of 106 points to finish third.
The other 2/A-1/A schools were: DeBeque, North Park, Plateau Valley, Vail Christian, Hayden, Meeker, Paonia, Rangely, Soroco, Vail Mountain, West Grand, Dove Creek, Nucla, Dolores, Ignacio, Mancos and TNT (Telluride-Norwood Track).
The Colorado state championships run Thur.-Sat., May 19-21, at JeffCo Stadium, Lakewood, 6th Avenue and Kipling.