Ridgway junior Kyle Cotton garnered a second place finish in the discus throw with a toss of 127’ 8”. And Ouray senior Jaxon Gaita placed fourth in the long jump with a personal record leap of 19’ 8.25”, besting his old mark by four inches and placing him 13th statewide among 2A long jumpers. Cotton’s throw is the 10th-best among 2A athletes to date this year.
On the girls’ side, Ridgway senior Candace Yengst scored a sixth-place in the triple jump with a hop-step-and-jump of 32’ 1”. Also scoring sixth-place points, with a time of 2:00.78, was the girls’ 800 m medley relay, consisting of freshman Jackie Saunders, senior Taylor Schoenbaum, sophomore Jasmin Braund, and Yengst.
The girls’ team scored 9 points on the day; the boys scored 22 points. Both finished 11th out of the 14 teams (including many bigger schools) competing. Paonia High School came out on top for the girls, besting Telluride in fourth place and host Montrose in seventh. On the boys’ side, Rifle High School took the honors ahead of Montrose at No. 3, with Telluride coming in sixth.
According to coach Bernie Pearce, as we head into May, several Trojans are in position to qualify for the state track-and-field competition at the end of the school year. The formulae are complicated, Pearce said, involving “rankings that fluctuate according to performance each week.” But generally speaking, the top 18 individuals or relay teams get to go to state. JeffCO Stadium, where the state meet is held, has a nine-lane track. “So,” Pearce said, “for the running events, there are two semi-final heats of nine each.” The top 18 field athletes also qualify. “The software that governs all this is at maxpreps.com,” Pearce said.
Currently, Ridgway’s Yengst is sitting 17th in state rankings with her best triple jump. Several Ouray relay teams are “within striking distance” of qualifying, according to Pearce, particularly the boys’ 4 x 400 and the girls’ 800 m medley relay.
Ouray added two fifth-place finishes on Saturday: the boys’ 800 m medley relay and 4 x 400 relay. The former was raced by Micah Smith, Eric Nunn, Zane DeZeeuw, and Levi Lokey. The 4 x 400 team consisted of Gaita leading off, Lokey, DeZeeuw, and Kyle Cotton running the anchor leg.
The girls took a seventh with their 4 x 400 relay team: Yengst, Schoenbaum, Braund, and Saunders. And an eighth place with their 4 x 200 relay (Braund, Saunders and Yengst, with the addition of Ridgway freshman Rane Dickerson).
The boys’ 4 x 200 also finished eighth running senior Jess Weaver, senior Steven Duce, DeZeeuw, and Gaita.
Also setting a personal record on Saturday was freshman Avery Folsom, who spun the discuss 56’ 0”, beating her old mark by 11 inches. Folsom also put the shot 22’ 1.25”.
Eric Nunn beat his old 100 m dash record by over two-tenths of a second with a time of 12.91 seconds.
Zane DeZeeuw lowered his 100 m personal best as well. He ran 12.76 seconds in Montrose eclipsing his PR of 13.19 seconds set in Hotchkiss earlier this year.
In the distance races, Dillon Paxton set a new PR in the 1600 m run, taking nearly 10 seconds off his old record to finish in 5:26.08. He also shaved a second off his 800 m best, with a time of 2:30.24.
Also setting new personal records were senior Jon Lien (in the 100 m and 400 m dashes) and sophomore Nicholas Pieper (in the 100 m and 200 m dashes).
The Trojans’ next meet is the Bruin Invitational II on Friday, May 4, in Cedaredge, beginning at 1 p.m.