Small School Athletes Shine At Frank Woodburn Invite

The Frank Woodburn Invitational brought out some solid performances from Colorado's western slope.

The Frank Woodburn Invitational was a chance for some of the Western Slope's small-school athletes to show that while their teams are tiny, their performances are still be mighty.
Compared to last week's 25-team Mickey Dunn Invite, that featured five large Front Range squads, the 15-team meet's top performances were often by athletes that might not always make the medal stand at larger meets.
Cedaredge senior Ty Grant has made many podiums in his career, including the team 2A state title last year. The Bruins will look to him this year as an anchor of a repeat effort. He won the 100 (11.27) and 200 (22.76). He is the 2A leader in those races.
The Bruins' best relay result came in a victory in the 4x2, with a 2A leading time of 1:33.44. Adding to the Bruin's point total was hurdler Danny Mendoza, who was runner up in both the 110s (16.80) and 300s (42.52) behind Moffat County's Jared Atkin in both (16.72 and (42.16).
Meeker's Gracie Bradfield was the small-school sprint star on the girls' side. She won the 200 (26.84) and 400 (1:00.46) with performances that has her in the top three in 2A.
The Paonia girls team has been one of the more successful small-school program from the Western Slope, and it showed Saturday. The Eagles are vying for their sixth-consecutive state title this year. Senior
McKenna Palmer will be key in the Eagle's quest. On Saturday she won the 100 hurdles (16.97) and the triple jump (34-10).
The Eagles also sent notice to anyone trying to dethrone them that their relay teams will be strong. They ran the leading 2A time in the 4x8 (10:30.07), which was also the winning time for the meet.
The distance races also had small schoolers prevail.
Plateau Valley's Rebecca Hittle and Macie Holmes led the way in the 3,200 in 13:14.98 and 13:23.20, respectively, while Cedaredge's Camie Baldozier led the entirety of the 800 and finished in 2:31.19.
Class 4A Palisade's Landon Sauvage won the boys' 3,200 in 10:35.64 and helped pull Ouray's Cooper Rondinelli to a season best and 2A top eight time of 10:45.13.
In the 1,600, Grand Valley's Laytham Magana and Paonia's Caden Meilner pushed the pace for a 1-2 finish in, running 4:44.71 and 4:46.59.
While there were strong small-school performances, two of the larger teams prevailed in overall points. Class 4A Palisade boys and Montrose girls won the titles.
Palisade prevailed behind Brody Bittner's runner up in the 400 (52.81), Jacob Mattingley's triple jump win (42-09.75) and Ricardo Valenzuela's second-place finish in the discus (130-02) and third-place in shot put (42-06).
Montrose ladies picked up victories by way of Keli Drye in both the discus (121-10) and shot put (35-05),
Katie Sherwood in the 300 hurdles (50.90) and Eden McGee in the long jump (15-00.75). The Indians also won the Sprint Med. (1:57.44), 4x2 (1:50.01) and 4x4 (4:16).


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