Lightning Strike Electrifies Graff
The meet started out bright and sunny and the sunscreen was coming out early, but as the second of three sections of the boys 1,600 completed, a lightning delay was called and everyone dispersed to take shelter. After a near two-hour delay, the meet restarted with the final boys 1,600 taking the track.
Often delays such as these can interfere with an athlete's warm-up ritual and affect their performance, but this delay brought with it rain and cooler temps resulting in optimal 1,600 conditions.
At the start of the gun, Glenwood's Gavin Harden took the pace out hard, while the rest of the racers held back. After passing through the first lap, Montrose's Evan Graff decided to move up and keep company with Harden. The two pushed the pace until 300 to go, then Graff kicked into an extra gear and eased away, increasing his lead with each stride.
Graff completed the four laps in 4:23.57 - a season best by 8 seconds and PR by over 2 seconds. Hardin maintained his second place standing and also posted a PR of 4:29.53.
Graff added another ten points to his team's standing in a close, to-the-wire finish in the 800, just inching out a win over Rangely's Patrick Scoggins and Delta's Jacob Wear with only 0.02 second separating Graff and Scoggins. Scoggins may have lost a slight edge in the final stretch owing to the fact he had just won the 400.
Even then, Scoggins was not quite finished as he returned to the line for another eight laps and finishing fourth in the 3,200. Did I mention he also did a sprint triple at the Clint Wells Invitational the day before?
The ladies made some distance thunder themselves in the 800. It was the Megan show as Megan Maley of Basalt ran a strong second lap to finish in a PR 2:26.66. Montrose's Megan Motley was rewarded for going out strong and hanging on as she reduced her PR almost six seconds to finish second in 2:27.69. Freshman Kobie Beanland of Dove Creek had an impressive debut at 2:28.63, squeaking her into a top-nine 1A standing in her first try.
In the ladies shot put, Keli Drye of the home team improved over twenty inches with a winning heave of 37-10. For good measure, Drye add another couple inches to her discus best and improved to 125-9. Delta's Keely Porter also turned in a shot improvement to 35-0.
Glenwood's Gavin Olson took full advantage of a 1.7 tailwind to set a new season mark of 22.60 in the 200.