A Sneak Peak at Today's Rifle Invitational

Grand Valley's Benjamin Coleman, who took an opportunity this winter to sharpen his race a little at the Western State High School Indoor Open, should be one of today's featured hurdlers. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Central had a relays meet last weekend, and the San Juan Basin schools all took off for Farmington last weekend, but this is the first rankings meet action of the season for the Western Slope schools. And, there's quite a substantial set of schools converging on the Rifle High School track to make the most of it.

The three big Grand Junction area schools will be there--Central, Fruita Monument, and Grand Junction. Steamboat, Meeker, Rangely, Soroco, and Moffat County come down from up north. From close by, Rifle is joined by Coal Ridge, Grand Valley, and Glenwood. All these, and several more, schools will be breaking in their seasons in a serious way in Rifle this afternoon.

And that means we should anticipate some intriguing matchups. The boys hurdles should feature the likes of Kaden Weller, Jacob Hahn, and Benjamin Coleman. Trenton Shelton should be hitting the track in the top heat of the sprints. Zach Walsh and Brendan Wagler will aim to keep the distance events entertaining. Central's Mitchell McCune, who opened big with a no-counter last week, gets a chance to put a shot put on the rankings board this week. Word has leaked out that Vail Christian is coming with poles strapped to the side of their van. And, of course, we get our first look at what the Coal Ridge relays are made of this spring.

Jill Payne figures to be returning to sprint action for Grand Junction. Moffat County's basketball season just ended, so it's a little doubtful Payne will be squaring off with Kayla Pinnt. We'll hope to see Battle Mountain unleash a little 300 meter hurdle action. Summit's making the trip, meaning we just might see McKenna Ramsay light up a 400 (or perhaps a 200 or 800). And, Fruita Moment figures to be bringing over their jumps tandem of Sloan Black and Emily Werman. Britni Allen figures to be getting things flying once again at the shot put ring.

Freshmen? Glad you asked!

Ben Kelley had a nice cross country season for Soroco. Now, we find out what he's made of at a little faster speeds. It seems a safe bet we'll be familiar with a couple more freshmen after this meet, but I don't have any others on my radar screen heading into the meet.

No matter what your team, no matter what your classification, you're going to want to be checking out these results tonight. This will be the grand dump of new information about the Western Slope programs for this week.

Check back tomorrow for extended meet coverage from David Pressgrove!