Jaiden Paris was a double winner on Saturday, taking both the 60 meter dash and the 60 meter hurdles. File photo.
Evidently, there was some pent-up track and field energy waiting to be spilled out. The crowd at Balch Field House on Saturday suggests that was the case.
As with all season-opening meets, there were kinks to be undone, rust to be rubbed off, and stiffness to be loosened.
In the midst of all that, some nice performances emerged.
Aaron McCoy posted a 7.08 to win the 60, but bypassed a chance at double dipping in the 60 hurdles. That honor went to Mountain View's Nolam Kembel in 8.49.
Jack Rubalcave seems to have his distance legs back under him, posting a 4:30.95 to win the 1500. Also from the Western Slope, Alex Cutright and Bryce Risner went 1-2 in the high jump, giving that event a deeply Glenwood Springs kind of flavor.* I believe that counts as serving notice to 4A...
Also of note where the high jump was concerned was the third place finish of Max Manson at 5-9.75. Evidently, that event was the next best thing in the absence of a pole vault.
Hands down, though, the boys performance of the day belonged to Yanique Borne with a 1:59.10 800. Last year, nobody cracked two minutes all indoor season long. This year, Borne broke through the barrier on his first attempt. It will be interesting to follow Borne through to the end of May.
Turning our attention to the girls, Arria Minor's 7.54 60 meter dash winner has her high in the national rankings after her first outing. The 25.15 in the 200 was also a winner, but barely got her into the top 50 nationally. Such are the prices to be paid for running a 200 at Balch.
Jaiden Paris was the only other girl under 8 seconds for the 60 at 7.82. That was a double-back for Paris after winning the 60 hurldes, all alone, at 8.79.
Alexis Carroll edged Iesha Essien by a mere centimeter in the long jump, with both athletes threatening, but not cracking, 17 feet.
Allison Mann opened her indoor season strongly with a 5:03.04 1500. Hannah Freeman was the lone girl to conquer the one-minute mark for the 400 on the tight turns of Balch.
Sneaking a peak at the middle school age entries for clues regarding what's coming next, the names that stand out this time are both sprinters. Kyairra Reigh swept the 60, 200, and 400 in 8.19, 26.03, and--wait for it--58.65. The 200 and 400 times would have had her second and first, respectively, in the high school age group.
Among the middle school boys, it was Korey Hairston winning the 60 and 200 in 7.43 and 25.09.
* - For those confused, a "deeply Glenwood Springs kind of flavor" is not to be confused with the heady whiff of sulphur that greets your nostrils as you emerge from the west end of Glenwood Canyon.