The light shines on Glenwood Spring's Taber Uyehara as he emerges from the shadow of Stocker Stadium Friday morning at the Multi-League Championships.
Misters, cooling towels and portable fans were in high demand Thursday and Friday as most of the Western Slope track and field athletes converged in mid-90 degree weather for the two-day, four league, Multi-League Championship Meet, Western Slope League Championships. Here were some of the top performances from each league.
The girls triple jump was the best in any classification in Grand Junction with defending 2A champ, Hayden's Alison Rajzer, out-jumping, Rangely's Mary Scoggins, 34 feet, 8.5 inches to 34-1. Just short of those two was Cedaredge's Megan Jenkins (33-06) and Hotchkiss' Lottie Hollembeak (33-06). The triple jump final was on Thursday which was a windy day. Scoggin's jump was the only of those four that was wind legal.
Jenkins was named the female athlete of the class on the strength of her jumping and hurdling. She won the 100 hurdles in a 2A-leading 15.81 and the 300 hurdles (48.07). Along with Jenkins the 1A/2A girls' meet was strong in the sprints. All three of the winners are some of the top speedsters in Colorado small schools. Rangely's Dixie Rhea won the 100 in 12.66, Cedarege's Kylee Terry held off Hayden's Jillian Bennett in the 200 (26.86 to 27.04), while Bennet took the 400 in 1:01.04.
DeBeque's Wesley Ryan earned Athlete of the Meet honors on the boys' side with three titles. His best win was a PR in the high jump, clearing 6-7, which is currently five inches higher than any other 1A competitor and was the best jump of all classes on the Western Slope. Ryan also won the 100 in a season best wind-legal of 11.62, which also leads 1A. His long jump of 20-1.25 was just beyond Meeker's Jeremy Woodward's leap of 20-0.5.
Ryan had stiff competition for top boy among mulit-event winners. His teammate Trevor Lewis won the 800 (2:04.64) and 1,600 (4:43.10). Hotchkiss' Blaine Peebles dominated the hurdle races with a wind-aided season best of 15.43 in the 110's and just missed improving on his 2A best in the 300 hurdles of 41.45 with a 41.75 in the final.
The story of this league was the multi-event champs. Coal Ridge's Peyton Garrison led the Titans to 239 points with three individual titles. Garrison continues to show she is a threat for a triple-win at Jeffco with a sweep of the 100 (12.29), 200 (24.63, 4.8 wind) and 400 (57.46.) The most thrilling of those was a homestretch battle with Moffat County's Halle Hamilton in the 400, which has them now at 1st and 2nd best in 3A. Garrison was named Female Athlete of the Meet for her efforts.
Presumably not far behind Garrison in the voting was Basalt's Katelyn Maley, who ran the distance iron-woman combo with the 4x8, 800, 1600 and 3,200. Maley managed the load with season bests in all four events in and wins in three of four events. Her only second-place finish came to teammate Sierra Bower in the 1,600. That race sent a message to the rest of the 3A distance ladies of "the Western Slope is ready." Bower's time of 5:00.07, Maley's 5:03.30 and Coal Ridge's Mikayla Cheney 5:07.04 are the top three in the classification.
On the boys' side Basalt's Rulbe Alvarado earned the same sweep as Garrison and also won the same honor. He brought home golds with 11.49 in the 100, 23.01 in the 200 and 51.27 in the 400. Moffat County's Logan Hafey and Evan Atkin won two events with Hafey taking the double-hurdle crown (15.93 in the 110s and 40.50 in the 300s) and Atkin showing of his vertical and horizontal springs with a 6-0 clearance in the high jump and 21-05 in the long jump.
As expected, Gunnison's Alex Baca dominated the distance races with easy wins in the 1,600 (4:31.55) and 3,200 (9:45.24).
The 3A girl winners in the throws continue to be near the top of the classification and at the top of all classes on the Slope. Delta's Keely Porter beat Coal Ridge's Taylor Wiescamp by a toe, 38-07 to 38-05. Gunnison's Melita Ferchau won the discus with 123-00.
Steamboat Springs' Aliyah Reimer was named the outstanding female with wins in the 100 (12.85) and 200 (27.02). Eagle Valley's Samantha Blair may have also earned some votes after coming within .4 of a second from pulling off the distance triple in the 800 (2:18.8), 1600 (5:02.67) and 3200 (11:12.08). Blair and Eagle Valley's Elliot Pribramsky had two classic showdowns with Blair taking the 3,200 by a second and Pribramsky narrowly taking the 1,600 in the closest girls' distance finish of the meet.
One of the best finishes of the meet came in the boys' 1,600 with four contenders down the homestretch for the win. Summit's Dominykas Remeikis out-kicking Eagle Valley's Gage Nielsen, Steamboat Spring's Jaydon Fryer and Battle Mountain's Porter Middaugh in 4:30,91, 4:31.44, 4:32.03 and 4:32.13 respectively. Remeikis also won the 3,200 with his first venture into sub-10 land in 9:53.90.
The 4A boys had a thing for close distance race finishes between four competitors. In the 800 Steamboat Springs' Thomas Lewer reached the finish just ahead of Nielsen and teammates Fryer and Bowden Tumminello, 2:03.01, 2:03.28, 2:03.67 and 2:03.88 respectively. That 21 points went a long way to help the Sailor boys win the league title.
King of the Hurdles, Glenwood Spring's Taber Uyehara, won the Outstanding Male award with sweeps in the hurdles (16.65 in 110s and 41.44 in the 300s).
Palisade's Donovan Kemp also brought home lots of hardware and almost broke into the sub-11 sprinter category with a 11.18 in the 100. He also won the 200 (22.69) and the long jump (20-5) and missed a four-win meet by less than a tenth-of-a-second to Glenwood Spring's Brian Delgado, 51.09 to 51.16, in the 400.
This author left before the athletes of the meet were announced for this league, but the trackers certainly in consideration were Fruita Monument's McGinley Zastrow, and Grand Junction Central's Justin Blanton. Zastrow led one of the fastest 1,600s on Western Slope soil in some time finishing just ahead of the Durango trio of Paul Knight, Damian Frausto and Land Lambert.
All four harriers finished under 4:25, with Zastrow's 4:19.3 taking the gold. Blanton smoked the field in the 100 and 400 with times of 11.08 and 48.98, both Slope bests.
On Thursday the aforementioned Durango trio worked together in the 3,200 to put up an impressive performance with sub-9:40 times. Knight led the way in 9:37.04 with Frausto in 9:38.39 and Lambert in 9:89.09.
For the girls Grand Junction's Amelia Moore earned the "Queen of Hurdles" title with the sweep of the 100's (16.71) and 300's 49.88. The 800 brought the most suspense with four girls finishing within one second. Grand JUnction Central's Tristian Spence held off Durango's Angela McManus, Fruita-Monument's Elaina Arcand and Ella Unrein with times of 2:23.60, 2:24.01, 2:24.09 and 2:24.11 respectively.