Week #4 in Review (Updated)

Anthony Erps of Florence is quietly enjoying a very nice season in both hurdle events. Photo by Alan Versaw.


Last Week in Review

If you've been gone on spring break, you missed a lot.


A lot of weather, that is.


You won't find this on espn.com, but the scoreboard for the last two weeks reads:


Weather Events: 12

Major High School Track Meets: 8


That tally would be even more lopsided except for some quick thinking on the part of University head coach Dan Betz to move his Bulldog Early Season Qualifier up by one day.


Alex Francis Relays

Actually, the conclusion of this meet in Hays, KS, is still pending Monday's make-up of Saturday's postponement. Truthfully, I'm not even sure there are any Colorado high schools participating, but it seems like a logical place for some eastern Colorado schools to have headed for a meet. In any case, you can find a few Colorado College marks among the college results.




Bulldog Early Season Qualifier

In the first part of Emily's LaValley's big week, she posted the second-fastest 300 hurdles time in the state to date and split 59-something in the 4x400. The meet also marked the season debut for defending state champions Beth Jones and Kaitlin Hanenburg. Both defended their titles with ease, with Jones winning the long and triple jumps and Hanenburg winning the 1600 and 3200. Hanenburg's 1600 stands, for now, as the top in-state mark in the 1600.


Why does "in-state" matter? Oxygen, or lack thereof. It's why you never see teams from low elevation coming to Colorado for a track meet. I wish I knew how to get more Colorado distance kids recognized in the national rankings.


Ben Hinckfoot's 110 and 300 hurdle marks from this meet also stand as current best marks for the state.


Not bad for a low-profile 3A meet.


National Elite Performances

1600 Meter Run


Chandler Rotary Invitational

Sorry I wasn't present in person for this one. I hear it didn't snow in Phoenix either of the last two weeks. Article with more detailed meet information linked below.


This meet was part two of Emily LaValley's big week and also part of a big week for several other Colorado athletes, most notably Hannah Krumreich, Kat Robinson, and Kayla Fisher-Taylor.


National Elite Performances

3200 Meter Run One Mile Run


Florence Husky Invitational

While Friday's storm that lasted in Saturday morning didn't take this meet out, it did eliminate about half of the schools from attending. Too bad, too, because it ended up as a decently pleasant day in Canon City.


Best bumper sticker seen en route to meet: My son is inmate of the month.


Okay back to track and field... When a meet gets down to seven teams, the competition sometimes gets a little thin. Such was the case here. The best takeaway from this meet is the observation that Salida will be heard from in distance events this spring. The little cross country team that roared is back for track season and it shows. Lauren Policky missed this meet but will be running track in place of playing soccer this spring. I don't know if she's better at track or soccer, but she'd have to be very, very good at soccer to make it close. Josh Noriega and Kaiti Davis are ready to prequal something. It should happen roughly the next time they show up at a meet with a timing system.


Hotchkiss Invitational

Okay, this one is another little featurette on 3A track and field...


Somebody throw a lasso around the Cedaredge Bruins. This is a team on the rise with all sorts of strength in the sprint and hurdle events. The jumps aren't bad either, as Danny Martinez's 6-4 mark will attest.


Also arriving on the Versaw Radar of 3A Contending Teams are Coal Ridge and Olathe. Both teams are competing at a very high level for this point in the season.


I'm looking for a very special 2A showdown between Kat Robinson (Nederland, not at this meet) and Paonia's Johanna Reed at the state meet. Currently, these two are tearing things up at distances at or near one mile.


This has every indication of being a vintage year for small school track and field on the western slope. As a rule, it appears that almost every team except Gunnison is running stronger than last year. And, while Gunnison graduated some serious talent last spring, it's way too early to relegate them to "rebuilding year" status. The Cowboys are a perenially good team.


National Elite Performances


Las Vegas Track Classic

This meet got added onto the weekend list when I discovered Doherty once again took a spring break trip to Las Vegas to roll a few dice on the track. The big winner was Kenny Chambers who posted very nice times of 10.72 and 21.36 in the 100 and 200. Chambers won the 100 meter event. Amazing what a little warm weather will do for those sprint times. Teammate Stephon Barnes also had very nice times of 11.19 and 22.90. The times will not, however, count for state rankings purposes, both on account of the out-of-state venue and some serious trailing winds.


Jordan Rand and Alexis Cook worked a little magic in the long jump and shot put, respectively. Like the 100s and 200s, however, Rand's long jump enjoyed a little assistance from the breezes.


Doherty has much to look forward to as things warm up in the Colorado outdoor season.


National Elite Performances

Shot Put



Mickey Dunn Invitational

The western slope's larger schools got things underway in a bigger way this weekend. A handful of smaller schools showed up as well, however, and turned in some nice performances on the day.


Brian Ivy of Moffat County, Gus Barnes of Durango, and the Glenwood Springs girls relays are up to old tricks. Eric Shellhorn of Montrose picked up a couple of nice middle distance triumphs.


Among the smaller schools, Grand Valley's Brandi Krieg appears to have her three events selected. In two of those events (the 800 and 1600), the 3A girls state races promise to be meat grinders and Krieg should have a say in the outcomes. Dolores's girls are definitely on the rise. And, experience at big meets like this should pay big dividends at state. While it looks as if the Bears were short a couple hands (spring break, perhaps), they still acquitted themselves nicely at a meet of mostly larger schools.



Yuma Early Qualifier

At most venues, the weather would have done in this meet. But, the folks out in Yuma are a little weather-hardened. Live in Yuma long enough and there will be days you don't even notice the wind blowing.


Other non-surprises coming out of this meet were 1) Ashley Atkin won the 100, 400, and 800, 2) Akron won all the girls' relays, and 3) Bryar DeSanti of Merino is as fast as we thought.