Track Teams to Watch, #30, Bayfield Boys

Bayfield always seems to have distance runner high in the state rankings. This year John Cusick wears the honor. Photo by Alan Versaw.


Vernon Kimball retired two years ago. But this team still has a Kimball kind of touch. That might have something to do with the fact that Sherry Kimball now coaches the team.


And the strengths of this team are traditional Bayfield strengths--pole vault and distance.


With the 3A pole vault ranks thinned out due to the departure of Lyons and Yuma to 2A, Bayfield's pole vault strength should figure even more than in years past. Steele Allred and Travis Stuever both rank in the top five among 3A pole vaulters. History says there will probably be another pole vaulter or two wearing purple this spring. They seem to reproduce like fruit flies in the favorable climate a few miles east of Durango.


John Cusick is Bayfield's primary distance threat this spring. An outstanding run at NXN-SW suggests Cusick may have found a new level between state cross country and the Nike regional meet. If so, we all need to take him very seriously at 1600 and 3200 meters this spring.


Cole Bryson may be another distance threat for Bayfield this spring. For the first time in recent memory, Bayfield did not qualify a boys cross country team for state. That suggests that the distance ranks may be slightly thinner than in the last few years, but be careful not to jump too quickly to that conclusion. Bear in mind that Bayfield has a long history of very competitive 4x800 teams. If there's a way to piece one together for this spring, keep an eye trained for that very possibility. Bryson and Cusick figure as two capable legs; the other two would be a bit of a mystery at this point.


Besides being an undefeated wrestler at 152 pounds on the eve of the state championships, Aaron Velasquez should also be able to score a few state points in both the high jump and discus events. Only a junior, Velasquez also has pretty decent 100 speed. In my book, that makes Mr. Velasquez a rather remarkable athlete. And, somewhere, there's likely a relay with his name on it.


Seth Posey is a solid shot putter, and his personal best of 48-0 takes him into the season as 3A's #2 ranked shot putter.


Tanner Paulek made some solid progress last spring in the 100 hurdles. If this season shows as much progression as last, he should be lined up to score points at the state meet this spring. Paulek also qualifies as one who may be able to hold down a solid relay leg or two.


The difference between Bayfield being a good team and a very competitive team lies in how much support the Wolverines can build around the pieces already mentioned. The develop of one or two more top athletes makes this a very dangerous team.