Durango Rattles a Few Cages in SLC Weekend

A Family Affair: Shannon and Joe Maloney share a break in their 2012 summer conditioning regimen with their mother atop Handies Peak. Contributed photo. 

Special to Colorado Track XC by David McMillan

UHSTCA Meet Report

Salt Lake City, Utah - Colorado was well represented at the Utah High School Track Coaches Association (UHSTCA) meet at the Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City over the weekend, albeit by a small contingent from Durango running for the COHIPAC Track Team.  The meet served as the unofficial Utah Indoor State Championships, so when the final results were published, the COHIPAC athletes were sometimes left off of the official results.  They were not, however, left off the podium or the top 10 lists. With over 1400 athletes registered for the meet and 301 in the boys 1600m and 222 in the girls 1600m alone, this was a huge indoor meet.  The success of the meet rests largely on the shoulders of the meet committee of Scott Stucki, Marquis Dupre, and Timo Mostert who handled the massive influx of athletes with the dexterity of masters.  The oversized track (422m) made the large distance event fields manageable, but the taking of splits (for this old coach) somewhat tricky.

Leading the way for the Colorado squad, sophomore Shannon Maloney registered two personal bests with some very tough running in the girls 800m, 3rd in 2:18.23 and the 1600m, once again 3rd in 5:04.50.  Maloney was pitted up against the cream of Utah’s middle distance stars, Sarah Feeney (winner of the 1600m in 4:57.35), Summer Harper (4th 1600m 5:05.98) and Shea Martinez (2nd 1600m, 5:002.39 and winner of the 800m 2:13.25), and performed with aplomb!  Showing her youth, Shannon let a couple of gaps develop in both races, but her finishing acceleration moved her onto the podium.  Maloney will be a tough force in the Colorado distance scene this spring. Why, you ask? Well, she just hates to lose, and with her finishing speed (58 sec 400m speed) the state’s distance stars will have to run fast to outlast the wheels in her legs!

Brother Joe, taking a break for the 1600m, ran two great relay legs to lift the COHIPAC squad to respectable top 10 place finishes in both the 4x400m (6th in 3:47.09) and 4x800m (7th in 8:45.23) where he split a 1:59.3. Shane Bisogno showed why he is a latent talent in the 200m and 400m running two superb relay lead off legs, 23.4s (200m) and 53.4 (400m) to put the Colorado team in the hunt early on.  In the 800m, Joe sat in the lead pack as they blistered the first 400m in 52 point.  The pace proved too much and Maloney faded to 12th but still managed a 2:00.88 a great pre-season mark. The 800m was won in a very quick 1:52.67 by Ricky Faure of Rock Springs – watch for his name in lights this season.  The monkey remains on Maloney’s back, though, as that elusive 2 minute barrier remains in the open eight. 

Maloney was ably supported in the open 800m by team mates Alastair McMillan, who cranked out a PR of 2:08.66 despite only playing basketball for the past 3 months, Garrett Mulkey, who made up for a disappointing relay leg with a PR of 2:11.27.  Rounding out the COHIPAC 800m quartet, Collin Francom improved on his season’s best with a 2:15.02. The very young frosh, Seamus Millett, barely 14, but from Olympic pedigree (his Great-Grandfather ran for the USA in the Olympics in the 1920s) continues to improve by about 15 seconds with every outing. Millet ran a PR 5:16.17 in the 1600m and 11:44.93 in the 3200m behind a strong run by Utah great, Ben Saarel’s 9:10.85.

Bisogno ran two solid races in the open 60m (7.54 behind a blistering 6.99 by Seth Fortin) 200m (24.11) and jumped 18’8” in the long jump.  A tidy early season performance by any measure. John Lee (LJ and TJ) opened the season with a good mark in the triple, landing 36’3” from the board, good enough for an 11th place. Senior Edgar Arias improved on his 200m mark with a strong 26.55 and a respectable 25.2 relay split. In what was arguably the most exciting event of the long Friday night’s program (the meet started at 4pm, was slated for a 7pm completion, but eventually ended shortly before the pumpkin hour of midnight with the PV and TJ) Zach Mickelson vaulted well, but could only watch in amazement as two vaulters, Mitch Kalinin and Leighton Blanchard, dueled long into the night, and high into the rafters, both clearing 14’01” before Kalinin prevailed with fewer misses.

For the COHIPAC girl’s squad, Hannah Huang acquitted herself favorably with a strong 9th place finish (62.52) behind a leggy and very talented Lauren Baxter who blazed an early season best of 56.33. Huang also led off COHIPAC’s very close 3rd place finish relay quartet in the 4x200m (1:50.87) behind a very talented Davis HS A squad, winners in 1:50.16. Maloney was the anchor in COHIPAC’s 3rd place 4x400m effort, anchoring the Colorado team to a fast early season time of 4:13.37 behind Utah’s perennial powerhouses of Riverton (2nd in 4:12.03) and Davis HS (winners in 4:10.38).  The COHIPAC squad (all Durango HS athletes) needs to shave off about 13 seconds to get down to their 2012 2nd place 4A State finish of 4:00.1).

Other performances of note for the Colorado contingent were:

·       a strong 2:31.28 by Madeigh Winsor in the 800m;

·       a quick 8.39 60m by Miranda Gallegos, who also jumped 14-2 and ran a 200m in 28.53;

·       Mckenzie Sill, a superb figure skater who is probably more at home on the Olympic ice where she trains year round, than the surrounding track, ran well for a 28.41s 200m.  Mckenzie delighted her teammates by warming up and cooling down on the ice where she positively flowed with grace;

·       Mckenzie Marciante had a tough meet, landing askance on the mat in the PV and jumping the gun at the start of the 200m. However, this tough former Texas athlete will be back with a vengeance!

All in all, the experience at the Olympic Oval, whose venerable cable structure towers above the west Salt Lake skyline, was delightful, positive and gave the young COHIPAC track team a taste of “big league” competition.  We promise to be back next year!