Grand County track teams see steady improvement in latest meet
For Sky-Hi News
In the first of two meets where they competed head-to-head, Grand County track and field teams each saw their athletes make progress in bits and pieces.
Saturday’s Eagle Valley Invitational in Gypsum saw West Grand High School place eighth and 10th and Middle Park High School take 10th and 13th, among girls and boys teams, respectively,
The highest placer of any of them was West Grand freshman Joe Probst, with second place in the boys 110-meter hurdles and a new best of 17.29 seconds in the event.
Mustang boys also saw new bests in both the 4×100 and 4×200 relay races, with Levi Edson, Ollie Bergman, Evan Crandall and Wyatt Howell placing fourth in each event, with times of 46.18 and 1:37.76.
Though they didn’t place as highly, the West Grand boys 4×400 and 4×800 teams also set new season best marks of 4:09.21 and 10:06.23.
In the 100 dash, Edson took fifth with a 11.79 and Howell sixth at 11.88 to further push themselves, while Probst picked up additional points in the 300 hurdles, placing sixth at 47.96.
Distance runner Dean Ratcliff took eighth in the 3200 run at a time of 12:34.45 in the two-mile race.
In the field, the best placement for the boys came for pole vaulter Galen Wilkinson, who cleared a 10-foot-6-inch bar to place sixth and set the new best height for the Mustangs.
West Grand girls shone in the relays as well, with the teaming of Maddy Probst, Taylor Martinson, Lillie Steinle and Sara Lechman earning fourth in the 4×100 (54.89) and fifth in the 4×200 (1:56.9), each of which are their best times so far this spring.
The group of Steinle, Martinson, Lillian Hufford and Lechman also picked up fourth in the 4×400 at 4:33.87.
When she wasn’t running, Maddy Probst exceeded herself in the shot put, placing fifth with a season-best throw of 28-3, while Hufford also took to the field to hit seven feet for seventh place in pole vault.
In terms of placement, Middle Park had its best outcomes in the relays, including ranking fourth in the girls’ 4×800 at 11:52.23, plus seventh in both the boys’ and girls’ 4×100 (48.72, 56.81).
The Panther groups set new season bests in each, and though they didn’t pick up points, the boys also set a new mark for the spring in both the 4×400 and 4×800 (4:08.13, 9:34.21).
Middle Park girls also placed in the high jump with Madison Moyer and Sylvia Bower stacking up at seventh and eighth at 4 foot 5 inches, with Moyer also taking eighth in the 200 dash at 29.64.
Kylee Boomer truly went the distance at Eagle Valley, running both the 3200 and 1600, placing seventh in the two-mile (14:18.07) and eighth in the mile (6:35.87).
The big takeaways for each school were the small but significant improvements as athletes pushed themselves, setting new benchmarks despite not scoring points for the team tally.
Among those who hit new bests for their whole squad were Middle Park’s boys Ewan Gallagher in the 1600 run, Blake Allen in the shot put, Devin Ehlert in discus; Panther girls Laura Rios Castillo in the 800 run, Allison VanBemellen in 100 hurdles, Leah Cormican in 300 hurdles, and Sarah Periolet in triple jump; and for West Grand boys, Joe Probst in long jump, Alex Bergman in triple jump, Edson in shot put, Landon Williams in discus, 27th (77-4); as well as Maddy Probst in the 100 dash.
West Grand and Middle Park track and field athletes will compete at Glenwood Springs’ Demon Invite this weekend.
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For the oldest members of the Middle Park High School girls soccer squad, it’s been a spring they won’t ever forget.