Kremmling " W. Grand track team runs up impressive series of victories |

Kremmling " W. Grand track team runs up impressive series of victories

Larry Banman
Sky-Hi Daily News

The West Grand High School pole vault team found the Randall Hess Invitational to their liking last Saturday as seniors Jordan Davidson and Louis Farrell, along with junior Rick Gamblin, all qualified for the state meet.

Farrell and Gamblin both cleared the 11 feet, 5 inch Colorado High School Activities Association standard while Davidson met the 8 foot, 6 inch qualifying mark for girls.

Farrell finished second overall in the vault competition with Gamblin finishing in fourth place for the boys. Davidson was second among 15 in the girls division.

The Randall Hess Invitational is a Front Range meet that is an approved pre-qualifier by CHSAA. The host school is Roosevelt High School in Johnstown. This year, the meet featured 17 schools from Class 3A and Class 2A.

The two meets last week were good for the Mustang track teams, said coach Joe Shields.

The North Park High School Wildcat Invitational last Thursday was an opportunity for all participants to score team points while the larger meet on Saturday showed that several are ready to move up a classification and compete.

Marshall Kraker placed in the shot put, high jump and discus with season best marks of 42 feet, 3 inches in the shot and 5 feet, 10 inches in the high jump.

Danette Billington continued her unblemished record so far this season by placing in all four of her events in every meet. On Saturday she took seventh in the 100-meter hurdles, third in the 300-meter low hurdles, fourth in the long jump and was a member of the 4 x 200 relay team that placed eighth.

Brook Cecil, Erin Beason and Melissa Kraker, all sophomores, and junior Renea Ellison also placed in individual events for the girls team. Cecil, Kraker and Ellison all placed in the high jump with Cecil’s tie for third place at 4 feet, 10 inches leading the group. Ellison established a personal record at 4 feet, 8 inches.

Beason also had a personal best in the finals of the triple jump with a fourth place jump of 32 feet. Davidson, Ellison, Billington and Cecil were timed in 1:57.03 in the 4 x 200.

The 4 x 400 team of Kraker, Raecke, Ellison and Cecil took eighth place. Raecke proved to be the workhorse as that final 400 meters was her third of the day.

Two freshmen also received commendations from the coaches for their performances on Saturday. Tim Ritschard had a personal best jump of 36 feet, 3 inches in the triple jump and Taylor Pesch, who was limited in practice all week due to injury, ran her season best 800-meter race.

Great individual efforts and consistent improvements characterized the West Grand track teams at a meet held two weeks ago in Glenwood Springs. The Demon Invitational featured 11 teams, and Cecil and Billington led an inspired girls team to their second fourth-place finish of the season.

Cecil won the high jump competition after running a strong 400-meter anchor leg in the 800-meter sprint medley. Billington had impressive performances in the hurdles, lowering her times in both the 100- and 300-meter races. Her 17.41 seconds in the 100-meter high hurdles earned her second place and her 50.50 seconds in the 300 was good for fourth.

Billington was not the lone Mustang hurdler to turn in good efforts on that Saturday. Drew Klotz had career bests in both the 100-meter highs and 300-meter intermediates. He ran a 17.04 in the 110’s for a fifth place finish and followed that later in the day with a 44.35 fourth place in the intermediates.

Sophomore Chris Zagone also had his best ever times in both hurdles and met one of his early season goals by going under 50 seconds in the 300. For the girls team, Beason ran the 300 lows for the first time in her young track career and showed that she will add depth in that event by winning her heat and finishing in eighth place overall.

The jumping events again proved to be a strength for West Grand. Ellison followed Cecil closely in the high jump and took third place in the event for the girls. Billington, Davidson and Beason dominated the long jump with a 2-3-4 finish. Beason and freshman Tim Ritschar, for the boys, both earned eighth place in the triple jump. Ritschard’s leap of 35 feet, 4.5 inches was a personal best.

Senior Marshall Kraker placed in three events, including a fifth in the high jump, 5 feet, 8 inches, sixth in the shot put, 39 feet, 11 inches and eighth in the 100 meter dash in 12.1 seconds.

Rose Hargadine contributed to the individual scoring for the girls team with a seventh place in the discus.

Relay Results – Girls

800-meter sprint medley: Davidson, Ellison, Billington, Cecil – 2:05 – fourth place; 4 x 200: Davidson, Pesch, Raecke, Cecil – 2:05.16 – seventh place. 4 x 400: Beason, Ellison, Raecke, Cecil – 4:49.06 – third place.

Relay results – Boys

4 x 100: Klotz, A.J. Silva, Gamblin, Ritschard – 49.99 – sixth place; 4 x 400: Klotz, Drew Sidener, Zagone, Gamblin – 4:04.35 – eighth place.

Mustang girls win Wildcat Invitational

The West Grand girls track team ran and jumped to victory in the Wildcat Invitational last Thursday. This annual meet at North Park High School utilizes the Moffat County High School facility in Craig. This year, five northwest Colorado and one Wyoming school participated.

First place finishes in seven events by West Grand proved to be too much for the deeper Rangely Panthers to overcome, but the final determination came down to the last scoring event of the day. When the Mustang 4 x 400 relay came in first, that sealed the 118-115 victory over Rangely. North Park took third in the team scoring.

For the girls, Melissa Kraker and Billington earned two first place medals and Cecil won the 400-meter dash in a season best 1:07.12 to account for five first place finishes in individual events.

Ellison, Beason, Billington and Cecil made up the winning 4 x 400 team. Cecil also anchored the 4 x 800 team to a winning time of 2:02.97. Davidson, Hargadine and Melissa Kraker were the other members of that team.

Melissa Kraker’s first places came in the high jump where she cleared a career best 5-0 and the 3200-meter run. Billington won both hurdles events, the 100-meter hurdles in 18:45 and the 300 low hurdles in 51.56.

Additional Team Scoring – Girls

100-meter dash: Kraker – 14.47 – third place; Davidson – 14.61 – fourth place; 100-meter hurdles: Hargadine – 21.37 – second place; 400-meter dash: Pesch – 1:10.15 – third place; 800-meter run: Pesch – 3:09 – fifth place; 300-meter hurdles: Beason – 57.72 – fourth place; high jump: Cecil – 4′ 10″ – second place, Ellison – 4′ 4″ – sixth place; long jump: Billington – 14′ 7″ – second place, Beason – 14′ 0″ – fourth place, Davidson – 13′ 10.5″ – sixth place; triple jump: Beason – 29′ 6″ – third place, Ellison – 28′ 9″ – sixth place; discus: Hargadine – 77′ 8″ – fourth place.

The boys’ team also had a good day at the Wildcat Invitational. One encouraging sign was that every team member placed in at least one individual event. Even with small numbers this year, coach Shields said, this team is proving to be a group that works hard and is productive.

Rangely took first place in the team scoring. The Mustangs finished in second place with a total of 113 points. Marshall Kraker led the way with firsts in both the shot put, 41 feet, 0.25 inch, and the discus, 129 feet, 09.5 inches. Both were season-best performances for the versatile senior who entered the long jump for the first time in his high school career and took second place with a leap of 18 feet, 3 inches.

Klotz won both the 100-meter high hurdles, 17.93, and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, 44.9, and was the lead runner out of the blocks for the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 teams that both took second place ribbons. Gamblin added a first place for the team in the high jump at 5 feet, 2 inches.

Several additional individual performances that could well be indicators of promising at the league meet came from Jake Motz, Sidener, A.J. Silva, Burr and Ritschard.

Motz ran in his first meet of the year and appears to be returning to his 2007 form following knee surgery and rehab. He finished strong in the 400-meter dash for second in a time of 55.84. Sidener shows improvement each week in the hurdles while Silva cut more than 30 seconds off his 3,200-meter time from the previous week and took second in the event.

Burr and Ritschard had season best efforts in the horizontal jumps. Burr took fourth place in the triple jump at 35 feet, 4 inches, and Tim finished third in the long jump at 17 feet.

Additional Team Scoring – Boys

200-meter dash: Farrell – 25.1 – fifth place, Motz – 25.2 – sixth place; 1,600-meter run: Zagone – 6;00.94 – fifth place; 110-meter high hurdles: Sidener – 17.97 – second place; 300-meter intermediate hurdles: Sidener – 47.99 – fourth place; Triple jump: Ritschard – 34′ 8.5″ – fifth place; 4 x 200 relay: Klotz, Farrell, Motz, Kraker – 1:40.58 – second place; 4 x 100 relay: Klotz, Farrell, Motz, Burr – 48.4 – second place; 4 x 400 relay: Burr, Sidener, Ritschard – 4:15.46 – second place.

The Wildcat Invitational features a signature event to end the meet each year. It is a non-scoring 4 x 100-meter, co-ed relay comprised entirely of athletes who have competed that day in either the shot put or discus. Each team is made up of two male and two female throwers. They pass a girls discus rather than a baton from one runner to the next. Five teams entered the event this year. The West Grand team of Hargadine, Silva, Jessica Elliott and Marshall Kraker won that event.

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