Kremmling " West Grand girls run away with West Slope league title |

Kremmling " West Grand girls run away with West Slope league title

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL | Sky-Hi Daily News

The West Grand girls track team won the Western Slope league title for the second consecutive year and its eighth league championship in the last 10 years.

It was a concerted team effort as evidenced by 10 season-best performances and five first place finishes.

Leading the scoring was Danette Billington, who had three first place finishes and one third in her four individual events.

Jordan Davidson and Brook Cecil provided the other first place finishes. Davidson won the pole vault in a tie-breaker, and Cecil won the high jump with a state-qualifying height of 5 feet.

Three of Billington’s performances were personal records for this season. She won the long jump at 15 feet, 6.5 inches, the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in a time of 49 seconds and was third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 28.39. The junior also won the 100-meter hurdles with a lean at the finish in the time of 17.74.

In addition to a season best jump in the high jump, Cecil also had her best time of the year with a third place time of 1:03.72 in the 400-meter dash.

Melissa Kraker with a 6:29.7 in the 1,600-meter run, Taylor Pesch with a 2:46.75 in the 800-meter run, Rose Hargadine with a discus throw of 81 feet, 10 inches and Renea Ellison with a triple jump of 29 feet, 11.75 inches also posted season-best performances.

The 4 x 400 relay team of Ellison, Jessica Raecke, Pesch and Cecil ran a season best 4:33.77 and took third place in the event.

With only 10 girls on the team, coach Cheryl Brown challenged each one to commit herself to a goal of winning the league. The girls had entries in all five relay events and placed in each. That strategy required some combinations that had not run together in prior meets this year.

With Davidson leading off on three different relay events, Jessica Elliott, Raecke, Kraker, Pesch and Hargadine all had a part in the success of the relays.

Sophomore Erin Beason was entered in four individual events and placed in all four.

The boys team, with only eight members, scored 94 points and finished fourth among the 10 league schools. All eight figured in the scoring and they posted eight season-best efforts.

Louis Farrell won the pole vault at 11 feet, 6 inches, marking the second time this year he has pre-qualified for the state track meet.

The only other first place finish for the boys was registered by Drew Klotz, who won the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 45.60. Klotz just missed a double in the hurdles when he was beat in a photo finish in the 110-meter high hurdles.

Jake Motz continued his improvement in the 400-meter dash, placing third with a season best time of 53.57.

Drew Sidener had his best meet of the year with two individual personal records in the hurdle events. He was third in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 18.21 and fourth in the 300-meter event with a time of 47.03. Tim Ritschard ran the high hurdle event for the first time this year and finished eighth with a time of 20.72.

Senior Marshall Kraker placed in all four of his events with his highest finish coming in the shot put. His throw of 41 feet, 6.75 inches was good for second place.

However, his best performance of the day came in the discus with a season best throw of 132 feet, 3 inches to earn third place.

A.J. Silva had a season best time of 12:17.74 in the 3,200-meter run. That effort was good for sixth place in the event.

The boys were entered in two relays and both posted season best times. Klotz, Farrell, Sidener and Motz ran both the 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 relays. The 4 x 200 team finished fourth with a time of 1:40.41.

In the final event of the day, the West Grand quartet took third in the 4 x 400 event with a time of 3:49.91.

Farrell, Rick Gamblin and Ritschard took the top three places in the pole vault.

The West Grand coaching staff and team would like to express its appreciation to all of the volunteers who worked the event.

“They are the best,” coach Joe Shields said. “Their true

professionalism and attitude of always putting the athletes’ best interests first makes all the difference.”

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