West Grand High School pole vaulters pace team at regionals | SkyHiNews.com

West Grand High School pole vaulters pace team at regionals

Larry Banman
Sky-Hi News sports correspondent
Kremmling, CO Colorado

The pole vaulters for West Grand High School set a good early tone on Wednesday at the regional track meet in Grand Junction.

Tim Ritschard and Logan Cummings finished in first and second place for the Mustangs, while Brook Cecil, Shawna Rule and Abrah Masterson finished third, tied for fourth and sixth respectively for the Lady Mustangs.

Ritschard set a personal record when he cleared the bar at 10′ 9″ while Cumming cleared 10′ 3″. For the boys, Brady Boeffleur also did well, clearing 8′ 6″. Cecil cleared 7′ 6″ which was enough to qualify her for the state track meet.

The effort for the pole vaulters came on the heels of an excellent Western Slope League track meet held last Saturday in Kremmling. The Mustang girls’ team scored 139 points at the Western Slope League meet and finished second in the nine-team field. The boys have shown major improvement over the season and finished a strong fourth with a total of 99 points. Coach Shields said that arguably the most exciting statistic of the day was that the teams turned in a total of 37 season best performances. 

Thirteen different girls factored in the team scoring, led by eight who placed in all four of their events. Freshman Laura Billington won both the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdle races in very close finishes and senior Melissa Kraker cleared 5′ 3″ in the high jump to win that event. That effort marks the second time this season that Kraker has met or exceeded the state qualifying mark in the high jump.

The hurdles, high jump, discus and shot put events are proving to be strong events for the girls heading into the regional meet this week, Shields said. In addition to Billington, three additional West Grand girls finished in the top eight in the 100-meter hurdles. Kristina Ekren was third, Chyenne Sims fifth and Rule sixth.

The four girls placed in the same order in the 300-meter hurdles. Sims is a sophomore and the other three competitors are freshman. Ekren nailed down still another third-place finish in the high jump at 4′ 10″.  Hannah Howell, Destry Heide, Katie Sanford and Brend Heid all finished in the top eight in the discus event and all had season-best performances. Heide had a season best toss of 31′ 11″ for second place in the shot put and Howell added a seventh-place finish.

Twelve boys contributed to the team scoring led by junior Tim Ritschard who won the pole vault and was second in the 110-meter high hurdles. Five members of the boy’s team, including Ritschard, placed in four events. Senior Michael Tenski, who is in his first year in the track program, had an excellent day. He was a member of the third-place 4 x 800-meter team, ran a season best of 2:20.24 in the open 800-meter race for a third-place finish and then wrapped up his day with the 4 by 400-meter relay where the team finished fifth. All four of the relay teams posted season best times.

The 4 by 800-meter team of Tenski, Chris Zagone, Zach Ahrens and Kris Gregory cut 15.5 seconds off their previous best time. The 4 by 100-meter team of Derrin Weaver, Ritschard, Luke Miller and Travis Gore finished third with a time of 46.66. Weaver, Ritschard, Ahrens and Miller were fourth with a time of 1:39.7 in the 4 by 200-meter race.

Ritschard, Gore and Zagone continue to provide significant points in the hurdle events as they combined for a total of 31 team points in those two races.

Ritschard, Cummings (second), Bouffleur (sixth) and Luke Roderick were all in the top eight in the pole vault. Ritschard and Cummings both had meet high vaults of 10-6. That was the second time last week that Cummings, a freshman, cleared the 10-6 height. He competed earlier in the week at the High Country Pole Vault meet that was held in Kremmling.

At that meet, Cummings and Ritschard both cleared the same height, with Cummings winning based upon fewer misses.

West Grand also hosted a freshman/sophomore meet on that day. The boys team had 16 members, all of which placed for points, and won seven individual events. Gore won the high jump, 110-meter and 300-meter hurdle events. Ahrens won the discus event, Dylan Rohr won the shot put, Kris Gregory won the 1600-meter run and Boeffleur won the freshman/sophomore portion of the pole vault event.

In the girls portion of the meet, five girls placed in four events and all 12 team members placed in at least one event and most placed in at least three events.

Ekren won the high hump and Howell won the shot put and discus events.

Coach Joe Shields noted that Gregory ran a smart tactical race in the 1600-meter event and raced very hard. He added that Masterson, a freshman, is proving to be a hard worker and a very versatile athlete on the girls team. She has run races at distances from 100 meters to 1600 meters.


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