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Athletes soar like eagles at State

by David Tesitor
LAKEWOOD- The weather was a major factor last weekend at the state track and field competition in Lakewood. Athletes fought the cold and wet conditions in their quest to advance to the final rounds. It was drizzly most of the first day until a deluge of rain, lightning, and sleet stopped the competition and forced a reschedule of events the next day. The times and distances posted for most of the area athletes were off their season highs.
The La Veta Redskins showed their fortitude and overcame these conditions to place several competitors in the final events. For the weekend, the Redskin boys’ team placed 21st out of forty with a total of 18 points. There were seven teams with a total of 20 points. The Skins can also claim three placers in the finals.
Bradley Vigil placed in both the discus and shot put. Vigil placed fifth in the shot put with a throw of 44-03,” a good two feet off his season high, but good enough to maintain his fifth place hold. Vigil also took fourth in the discus with a throw of 129-04,” five feet off his personal best.
The 2A boys managed to complete the shot put finals before the rain delay with the throws of all the competitors being off their season highs. The discus competition saw two individuals, Daniel Weirich from Eads and Ty Van Oort of Rye battling for first place with throws over 165 to 171 feet in their qualifying events and a good thirty feet over their next competition. Both had a chance to break the state record on Friday, but the weather caused them to throw the discus ten feet less than their averages. Vigil was seven feet off a third-place finish.
Josiah Christian placed 7th in the 300 meter high hurdles in a time of 41.90 seconds. His time of 42.79 seconds in the second heat of the preliminaries was enough to qualify him for the finals. Christian’s time in the finals was his fastest of the season. He missed first place by 1.52 seconds.
The last state placer from the area was the La Veta boys 4 X 800M relay team consisting of Clinton Smith, Adam Ortivez, Christian and Matt Hammernik. The team placed 6th in a time of 8:45.64, their fastest time of the season, eclipsing their best time by thirteen seconds.
The La Veta boys 4 X 400M relay team finished 13th with a time of 3:40.49 seconds. Jon Brunelli ran the 4 X400M for the team instead of Smith. Both the relay events broke the Redskin school records.
In other action, the area speedsters, John Mall Panther Natalie Neece and Redskin Ashton Rinker did not qualify for the finals in their respective short dashes. Rinker ran her fastest 100M dash of the season in a time of 13.22 seconds but still placed 10th. She missed qualifying for the finals by 0.06 seconds or a quarter-step. Neece missed qualifying by 0.24 and placed 13th.
In the 200M, Neece placed 16th. In the 400M dash, she placed 10th, running the heat in 61.01 seconds, her personal best and fastest of the season. She missed qualifying for the finals by .24 seconds. Rinker also ran the event and placed 15th in a time of 62.49 seconds. The preliminary track events took place on Thursday in the light drizzle, forcing slower times in all classes.
Angelica Souza from John Mall placed 11th in the shot put throwing the eight-pound ball 30’9.50″. Souza missed her season high by three feet and missed the finals by eleven inches. Souza was set to throw Thursday before the delays and threw Friday afternoon instead, which may have thrown off her timing.
Myranda Trujillo placed 15th in the 1600M with a time of 6 minutes.
The La Veta girls relay team of Ashton Rinker, Jacey Day, Sami Willhoite and Sam McCay placed 15th in the 4 X100M relay, missing the finals by 0.45 seconds. The relay team also placed 12th in the 800M Medley. Running in place of Willhoite in the 800M was Haley Hake.
The World Journal would like to congratulate every one of you area athletes for an exciting season. Whether you qualified for state or not, you were winners in the eyes of the schools and communities you represented.