by David Tesitor
HUERFANO COUNTY- There was a time when an athlete running track or field could slip into the state tournament by way of a strong performance at the district and regional track meet. The fate of late entrants to the team, athletes who have a good day or even strong athletes who may be nursing an injury, could be determined by a single step. That isn’t always fair, according to the Colorado High School Activities Association.
This season, the field of eighteen contestants in each of the track and field events will be determined by a point system, based on performance all season long. The athletes’ best times are recorded and are ranked by times or distances. A wind factor is included to determine the true-adjusted times. The concept rewards consistency throughout the season.
The road to the state tournament has not yet been determined for several county athletes, but you can be sure these contestants are looking at their peers with a watchful eye on the Varvee.com website. Those in contention are a mere few seconds between first place and nineteenth.
For the John Mall Panthers, speedster Natalie Neece is looking good in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter dash. Neece is currently ranked eleventh in the 100M, 1.3 second off first place. Her time of 13.01 last Saturday should place her in the top eight. She is also twelfth in the 200M, three seconds off first. She has a -3.20 second wind adjustment in the event. Finally, Neece is seventh in the 400M, 2.7 seconds behind.
The Panther girls’ relay team is also in contention in the 800 meter Sprint Medley. They rank sixteenth with a rime of 2:04.88. The leading team from Las Animas posts an impressive time of 1:50 seconds. Five seconds separate a group of fifteen teams. The Redskin girls are twenty-sixth with a time of 2:07.12. The Redskin team is nineteenth in the 4 X 100M, 4.23 seconds off first and nineteenth in the 4 X 400M relay with a time of 4:44.85. The top team posts a time of 4:09.35.
In the field events, John Mall’s Angelica Souza is ranked twelfth in the shot put with a throw of 30 feet,.11 inches, and Krista Cordova is eighteenth in the shot at 29 feet 8.75 inches. Myranda Trujillo is sixteenth in the 1600M with a time of 6:11.26. The group between ten and twenty is separated in the mile run by only 17 seconds.
La Veta’s Josiah Christian is ranked twelfth in the state in the 300M high hurdles with a time of 44 seconds, 3.42 seconds behind number one. The Redskin boys 4 X 200M relay team is nineteenth, virtually tied with the next eight teams. Only .57 of a second separates them, literally half a stride. The boys are also in contention in the 4 X 400M, sitting at eleventh, and the 4 X 800M relay where they are eighteenth. La Veta’s Bradley Vigil is fourteenth in the shot at 39 feet, 11 inches, 3 feet behind the leader.
With the season at the midway point, every athlete has a chance to qualify for the state tournament which begins May 19 at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood.
The World Journal will report the ranking of the athletes, listing their time and time differential from the leader. To have a chance, these athletes must strive to improve their best time as the season winds down.