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Pirates host Terry Alley Invitational Saturday

It was a big meet, featuring some programs from 5A and 4A schools and once again, despite suffering losses of personnel to other school activities, the Pirate track team acquitted itself well.

The Pirate boys finished fourth in a field of 13 teams at last Saturday’s Ron Keller Invitational, hosted by Durango High School.

Willie Wilkins continued to excel in sprints, taking second place in the 200 meters with a time of 23.64 and third in the 100, at 11.55. Wilkins is two-tenths of a second off a prequalifying time for state competition in the 100 and .9 seconds off the 200 qualifying mark.

Carlos Brinkmann began to round into form in the 3,200 meter run. Brinkmann took second place with a time of 10:54.54.

Ryan Stahl ran to third place in the 110 high hurdles setting a personal record of 16.69 after running in the 18-second range previously this season. He was fourth in the 300 hurdles at 44.06. “Ryan continues to be a leader on this team,” said coach Scott White of the senior.

Two relay teams took third place in events.

The 4x100 team of Wilkins, Stahl, Andrew Clark and Dakota Miller posted a time of 46.47 — one second off the prequalifying time for state.

The 4x200 team of Wilkins, Stahl, Taylor Shaffer and Zerek Jones finished with a time of 1:34.48, a mere .7 seconds off the state time The relay was the first team race of the season for Shaffer who also finished fourth in the 400 at 52.18, just .9 seconds off the pre-qual time. “Taylor did a great job for his first races of the year,” said White. “He was very strong.”

Ryan Hamilton also hit a fourth-place finish, nailing a time of 2:13.79 in the 800.

The Pirate girls team was missing a number of athletes who were off on FBLA and Destination Imagination trips. The team took sixth place in a field of 14.

Freshman Toni Stoll continued her hot streak in jumping events. Stoll placed first in the triple jump, leaping 34-11.50 — the second week her performance has exceeded the state qualifying distance. Stoll was second in the long jump with an effort of 15-11.75.

Megan Bryant placed third in the field in shot put. The Pirate senior hit a distance of 32-10.50.

Kala Matzdorf set a season’s personal record of 17.38 in the 100 hurdles, good for fourth place. “Her times keep going down,” said White. The 4x200 relay team of Saje Brinkmann, Tiffany Bechtel, Victoria Espinosa and Satara Arthaud was fourth in the race, at 1:58.92.

Our kids did a great job,” said White, “even losing kids to other activities and with a lot of kids concerned to hurry home to take part in the high school show. For our boys, it was the best performance of the year so far.

“In the boys’ competition in Durango, a 5A school, and Piedra Vista, a 4A school beat us, but we were right there and we competed with them.”

Pagosa now returns home for the only meet of the season at Golden Peaks Stadium — the Terry Alley Invitational. White anticipates a full roster and good performances.

“This week, we should be close to full strength,” said the coach. “We’ll see some changes in our relays with everyone back and we’ll work on getting the right combination of runners in all our relays. Our other move this week is to push points in our field events.”

The Terry Alley Invitational begins Saturday with field events at 9 a.m., and running events starting shortly after.

Event organizers need volunteers to work the meet. The invitational is a qualifying meet, requiring a full complement of timers and officials. Anyone interested in volunteering can call high school athletic director Jim Shaffer at 264-2231, Ext. 230.