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The Pirate track team placed third out of 13 teams at the B&B Aztec Invitational on April 19.
Despite a few members of the team missing due to an FBLA event, the team pulled through with some solid results.
“We’re really proud of them,” coach Scott White said. “It shows a lot to be able to compete with those bigger schools. Out of thirteen schools, eight of them were much bigger schools than us.”
The girls came out with a bang. White described the team as having, “gutsy performances” with “records broken.”
Freshman Madison Lewis placed third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1 minute, 1.74 seconds.
“Nobody in her league right now is really coming close to her,” White explained. “She’s really finding her way in that race, and it’s a really gutsy race. Every race has its challenges, but the four-hundred is really all about guts. Right now, she is our biggest surprise, a very big competitor. When you see her finish the four-hundred race, you can see it in her face that she has given it everything. It’s a great thing to see.”
Lewis also helped her team place first in the 4×800 relay — the first time the girls have been able to run the event this season — with a time of 10:44.64. With this time, the girls are ranked sixth in Colorado 3A in the 4×800 relay. The team included Lewis, Emily Bryant, Tayler Lee-Hammer and Sierra Caler.
Another highlight at the meet was the performance by Bryant. This was the first meet for Bryant this year. She captured second place in the girls’ 3,200 with a time of 12:13.18, third in the 1,600 with a time of 5:41.31, and was a member of the 4×800 relay team.
White explained, “As far as points are concerned, she was probably one of our top point-getters this meet. She really did a great job. We didn’t have her last year; we really missed her, and we are so thrilled to have her back. She shows huge potential in breaking her record in the thirty two-hundred.”
High jumper Taylor Strohecker placed second with a leap of five feet. At this time, she is tied for second in Colorado 3A.
Lee-Hammer, ranked in the top 18 in Colorado 3A, placed third in the girls’ triple jump with a distance of 31-07.5.
Once again, Toni Stoll and Gabby Pajak came out looking strong.
It was an interesting meet for both of them, however, because while Pajak made the finals, she was unable to attend.
On Friday, Pajak broke her record of 48.11 in the girls’ 300 with a new time of 47.83. This time qualified her for the state finals, however, due to FBLA, she was unable to attend Saturday.
Stoll made it to the finals in the event and broke Pajak’s record with a time of 47.76.
“It was really cool to see that record broken twice,” White said.
Stoll also placed first in the triple jump with a distance of 35-08 and took third in the 100 with a time of 16.74.
“They are just top performers and the backbone of our team,” White said. “It will be really fun to have them both there the next meet we go to. I’m really looking forward to it.”
White went on to explain, “Overall, our girls’ team is doing great. Once we get everyone together, I think big things can happen.”
The boys placed seventh out of 11 teams at the invitational, three points back of rival Bayfield.
Standout performers included Tate Drane and Daniel Sloan, both running the 400, and both making the finals. Drane placed third with a time of 52.61 and Sloan placed fifth with a time of 42.97. Both boys worked together with teammates to place first in the 4×800 with a time of 8:27. That team also included Colton Polezynski and David McRee.
Polezynski placed fifth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:45.98 and first in the 800 at 2:05.81.
The Pirates are now ranked No. 2 in state 3A in the 4×800 relay. Their previous best time was 8:57, however, during this meet they cut 30 seconds off that time and placed first at 8.27.
“We knew they had it in them, but we never could put all four kids in the track at the same time,” White explained. “Every week, someone was gone for some reason. We finally got them there and they blew away the field. Their closest competitor was thirty seconds behind them.”
Once again, freshman Nick Hutcherson had a good meet, placing third in the 800 with a time of 2:11.08.
Garek Erskine and Dean Hampton are ranked in the top 18 in the triple jump in state 3A. Erskine placed second in the triple at Aztec with a distance of 39-05.75. Hampton placed third at 39-03.
“Overall, we are dong really great, “White explained. “The kids came back from spring break with lots of good results, I still feel like we are a teeny bit behind with the disjointed meets during spring break, but I think we are coming on strong. The girls are really strong. When we get everyone together, and get them where they are potentially supposed to be, I think we’re all going to show some stuff.”
Pagosa will compete on April 27 in Bayfield at the Abel Velasquez Invitational.