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‘My fingers are crossed’: Pirates eye state rankings heading into final meet


Saturday, May 4, was a good day for the Pagosa Springs High School track and field teams, with both the Pirates and Lady Pirates taking first at the 10-team Terry Alley Invitational and a number of Pirates improving their results by large margins.

The improvements are coming at the right time in the season, according to coach Connie O’Donnell, with the team’s final regular-season meet set for Friday and Saturday.

“The day started out beautifully, but the wind became a problem as the day went on,” O’Donnell wrote in an email to The SUN about the team’s home meet. “The only thing the wind helped was our discus. Overall, our throwers really had a good day.”

That good day for the throwers included Abigail Nehring taking the top spot in the state 3A rankings for girls’ discus and Aidan Vega hit a “massive” personal record (PR) in the boys’ discus, according to the coach.

Nehring took the top spot in the 3A rankings by throwing a distance of 121 feet, 6 inches to take first at the meet.

Nehring, O’Donnell wrote, “had the big performance of the day by adding 5 feet to her discus throw. She is ranked #1 in the state in 3A by a one foot margin.”

Malorie Morton took fourth in the vent with a throw of 81-5.5, Makaela Denton finished 10th with a throw of 68-6, Parker Frame finished 14th with a throw of 61-7 and Dawson Iverson finished 18th with a throw of 47-5.

On the boys’ side, Vega finished second in discus with a throw of 11-2 — 24 feet longer than his previous distance, the coach highlights.

Emile Schneider took 13th in the event with a distance of 69-1.5 and James Beaudry finished 18th with a distance of 62-2.

Nehring took second in the girls’ shot put with a distance of 27-6.5. Malorie Morton finished fourth with a throw of 26-0, Frame finished 13th with a distance of 20-9.25, and Denton finished 14th with a throw of 18-3.25.

Freddy Barnas took first in the shot put on the boys’ side with a throw of 37-1.5. Vega finished 13th with a distance of 27-11.75, and Schneider finished 17th with a distance of 25-9.75.

The Lady Pirates also saw improvement in a number of other areas and took several top spots.

In the 100-meter dash, Rylie Carr took first with a time of 13.10 seconds. Neveah Evans finished eighth in 14.67 seconds, Trinity Angle finished 11th in 15.28 seconds, Hayden Peterson followed in 12th in 15.32 seconds, Faith Domingo finished 14th in 15.59 seconds, Alia Hibbert finished 21st in 16.90 seconds and Skyler Morton finished 22nd in 16.91 seconds.

Carr also won the 200-meter dash, logging a time of 27.32 seconds. Elissa Mars followed in third with a time of 30.29 seconds, Marlowe Hedgecock finished seventh in 31.83 seconds, Hadley Phillips finished 15th in 33.05 seconds and Hibbert finished 22nd in 37.41 seconds.

Sienna Rose took first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1 minute, 1.33 seconds. Annie O’Donnell finished in second in 1:01.66.

“On the girls side, Sienna Rose took over a second off of her PR in the 400,” the coach highlights. “Again, she and Annie O’Donnell pushed each other to a 1, 2 finish. The wind was pretty rough on the home stretch and I think that if they didn’t have such a strong head wind, they both could have gone close to breaking 60. They both looked really strong.”

Jayslynn Perea took eighth in the event with a time of 1:12.89, Hedgecock finished 11th in 1:13.49 and Phillips followed in 12th with a time of 1:14.18.

Honestye Sweet finished fourth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:52.96. Madison Stretton took sixth with a time of 3:04.37. Perea finished eighth in 3:19.63. Lucia Rivera finished ninth in 3:20.10. Marie Smith followed in 10th in 3:21.58. Gwendolyn Tyler followed in 11th with at time of 3:49.39.

Charlotte Duranton finished second in the 1,600-meter run, with Connie O’Donnell noting she took 35 seconds off to finish with a time of 6:17.97. Stretton finished third with a time of 6:26.84. Sweet took 10 seconds off her time, according to the coach, and finished fourth with a time of 6:28.07. Rivera finished sixth in 7:23.11. Tyler finished eighth in 8:13.70.

Duranton took 10 seconds off her time in the 3,200, the coach highlights, and she finished second with a time of 13:47.83. Smith finished third in 15:53.73.

Kylie Ketchum finished second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.80 seconds. Mars finished third in 18.28 seconds, and Eden Conner finished seventh in 21.13 seconds.

“Kylie Ketchum dropped a half second in the 100 hurdles even though she was running into a head wind,” the coach wrote. “Elissa Mars and Eden Conner also dropped time into the wind.”

Conner finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdle with a time of 1:02.90, and Skyler Morton finished seventh in 1:08.50.

The 4x100-meter relay team of Rose, Carr, Lexi Campbell and Annie O’Donnell finished first in 51.52 seconds.

The 4x200-meter relay team — the same four runners — also finished first, logging a time of 1:47.74.

“The girls 4x200 dropped a full two seconds which is a crazy amount of time for a sprint relay,” Connie O’Donnell highlights.

The 800-meter sprint medley relay team of Ketchum, Campbell, Mars and Adelyn Hittle finished second in 2:01.26.

The 4x400-meter relay team — Annie O’Donnell, Ketchum, Hittle and Rose — finished first in 4:24.60, with the coach highlighting the time was a season best.

Jordan Lindstrom finished third in the high jump with a height of 4-7. Ketchum followed in fourth with a height of 4-5, and Iverson finished fifth with a height of 4-1.

The coach notes multiple Lady Pirates added to their distances in the long jump.

Lindstrom took second in the long jump, adding 4 inches to her distance with a jump of 14-5. Mars finished fourth with a distance of 14-1.5. Hittle added 6 inches to reach 14-0.5 and place fifth. Hedgecock finished eighth with a jump of 13-1. Angle logged a jump of 12-11 to finish ninth. Evans followed in 10th with a jump of 12-5.

Campbell finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 32-11.5, and was followed by Lindstrom in fifth with a distance of 28-11 and Iverson in sixth with a distance of 24-8.5.

On the boys’ side, Colton Lucero took first in the 100 with a time of 11.27 seconds. Blake Laner followed in third with a time of 11.86 seconds. Harley Armijo followed in fourth in 11.93 seconds, Gavin Carter finished sixth in 12.01 seconds, Barnas finished eighth in 12.19 seconds, Truman Vasek finished ninth in 12.40 seconds, Jeremiah Dean followed in 10th in 12.52 seconds, Jerry Su took 15th in 12.79 seconds, Jonathan Baker finished 16th in 12.81 seconds, Ryder King finished 19th in 13.12 seconds, Jonathan Rodriguez followed in 22nd in 13.33 seconds, Van Halterman took 28th in 13.74 seconds, and Connor Kirkham finished 35th in 14.70 seconds.

Lucero took second in the 200 with a time of 23.72 seconds, with Laner followed in third in 24.54 seconds, Carter taking fourth in 24.97 seconds, Armijo finishing sixth in 25.38 seconds, Barnas taking 14th in 27.87 seconds, Su placing 15th in 27.89 seconds, and Leo Dennis finishing 25th in 29.87 seconds.

Miles Baker finished fourth in the 400 with a time of 56.04 seconds. Jacob Castaneda finished sixth in 58.88 seconds. Connor Thomas followed in seventh in 59.24 seconds. Eli Nehring finished 16th in 1:05.15.

Jesse Beck finished third in the 800 with a time of 2:21.31.

Miles Baker won the 1,600 with a time of 5:08.13, with Thomas following in second with a time of 5:25.99. Trevor Faber finished seventh in 5:56.01. Justin Sewell placed 10th with a time of 6:32.44.

Jeremiah Jones took two seconds off his 110-meter hurdles time, according to the coach, with Jones finishing second in 18.19 seconds. Jaxten Schiel finished fourth in 20.10 seconds. Nathaniel Kinsley finished sixth in 20.79 seconds, and Tristan Frame finished seventh in 21.2 seconds.

Cole Harper placed fourth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.54 seconds. Kinsley followed in fifth with a time of 47.40 seconds, Jones took seventh in 48.46 seconds, Tristan Frame finished 11th in 52.58 seconds, Beck finished 12th in 54.97 seconds, and Miles Baker finished 13th in 58.53 seconds.

The 4x100 team of Armijo, Creede Dozier, Laner and Carter took first in 45.71 seconds.

The 4x200 team of Lucero, Armijo, Dozier and Laner ran a season best, according to the coach, taking first and putting themselves in to the top 18 in the state for 3A with a time of 1:33.17.

The 4x400 team of Eli Nehring, Beck, Castaneda and Halterman finished third in 4:22.78.

The 4x800-meter relay team of Eli Nehring, Stetson Osborn, Faber and Jackson Chaney ran a time of 11:05.68 as the sole team in the event.

Dozier won the high jump with a height of 6-1, with Jones following in second at 5-9, Schiel taking third with a height of 5-5, and Milo Dietemeyer and Vasek finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, with heights of 5-3.

Lucero won the long jump with a distance of 19-11, with Dozier following in second with a distance of 19-5. Schiel took fifth with a distance of 18-9.5. Dietemeyer finished seventh with a distance of 18-9. Dean followed in ninth with a jump of 17-6. Jonathan Baker finished 18th with a distance of 15-4.5. Dennis took 20th with a jump of 14-11. Kirkham finished 25th with a distance of 13-6.5.

 Tristan Frame finished fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 31-11.5.

This week, the Pirate squads will take part in the two-day Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction on Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11.

Action will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday.

“We are running some fast times at the right time in the season,” Connie O’Donnell wrote. “My fingers are crossed that we can get some good times without the wind in Grand Junction.”

The coach also notes the team is eyeing its state qualifications heading into the final regular-season meet.

“The two day meet this Friday and Saturday is our last chance to qualify for state,” she wrote, adding the heat sheets for the state meet on May 17 and 18 come out next Monday, May 13. “They will tell us who officially qualified for the state track meet.”