Childers, Guida win league titles; Huskies take early lead
GRAND JUNCTION – Battle Mountain girls track and field has taken a commanding lead in the chase for back-to-back league championships as the Huskies swept the podium in the pole-vault competition Wednesday afternoon in Grand Junction.
Of course, Battle Mountain is very good at pole vaulting, and Glenwood Springs, the Huskies’ chief opponent for the title, does not contest the sport. But, as they say in the “Airplane” movies, “that’s not important right now.”
Not only do the Huskies have two individual league champs in Molly Childers and Zach Guida – and at the 1A level, Vail Christian’s Mack Cooper’s got a victory – but the Battle Mountain ladies have 24 team points in their collective pocket, and the Demons do not, as the main slate of the meet gets under way today and Friday.
“We were there to get the points and stay healthy,” Battle Mountain vaulting coach Scott Graves said. “We’re looking good for next week (and the state meet). We’re getting on some big poles and we’re in some unfamiliar territory, which is a good thing.”
Graves was not overly enthused about the heights of the Huskies’ vaulters, especially after the team’s home meet last weekend. But this is not the week to have a career-high. Next week is.
Childers won the girls’ competition with a leap of 9 feet, 9 inches. Bailey Garton was second with the same height in more attempts. LaRose Currie was third in 8-9. Currie took a stab at 9-3, which would have qualified her for state, but she just missed. Childers and Garton are essentially locks for state.
Guida will be going to as a regional champ. He went for 14 feet, which took care of the competition. Last week, he hit 15 feet, which would be a good number to post at state.
Eagle Valley’s Aaron Kline was on the state bubble. He hit 12-7, but needed 13-1 for a possible state spot.
For the Devils, Kassi Gall took fourth with a personal record of 8-3. Megan Osteen was fifth (7-9) and Alex Seng sixth (7-3).
For the Saints, Cooper is a league champ with a vault of 12-7. That’s also Class 1A’s top vault of the season. Cooper beat himself by 1 inch for that honor. (The next closest in 1A is Otis’ Drake Brandon at 12-1.) Would that his schedule allowed, Cooper could go to state and be the favorite for a Colorado title, but he is going on his school’s mission trip instead.
“I told him he’s a state champion if no one beats him next weekend,” Saints vaulting coach Charlie Alexander said.
Under the category of “better now than later,” Vail Christian’s Kylie Alexander, the defending 1A girls pole-vaulting state champ, did not achieve a height at 9-3 and was out of the competition Wednesday. Alexander has gone as high as 10-1 and is the favorite at state next week.
“The coach can take the blame on the second jump. She was jumping on the wrong pole,” Charlie Alexander joked. “I’m absolutely not worried. It’s a life lesson. We’re sorry it happened. We’ve got state next.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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