Devils qualify five for state in first day of regional
An early wake-up call and long bus ride didn’t hinder both Eagle Valley track teams in the first day of regional competition in Grand Junction.
The Devils qualified five athletes for state Friday Ð four in field events and one in the girls 3200 run – in what Eagle Valley coach Jeff Schroll called, “An astounding afternoon.”
“That’s the toughest we’ve ever been on opening day,” Schroll said. Sometimes we come out a little flat, with waking up at 5:30 (a.m.) and the long bus ride. But, these guys came to run. They got off the bus ready to go.”
Kenzie Shreeve and Heather Mann both qualified for state in the girls’ high jump by finishing second and third, respectively.
Shreeve cleared the bar at 5 feet, 1 inch, while Mann was close behind with a jump of 4-10.
Kayla Phillips was the other Devils qualifier in the field events for the girls as she threw a personal best of 32 feet, 2 inches in the shot put to grab third place and an automatic state qualification.
“It was a pretty big upset,” Schroll said. “She beat out some other girls who thought they were going to go to state.”
In the boys’ shot put, Jacob Rivera continued to surprise his coaches by throwing three feet farther than the personal best he set for himself two weeks ago at the Moffat County Invitational.
His throw of 44 feet, 1 inch was good for a second-place finish and a trip to state as well.
“The kid is just amazing,” Schroll said. “He just continues to get better and better. He’s been the biggest surprise this year.”
The last state qualifier of the afternoon was Jessica Medsker in the 3200-meter run. Her time of 12 minutes, 41 seconds, along with being a personal best, was also the second-fastest time in the event.
To qualify for state, athletes can either prequalify by matching or beating the state prequalifying times during the regular season, or can earn an automatic invite if they finish in the top-three at the regional.
Metsker accomplished the latter with her run Friday, adding another name on the long list of Devils who will be headed to Pueblo next weekend.
Also notable Friday were Sean Matheson, Wes Minett, Russell Allen and Alex Gamble.
The trio of Matheson, Minett and Russell Ð who make up three-quarters of the fastest 400 relay team in 3A Ð all qualified for the finals in the 100 and 200 on Saturday.
Matheson also ran his personal best in the 200 with a 22.7.
Gamble – who had already prequalified for state earlier in the season – won Friday’s triple jump competition with a distance of 40 feet, 4 inches to give his team some more points.
Both teams are currently in second place heading into the final day of regional action today behind Gunnison.
“We’re going to have a bucket load of points, for both guys and girls heading into (today),” Schroll said. “These kids are hungry. I think that what happened (Friday) is going to carry over to (today).”
Contact Nate Peterson at 949-0555, ext 608, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org