Shot put gives Devils early lead at regional event
GRAND JUNCTION ” The Eagle Valley girls track and field squad started on the right path to defend its regional title Friday.
With some top finishes and seeding spots for Saturday’s events, the Devils set what could be an all-day showdown with Glenwood Springs Saturday.
“We have a really good day overall,” said Devils’ coach Jeff Shroll. “The girls in particular. The boys had a little tough time, but we’ll be OK.”
The girls head in to Saturday with the lead at 40.5 points, although the majority of the finals still have yet to take place.
“We’ll probably lose our lead with the (3,200-meter) relay and go back and forth with Glenwood all day,” Shroll said. “Cortez might be in there, too.”
In the girls shot put, Eagle Valley grabbed plenty of points, with Kacey Bair picking up the win, Amy Thompson right behind her and Jamie Bair in eighth. Both Kacey Bair and Thompson advance to state.
Kacey Bair set a personal record with a throw of 34 feet, 5 inches, while Thompson went 34-2 1/2. Jamie Bair threw 30 1/2. Saturday, the formidable girls throwers will get the chance to add more points.
“We can go 1-2 in the discus,” Shroll said.
Sasha Pickslay-Zamora was fourth in the long jump, going 4-10. Freshman Molly Lennan also earned points, taking seventh.
Three girls for Eagle Valley are seeded in the top six for Saturday’s 200 finals, while three are also running in the 100 finals.
Shroll expects his girls 400 and 1,600 relays to pick up points.
On the boys side, Kyle Simonett broke the school record on the 400, which he set last weekend at the Tiger Invite.
Simonett, who qualified first for Saturday’s 400 finals, ran a 50.69, almost a third of a second better than the 50.97 her ran last weekend.
“Kyle is really strong,” Shroll said. “He has about a second on the whole field.”
Mike Smith, attempting to return from a hamstring injury, lasted one attempt in the long jump before tweaking the injury again. But Smith’s one jump of 21-10 was the longest of the day until the finals, when a Palisade jumper bested him by an inch. Smith, who had already prequalified for the high jump at state, ended up second in the long jump Friday, and qualified for state.
“We pulled him away, and he’s done for the weekend,” Shroll said of Smith.
Colt Nelson had a solid 3,200 race and picked up points in fifth.
Earlier this week, the Eagle Valley girls got a jump start on other teams at the pole vault, but not without some controversy.
Byronny Hiland won the event and set a school record, clearing 8 feet. Joslyn Funez took fourth and the girls picked up 16 points.
“That just infuriated people,” Shroll said. “All the schools in our region that don’t have (pole vault) are ticked off. It’s kind of sad in my opinion.”
Hiland will be competing in the pole vault at state.