The sun shines on Devils track for final qualifying
GRAND JUNCTION — Eagle Valley track and field found good weather.
The Devils — the track team — may have found the only place in the state that had good weather on Saturday.
This bad weather — except at the Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction — sort of defeats the purpose of having a set of last-chance qualifying meets for the state 18, but it’s Colorado. What are you going to do?
While it’s not official, Eagle Valley coach Jeff Shroll felt that his boys 800-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams did enough to crack the state 18 and punch their tickets to Denver for next week’s state meet.
The 800 is Luis Chavez, Cristian Aguilar, Riley Rowles and Jay Neal. The 1,600 is Aguilar, Chavez, Gino Giovagnoli and Charlie Fesseden.
Nothing is official until today, but coach Shroll spends a good portion of his life, when not coaching, looking at co.milesplit.com, the official reporting site, so we’ll take his word for it.
Also, Rowles moved his way up to No. 2 in the long jump. His back is still acting up, but that’s a good sign.
On the bummer side of the ledger, it looks like Neal just missed it in the 300-meter hurdles — two-tenths of a second. The 3,200 boys relay also made a great charge but may be a tenth-of a-second shy of the state time. The two-mile relay is Giovagnoli, Chavez, Isaac Yoder and John Long.
The rain in St. Vrain
The whole point of going to a Front Range meet like the St. Vrain Invitational is to find good weather and fast times.
And so on Friday, it rained all day as Battle Mountain track and field had its last shot for state qualifying. Insert Homer Simpson, “D’oh” here.
“With the top-18 system, you’re forced to put all of your eggs in one basket. I’m sure a lot of other teams are in the same situation,” Huskies coach Rob Parish said. “In the mountains, we were banking on this chance to put down some fast times. I think we’re very fortunate to have a strong team with most of our big stuff secured before this.”
Hannah Gaylord was probably the hard-luck victim of the weather. St. Vrain holds its 3,200 at night, so that the athletes can compete when the weather has cooled off from normally warm days. Instead, she “put in the race of her life,” according to Parish, when it was cold and very wet.
Taylor Anderson (100 hurdles) and Josh Williams (discus) are hanging on to their respective No. 18 spots. It’s a precarious position for both as far as qualifying.
A note on the state 18
Coaches from around the state declared their athletes on Saturday night.
In English, that means, guys like Shroll and Parish identified what people will be competing in their respective events for state.
This is an issue for athletes such as Battle Mountain’s Izze Calabrese, who is actually qualified for state in six events (the 1,600 relay, the 3,200 relay, the 300 hurdles, the pole vault and the open 400 and 800). Athletes may only compete in four events at state.
An athlete like Calabrese will withdraw from two events, and that has consequences for those on the bubble, particularly in individual events. As a hypothetical, if Parish were to pull Calabrese from the open 800, No. 19 in the rankings moves up to 18 and goes to state.
If an athlete is qualified as part of a relay team, he or she may be pulled from the team without the squad losing its spot in the state meet. In this hypothetical, Parish could pull Calabrese from the 3,200 team and insert Jane Doe. That’s fine and the No. 19 team would not move up.
With coaches all around the state making these decisions, there may be some movement, particularly in the running events from the open 100 on up. As an example, the Huskies Sofia Calabrese moved from No. 23 in the 400 to state last year. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
Devils baseball snowed out
Eagle Valley baseball was snowed out in Durango on Saturday as the District 4 Tournament was moved to today.
The Devils will play the host Demons today with the winner of that game taking on the winner of Evergreen-Delta. Because of the crazy weather all around the state this weekend, CHSAA has waived its traditional “no Sunday games” rule.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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