Too early to shine? Not at Gypsum meet |

Too early to shine? Not at Gypsum meet

Ian CroppVail, CO Colorado
CVR EV Invite RM 4-5-08

GYPSUM, Colorado Even if they didnt see the throw, everyone at Saturdays Eagle Valley Invitational was talking about it. And for good reason.Midway through the meet, throwers were marveling that someone broke 200 feet in the discus. The athlete behind the throw, Buena Vistas Mason Finely, was easy to spot at 6-foot-8 and more than 300 pounds.Soon after Finelys epic hurl, the numbers came out 202 feet, 10 inches. Then, officials confirmed that the throw was indeed a new state record. In his first meet of the season, Finely broke the 30-year-old mark of 197-5, set by Fairviews Mike Call at the Lobo Invite in 1978.This is a big accomplishment for me, said Finely, a junior who had to sit out the first half of the season after transferring from Salida. I knew it was going to be a good throw I just didnt know if it was going to break 200 feet.Although Finely has gone more than 200 feet in practice, his best throw in competition prior to Saturday had been 186-10. Finely said he practices year-round and gets a lot of help from his father.My dad has been showing me how to throw ever since I was little, he said. Finely, who threw a meet-best 56-11 in the shot put, wasnt daunted by the windy conditions in Gypsum.At practice, we havent been having great weather, he said. When there is different weather, like when its windy, you hold the discus to your benefit.While Finelys throw drew plenty of attention, the host Devils and cross-county rival Battle Mountain had plenty of standout performances. Eagle Valley, which scored in most events, saw its girls take second behind Hotchkiss and saw its boys take third. Battle Mountain was second for the boys behind winner Rifle.We had a really great team day, said Melinda Brandt, an Eagle Valley coach. Our kids were pushing through injuries and some sickness.The Devils Ashley Rohweder woke up feeling under the weather, but she decided to take on a full plate of events.I puked three times. Once when I woke up and twice after races, said Rohweder, who never considered scratching from her races. I didnt want to wimp out on my last home meet.Along with a resounding win in the 300 hurdles, Rohweder placed second in the open 200 and ran legs on the 400-meter relay team, which took third, and the medley relay, which took sixth. In the 300 hurdles, Rohweder came in at 48.26, more than three seconds ahead of the next finisher.In a way, you like it because it makes you feel cool, Rohweder said of her giant lead heading into the home stretch. But you dont get better without competition.The 400 relay team of Emily Kingston, Sierra Pickslay-Zamora, Sasha Pickslay-Zamora and Rohweder came in at 53.92, while the medley squad consisted of Angela Phillips, Courtnee Best, Sierra Pickslay-Zamora and Rohweder.Phillips picked up points for the Devils in the 100 hurdles, taking third at 17.48, just 0.16 off the winning mark. In the pole vault, Phillips and teammate Ashley Weimer tied for seventh. In the triple jump, Phillips went 28-9, good for fourth, while Kingston was 1 inch behind in fifth. Jessica Kline was fifth in the 300 hurdles. Sasha Pickslay-Zamora and Kingston were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the high jump. Battle Mountains girls found considerable success in distance events. Kenzie Grant, who has been dropping her time in the 1,600 each week, did so again Saturday, taking third at 5 minutes, 59.52 seconds. Amelia Ortiz had the point-earning honors in the 3,200, taking fifth, while Jamie Lee Roberts was fourth in the 800, with Cecelia Garcia two spots back.Other finishers for Battle Mountain include: Olivia Fauland (fourth in the pole vault), Jayna Horn (fifth in the pole vault), Jenna Bearisto (seventh in the 100) and Jen Thul (eighth in the 400).

If hes not careful, Battle Mountains Jon ONeil may end up trying every event track and field has to offer. ONeil, running in the 1,600 and 800 for the first time, won both events.It was a good start for me, said ONeil, a cross country runner. I kind of knew what I was getting myself into when I came into track. The most confusing part is trying to figure out what to do with warmups and checking in.In the 1,600, ONeil came in at 4:34.27 but was quick to give credit to teammate Jonny Stevens, who was second, just 0.13 seconds behind.It wasnt the best way to win. I told Jonny Id lead this third lap, and I just outkicked him in the last 50 meters. He led for about 21⁄2 laps or so.After his 1,600 win, ONeil didnt give himself much of a chance in the 800, saying he didnt have much left in the tank. Heading into the final stretch of the 800, ONeil was in third place but turned on the jets to pass Rifles Tyler Champman and Hotchkiss Cody Watkins. Stevens was sixth.Im feeling it now, said ONeil, who has flirted with the high jump. My dad held the high school record at his school in the high jump at 6-4, and my grandpa held the school record at University of Northern Colorado way back in the day at 6-6. Ive tried the high jump before in practice, and Im not good at it. I definitely didnt get those genes.The Huskies had a great day in distance and on the track all around. Tony Crisofulli, not normally a 3,200 competitor, won the event at 10:33.85, with Conor Wallace in second at 10:40.87 and David Shearon fifth at 11:28.20.Battle Mountains vaunted 3,200 relay team took first, with Wallace, Crisofulli, Todd Walker and Connor Tedstrom as the cast.In the sprints, Ascher Robbins led the way, placing second in the 200 at 24.00 and third in the 100 at 11.88. Aaron Wilcox was third in the 200 at 24.49 and had a super-fast final leg of the 400-meter relay to give the Huskies the win; Robbins, Josh Kundolf and Ryan Hedrick handled the other legs. The same group was third in the 800 relay, while Hedrick grabbed second in the open 400.In the field, Cliff Rodrick was fifth in the pole vault while Pancho Menesses was eighth in the triple jump.If we are going to be competitive, we are going to need to find ways to get more points in the field events, said Battle Mountain coach Rob Parish. We were missing key jumpers and throwers and the kids are still practicing in the gym.

Just because there are only two hurdle events doesnt mean they cant help in the big picture. The Eagle Valley boys had a solid day in the hurdles, with Eric Kline picking up 16 points with a pair of second-place finishes.Kline ran the 110 in 17.22, with teammate Trevor Grayson just .20 behind in third. In the 300 hurdles, Kline (43.56) led a trio of Devils in the top four, with Ethan Smith third (44.59) and Grayson fourth (45.39).The 100 is more about form and speed, Kline said. The 300 is more endurance for me.High jumper Scott House cashed in on eight points with a solid jump despite a sprained ankle. House was fourth in the triple jump.And the ever-reliable Jamie Fahrmeyer battled his Battle Mountain cross country teammates, taking fourth in the 800 and the 1,600.Harrison Neal won his heat in the 200, good for fourth with teammate Omar Saucedo in eighth. Andrew Hill was seventh in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200. Despite some less-than-perfect handoffs, the Devils relay teams placed. In the 400 relay, Joe and Uv Trujilo, Neal and Pavel Pavlov were seventh, and the same group was eighth in the 800.Smith, the Trujilos and A.J. Rhoades teamed up to take third in the 1,600 relay. Rhoades and Matt Kottenstette tied for seventh in the pole vault. Jalen Aquino had his best long jump of the year at 18-33⁄4 and tied for fifth. As was the case with the girls, the Eagle Valley boys throwers found considerable success. Zack Thrall had a personal-best shot put of 43-7, with teammates Pollo Almanza in seventh (39-11) and Clayton Gerard eighth (39-61⁄2). Almanza bested his own discus at 133-3, good for third, while Thrall took seventh.

Vail Christian coach Chris Gamble wasnt sure exactly where freshman Eric Gallagher was going to best fit in. It took only 200 meters for Gamble to figure it out.Gallagher, in his first meet, left his heat in the dust, taking sixth overall, at 25.27.Hes been practicing distance, and we thought we need him to start practicing sprints, said an elated Gamble, when told of Gallaghers official time and finish. Oh my gosh.Gallagher was part of the seventh-place 3,200 relay team that also included Ian Hamina, Chris Purse and Ryan Vlaar.On the girls side, Jessica Linder took fifth in the mile at just a shade under six minutes, with Lettie Fickling four seconds back in eighth.Its a great foundation to build off of, Gamble said. Both didnt have races they wanted, but they have time to improve.Battle Mountain will host its meet at Gypsum on Tuesday.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or

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