Vail Valley track: Devils, Huskies roar at Tiger Invite |

Vail Valley track: Devils, Huskies roar at Tiger Invite

Special to the Daily/Charles BroshousEagle Valley's Griffin Turnipseed brings it around the turn during the Tiger Invitational Invitational in Grand Junction. The Devils boys finished tied for second place among 4A schools, while the girls topped their classification.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” With all the talk about the new state-qualifying system in track and field, let’s remember the fundamentals.

Fast is fast and far is still far.

Fast would certainly describe Eagle Valley’s Sierra Pickslay-Zamora. She finished third in the 400 meters in the finals of the Tiger Invite Saturday with a time of 60.19 seconds. But she ran 60.03 in Friday’s preliminaries, and that’s a new school record.

It will go up on the board in Eagle Valley’s new gym next fall for all to admire.

The Devils boys tied for seventh with 37 points, while the girls were ninth with 38. More importantly, Eagle Valley’s boys were tied for second among 4A schools with Moffat County, only behind Delta (42), while the ladies topped their classification.

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“I think we’re doing great,” Devils coach Jeff Shroll said. “I think this really helped our runners prepare (for the end of the season). We showed we could compete with 5A schools, and we should be OK with 4A with warm weather.”

Day 2 of the Tiger was cold and rainy, but that didn’t diminish Eagle Valley’s performances. Pickslay-Zamora likely helped her state chances within in the top-18 with her school record. Jamie Bair went 6 feet further in the discus (111 feet, 5 inches) which should keep her in state range.

(We issue the standard disclaimer that schools have 24 hours to report their athletes’ times and distances, so CHSAA’s respective top 18s were possibly not complete as of press time.)

Mario Gonzalez dropped 11 seconds off his 3,200 best with a time 4 minutes, 41 seconds. Shroll pulled Gonzalez out of the 3,200 relay, so the hero of the day was Matt Kottenstette who replaced him in the 4-by-8 and helped the squad to sixth there.

“It proves that wrestlers are tough no matter what,” Shroll joked.

Shaylynn Nielson had a personal record in the triple jump, going, 34-1, while both Chris Brubeck and Willie Magdzuik both broke 40 feet in the boys’ triple.

Ortiz leads Huskies

Battle Mountain sophomore Amelia Ortiz is definitely closer to Denver.

She finished fourth in the 1,600 with a 5:30.5 and fifth in the 3,200 (11:45.11) at the Tiger Invitational to pace the Huskies. Her 3,200 time puts her in 11th in the state in 4A, while she is sitting one spot out in 19th in the mile with next week’s 4A Western Slope League meet remaining in the regular season.

“Amazed? No,” Huskies coach Jeff Krumlauf said. “With her training and work ethic, she’s doing everything she needs to do week-in, week-out to be in this position. She’s giving her all to get personal records three weeks in a row (in the 3,200).”

Battle Mountain is in a rebuilding year and that put the Huskies in the deep end of the pool in the Tiger Invitational. Nonetheless, the Huskies posted plenty of personal records, showing that the future is bright.

The P.R. parade included: The boys 3,200 relay of Jesus Nunez, David Shearon, Charles Gladitsch, and Connor Tedstrom in 8:43; Cody Kleisinger 11.81 in the 100; Chris Libertini 12.02 in the 100 and 23.93 in the 200; David Shearon 10:27 in the 3,200; Parke Robbins 43.43 and Shawn Martinez 45.2 in the 300 hurdles; Martinez 18.57 in the 110 hurdles; Piper McMillin 29-6 in the shot put; Susanna DeChant 53.97 in the 300 hurdles and Reeve Sanders (56.02) and James Leonard (56.42) in the 200.

“The last couple of years, we’ve definitely been blessed with some talent,” Krumlauf said. “Saying that, the kids we have now are great group. They’re giving their all and getting P.R.s and it’s great.”

If you like track, Grand Junction’s Stocker Stadium is the place to be next week. The 4A Slope Championship is one of four meets being held, including the 5A Southwestern League Championship and 3A and 2A regionals.

On the Web

We’ve got much more on high school track and field at Go there for more photos as well as a complete list of local point-scorers and stats.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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