Victory and triumph: A look back at local spring sports

Thursday, May 31, 2018 5:41 PM
Aryelle Wright wins the Colorado championship in the 3A 400-meter run.

As prep sports seasons come and go, memories of most wins and losses blend together and eventually slip out of the collective conscience. A few moments never fade, however, and those moments become part of local lore.

Among the unforgettable moments from this spring season were Aryelle Wright’s dive across the finish line to win a state championship in the 400-meter dash and the day Cristoffer Rudosky signed a national letter of intent to play college golf.

Moments defined by Caden Showalter’s and JD Dennison’s throws, Dolores golfers’ strokes and Mancos seniors’ legacy won’t soon be forgotten.

Below are the Top 5 stories from the spring sports season in 2018.

Wright wins state titleWhen local sports fans think back to 2018, it is highly likely that their first thought will be of Montezuma-Cortez High School junior Aryelle Wright falling across the finish line to capture the state title in the 400-meter dash at the Colorado State Track and Field Championships.

Among the most scintillating performances ever delivered by a local athlete, Wright’s trip around the track took just 57.90 seconds, which was good enough to beat Regan Aurich by a hundredth of a second.

Wright’s state-winning time was good enough to break her own school record of 52.28, which was set last year and broke the previous school record set by Wright’s mother, Amber (Cunningham) Wright.

“It was so awesome to watch (Wright) run, and she did such a wonderful job,” Montezuma-Cortez High School track coach Jeremy Yarbrough said. “She’s such a strong competitor mentally and physically, and she has a lot of confidence that she can go out and do what needs to be done.”

Rudosky signs to play college golfAfter a stellar high school career during which starred on Montezuma-Cortez High School’s golf team, Dolores High School senior Cristoffer Rudosky signed a national letter of intent committing himself to play golf at Fort Lewis College next season.

Rudosky’s signing came after he finished in a tie for fourth place in the Class 3A State Golf Tournament earlier this season after shooting a single-round score of 73. Rudosky finished 13th at the Class 3A State Tournament as a junior and won several regular season tournaments during his high school career.

“It has been a lot of work, and I’ve had a few years where I haven’t played good, but it’s awesome to be able to sign that piece of paper showing that you’ve done something,” Rudosky said. “It’s nice to stay local, and I think I can get a lot better at golf and get a good education.”

Throwers rank among state’s bestMancos High School sophomore Caden Showalter and Dove Creek High School junior JD Dennison stood out in discus and shot put events during the spring track season.

For Showalter, the season was highlighted by several regular season victories and a fifth-place finish in the shot (45 feet, ½ inch) in the 2A Colorado State Track and Field Championships.

Dennison finished third in the in the discus (126 feet, 8 inches) and fourth in the shot put (41 feet, ½ inch) in the 1A Classification at the Colorado State Track and Field Championships and also produced the top Class 1A shot put throw of the season during a regular season tournament with a mark of 44 feet, 11 inches.

“I think I have a lot of things to work on, but I hope to stay competitive and pull off a state championship,” said Showalter, who has two years of high school athletics ahead. “It’s going to be tough, but with hard work, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.”

Dolores golfers deliver solid seasonOver the course of the spring season, few local teams matched the success of the Dolores High School girls golf team, which placed well in numerous regular season tournaments, finished sixth at regionals and qualified two golfers to state.

Leading the way for the team’s qualifiers at the Class 3A State Tournament was sophomore Dimery Plewe, who fired rounds of 97 and 87 and placed 23rd overall. Plewe was joined by fellow qualifier Kiara Lingenfelter, who shot rounds of 97 and 96 and finished 36th overall.

“They work really hard and they see improvement because of their work ethic,” said Dolores coach Monica Plewe. “Last year, they were all freshman and they were super-new. This year, they’ve matured into wonderful golfers, and they are awesome.”

Mancos seniors leave legacyAlthough state titles narrowly avoided them in cross-country and track and field, several senior distance runners from Mancos High School left an indelible mark on their school and their community thanks to hours of hard work and countless impressive finishes.

Jake McKie, Simon Kearns, Caleb Yoder and Alex Fleitz all excelled in the 1600-meter run and produced sub five-minute times during their senior season. McKie’s time of 4:41.22 at the Colorado State Track and Field Championships was good enough to place him 10th in the 2A Classification. Yoder and Kearns also competed in individual events.

The group also excelled on cross-country courses as they captured four regional championships and finished in the Top 5 in the state as a team four times.

The group, joined by fellow senior Zane Wilson, also received the Les Schwab Academic Team Championship for the 2A Classification, which is awarded to the team in Colorado whose members produce the highest GPA as a group.