Thanks to solid performances by Mancos High School track athletes at the San Juan Basin League Championship, blue and white uniforms will be common at this weekend's state track meet.
Boys finish second in league
Running against San Juan Basin League teams in Grand Junction, May 9-10, the Mancos boys team performed well, placing second overall behind Telluride High School.
Leading the way for the boys team, Andrew Plunkett finished second in the triple jump (38 feet, 10¼ inches) and third in the high jump (5 feet, 9 inches). Plunkett will compete in the high jump at state.
"Andrew was one of our most improved athletes," said Bluejays head coach Adam Priestley. "It has been fun watching him reach his potential.
Also performing well for the Bluejays was Ro Paschal, whose time of 4:39.77 in the 1600-meter run was good enough to place him second overall.
Paschal will compete in the 800 and 1600 at state.
"Ro did an outstanding job," Priestley said. "I'm pretty excited to see him compete at state."
Other Blujays qualifying for state included Anthony Reiners, who finished third in the 300 hurdles (44.71); and Justin Burton, who finished third in the 1600 (4:42.99) and third in the 3200 (10:37.01).
Burton will compete in the 1600 and 3200 at the state meet, and Reiners will compete in the 300 hurdles at the meet.
Other top finishers for the Bluejays included Ty Koppenhafer, who finished fourth in the shot put (37 feet, 1 inch); and Brandon Hood-Farley, who finished fourth in the triple jump (25 feet, 9¾ inches).
In addition to the Bluejays' individual state qualifiers, the Mancos boys team also qualified the 4x800-meter relay for the state meet.
The Colorado Track and Field Championships will take place in Lakewood, Colo., May 15-17.
"Our biggest goal this year is to bring home some hardware," said Priestly of the state meet. "We want to show up and compete."
Girls close out season well
Although the Mancos High School girls team failed to qualify any athletes for state, several team members ran well, helping the Bluejays finish fifth in the league.
Pacing the group was Emma Most, who, running two personal best times, finished second in the 3200 (12:03.11) and sixth in the 1600 (6:18.50).
"(Emma) is an outstanding bright star that has a great future," said Priestley.
Other top finishers for the Mancos girls team included Kristin Adams, who finished 11th in the 200 (29.49) and Jessica Gutierrez, who finished 12th in the triple jump (26 feet, 3 inches).