Heading into the Colorado State Track Championships in Lakewood, May 19-20, several Montezuma-Cortez High School track athletes appear primed to content for podium finishes and possibly individual titles.
Highlighting the state qualifiers for the boys team will be senior Austin Wagner, whose triple jump of 43 feet, 9 inches, currently stands as the best in Class 3A. Among the competitors expected to challenge Wagner will be Faith Christian’s Josiah Piper, who is seeded No. 2 in the state meet with a jump of 43 feet, 9 inches.
Also heading into the state meet with his eye on a Class 3A state title will be senior Josh Ramos, whose time of 1:56.92 in the 800-meter run represented the second-fastest time of the season. Known as a gusty finisher, Ramos will need to hold off eight class 3A runners who have sub-2-minute times this season and pass Class 3A’s top-ranked 800-meter runner, Oscar Martinez (1:56.86).
Other male athletes competing in individual events for the Panthers will be senior Coby Baer, who is seeded 11th in the long jump (20 feet, 10½ inches) and 18th in the triple jump (41 feet, 1 ½ inches) and senior Skylar Yarbrough, who is ranked 13th in the 300-meter hurdles (42.02) and tied for 16th in the high jump (6 feet, 7 inches).
M-CHS will also field three relays that figure to be competitive, including the 4x400-meter relay, which is currently ranked third in the state (3:25.94) behind Lutheran High School (3:25.94) and Platte Valley (3:25.21).
The 4x800-meter relay, which is currently seeded sixth (8:19.08) also will be in the mix for a podium finish, but may have trouble catching top-seeded Gunnison High School, which will head to the state meet with a time of 8:12.93).
The girls teamOn the girls side, M-CHS will be led by sophomore Aryelle Wright, whose time of 1:00.05 ranks seventh in the state this season. Wright’s stiffest competition figures to come from Faith Christian’s Sarah Yocum, whose time of 57.20 stands as the top Class 3A time in the state this season. In addition to competing in the 400-meter dash, Wright will run in the 200-yard dash, where she is ranked 11th overall (26.34).
Representing the M-CHS girls team in the long jump will be sophomore Morgan Short, whose leap of 16 feet, 4 inches, was enough to squeak into the state meet with a No. 17 ranking.
The girls team will also field a 4x200-meter relay team, which is currently ranked 10th (1:49.19) and a 4x400-meter relay team, which currently sits in 12th.
The state meet, which was originally scheduled to take place May 18-20, was postponed due to snow and will now take place May 19-20. As a result, there will be no prelims in running events, which will now take place in one timed final.
Field events will have four throws and jumps without prelims and adjustments will be made to the starting heights of the pole vault and high jump events so as to accommodate weather conditions and the new schedule.