The Pirate track season got off to just the right start March 14, according to coach Connie O’Donnell, as the team — lacking a number of members, and with its ranks including a number of freshmen at their first competition — participated in the Piedra Vista Invitational at Farmington, N.M.
It was just right, said O’Donnell, because, while the 11-team field included a couple of large schools, there was a bevy of smaller programs, similar to Pagosa’s. “I thought it was a good meet for us,” said O’Donnell. “It was low key and a good way to break in our freshmen.”
At day’s end, Pagosa girls took seventh place among 11 teams and the Pirate boys finished eighth of 11.
Medals were hard to come by at this meet, and not solely due to the quality competition from other teams. The Pirates had very few days of practice on the track and in the field prior to the Farmington meet. Despite that, a number of individuals and relays teams were counted among the placers.
Katarina Medici took second place in the girls’ 3,200 meter run, with a time of 13 minutes 49.56 seconds, for Pagosa’s highest finish of the day. Medici also finished fifth in the 1600. “Katarina did a great job at Piedra Vista,” said O’Donnell. “I was really proud of her performances.”
Kala Matzdorf was third in the girls’ 300 hurdles, with a time of 19:49. Matzdorf also took 10th in the 100 hurdles (19:49). “Kala’s third in the three-hundred hurdles was impressive, because she hasn’t run many hurdles yet this season,” said the coach.
Katie Armbrecht captured fifth in the girls’ triple jump, leaping 29 feet, 3 inches. Jessica Blum was ninth in the event with a jump of 26-9.
Jacie Harms began her final track season as a Pirate and placed fourth in the girls’ 1,600, crossing the line at 6:01.55.
Ryan Stahl placed eighth in the boys’ 300 hurdles, posting a time of 44.82.
The girls’ 4x400 relay team of Matzdorf, Casey Meekins, Saje Brinkmann and Blum was fifth, at 4:57.91. The girls’ 4x400 relay team of Medici, Harms, Kelcy Sellers and Mele LeLievre took fifth, at 4:57.91.
The boys’ 1,600 sprint relay team — Stahl, Jacob Anderson, Jordan Davey and Ryan Hamilton — took fifth, at 4:15.32. A time of 51.23 was good for sixth place in the boys’ 4x100 relay for the team of Stahl, Matt Fisher, Sawyer Smith and Will Laverty.
Besides lauding her medal winners, O’Donnell noted several other performances at the Piedra Vista meet.
“Ryan Hamilton ran a five-minute mile, (seventh at 5:05.03)” she said, “and that’s a good place to start the season. And, I thought Katie Armbrecht, a freshman, did very well; she placed in triple jump; she showed some real potential and hung in there well, after only a week’s practice in the field.”
Friday and Saturday, it’s back to New Mexico for the Pirates, at the Aztec Invitational. And the team roster should be loaded with considerably more muscle for the second event of the season.
“We have the boys from the basketball team back this weekend,” said the coach. “We expect eleven of them out for track this year and there are a number of girls from the basketball program on the team now, as well. They were watching the state tournament last weekend, and they should be back in action this week.”