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Pirate track team brings home honors from Cortez meet

Members of the Pagosa Springs Pirates track and field team have found their stride, and their opponents, quite literally, are on the run.

Both the boys and girls teams placed second at last week’s Cortez meet, beating their Bayfield rivals, and losing only to the larger school, Cortez.

“Things really started to come together,” Coach Scott White said, adding that, this last week, the Pirates showed him what they were capable of.

A highlight at the meet, White said, was provided by freshman Tate Drane who completed the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 13.6 seconds to give him a first place finish.

“After the race, the Cortez coach came running over to me saying, ‘Oh my gosh, this is an amazing race!,’” White said.

Drane was in the lead when a Cortez runner started gaining ground. White yelled to Drane from the sidelines that he was about to be challenged.

“Don’t let him beat you. This is your race,” White said he yelled to Drane. “He refused to lose to the kid, and it was the greatest thing.”

For Drane, it was also a personal best, cutting a total of five seconds off his 800.

Drane was not alone in the first place position.

Junior Garek Erskine, “flat-out won” the 200-meter dash with a 24.36.

Senior Carlos Brinkmann won the 1,600-meter run with 4.59.42, with fellow Pirate sophomore Colton Polezynski close behind in second place with a time of 5.05.59.

The boys 4x800 relay also won first place, with Brinkmann, Polezynski, Drane and freshman David Mcree.

Junior Dean Hampton took first in triple jump with a leap of 40 feet, 5 inches.

“It was first time breaking the forty-foot barrier,” White said, explaining that breaking that barrier moves the jumper up into the league of statewide podium contenders.

Senior Matt Baker took second place in the 400 meters, with a time of 53.66.

Sophomore Tyler Greenly took third place in the 3,200 meters with a time of 12.06.49.

Sophomore Creede Wylie placed second in discus with a throw of 113-02.

The Lady Pirates were not outshown by the boys, and brought their A-game to both the jumping and running events at the meet.

Junior Gabby Pajak took first place in 100-meter hurdles, ranking her second in state, with a time of 16.35. Pajak also placed first in long jump, with a leap of 16-06.75.

Fellow junior Toni Stoll took second in long jump with a distance of 15-10.25. Stoll placed first in triple jump with a leap of 36-00.25. Pajak was second this time, with a distance of 34-05.

The girls 4x800 relay ran to a second place finish.

“I’m really, really excited about our girls’ relays,” White said.

In high jump, sophomore Taylor Strohecker took second, passing the five foot benchmark with a jump of 5-2.

Senior Katie Armbrecht took a third-place finish in shot put with a distance of 33-04.

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