Hosting the Terry Alley Invitational at Golden Peaks Stadium last week, the Pagosa Pirates track team stepped up their game.
The meet, Coach Scott White said, was supposed to be small, around seven or so teams. However, throughout last week, teams kept on signing up until a total of 15 teams were on the roster.
Out of those 15 teams, it was the Pirate boys who rose to the top, beating even their rival Bayfield.
“They’ve been second all year,” White said, and it was Bayfield that, until last weekend, took the top spot. According to White, this was largely due to Bayfield having a larger team and being able to compete in more events. Such was not the case, though, when the Wolverines entered Pirate turf.
Part of the reason was the boys’ relays. The Pirates took first in the 4x200, 4x400 and the 4x800.
In the 4x800, the boys dropped 13 seconds for a time of 8 minutes, 9.33 seconds, and this was without senior leader Carlos Brinkmann and two freshman.
Brinkmann competed in a meet in Grand Junction to drop time off his 1,600 meter in an effort to become more competitive at state. While Brinkmann took ninth in the event, he also dropped 10 seconds for a time of 4.40.24.
“It feels good as a coach,” White said of watching the athletes go from doubting themselves to believing in themselves. “They’re starting to drop time like crazy.”
With the new time, White said the relay will be competitive at state.
In the 4x400, the boys took 10 seconds off, for a winning time of 3.35.94.
“This was the last race, and it was close,” White said. The Bayfield purple was close behind the whole way and, in the end, the Pirates left the Wolverines behind.
The 4x200 stayed consistent and was quick enough to take first with a 1.35.08.
Sophomore Colton Polezynski came through once again in the open 800.
“I’ve never known a kid so competitive. He just hates to lose,” White said.
Polezynski, who only recently began to run the 800, took first place with a time of 2.03.28. Freshman Tate Drane, though, was right at his heels, taking second in the event with a 2.03.9. Both times, White said, are amazing to see coming from lower classmen.
Junior Daniel Sloan took fourth place in the 400 with a 53.23. “Daniel Sloan is such a competitor,” White said. “Not only does he say, ‘I’m going to beat you,’ but, ‘I’m going to beat you the best I can.’”
Sophomore Jeremy Hortsman took second in the 100-meter dash with a 11.90.
Sophomore Tyler Greenly placed third in both the 1,600 meter run, 5.20.28, and the 3,200, at 11.54.97.
In field events, sophomore Creede Wylie took third place in discus with a throw of 124 feet and two inches.
Sloan took second place in high jump with a 5-6.
Junior Dean Hampton took third place in triple jump with a 40-1.
The Pirate girls ended the day in third place. Part of the reason for the placing is that junior Gabby Pajak had to sit out due to injury. Pajak, White said, along with junior Toni Stoll, usually bring in close to 40 points. Sophomore Dana Danielson also was out. Without Danielson or Pajak, the ladies could only compete in one relay.
Stoll, once again, placed in first or second in her events. In 100 hurdles, Stoll took first with a 17.05. She also took first in the 300 hurdles with a 48.35. This breaks a Golden Peaks record that was set nearly a decade ago, in 2004. Stoll took another first in triple jump with a leap of 37-3.25, beating her own record and a Golden Peaks record.
Stoll also placed second in long jump with a 16-1.25.
Another record breaker was sophomore Taylor Strohecker, who took first place in the high jump and broke the school record with a personal best jump of 5-4.
Senior Kelsy Sellers took third in 400 meters with a 1.04.80.
Senior Katie Armbrecht took third in discus with a 111-4.
“This is the most gratifying team I’ve coached,” White said, “They are so small in number and so willing to grow and challenge each other. It’s so cool to see such a small boys team beat Bayfield.”
White would like to thank all the administration and parent volunteers, “We hosted a meet we can be one-hundred percent proud of,” White said.
Next week is the Intermountain League regionals, held in Bayfield. It will be a small meet, only five teams, and one of those is an unknown — Alamosa. White is hopeful the Pirates can once again defeat Bayfield.
Due to an error, last week’s track story was not run. Unfortunately, there is not room to print the entire article in this issue, instead, following is a brief summary of the highlights and top placers of the Abel Velazquez Invitational held in Bayfield on April 28.
Both boys and girls took second place.
Strohecker took first in high jump with a jump of 5 feet and 3 inches jump.
Stoll hit a 36-9 in triple jump, two to three feet farther than anyone else. Pajak placed second with a jump of 35-2.
Pajak took first in long jump with a 16-11.5; Stoll was a close second with a 16-1.
Armbrecht continued the Pirates’ strong showing in field events with a first place throw in shot put at 34-1 and a third place throw in discus with a 103-2.
The girls’ medley came together to take first place with a time of 1.57.
Stoll took first place in the 300 hurdles with a swift time of 48.92.
Pajak took first in the 100 meter hurdles with a 16.33.
Nisa Touchon gave the Pirates another first place, this time in the 3,200, with a time of 16.21.67.
Polezynski took first in the 800 meters with a 2.04.13, and Drane took second with a 2.09.67.
Brinkmann continued to dominate the mile run, taking first with a 4.50.13.
Greenly took second place in the 3200 at the meet with a time of 11.48.68, and sophomore Zach Ellis took third with a 12.27.74. Junior Omar Zumudio took fourth with a 12.57.93.
The boys’ relays took first in the 4x200 with a 1.35.12 and first in the 4x800 with a 9.32.21.
In the 300 hurdles, Pirates took third, fourth and fifth place, all freshman. David McRee took third with a 50.09; Connor Burkesmith took fourth with a 51.02; and Skylar Goldberg took fifth with a 52.95.
In the 200 meters, junior Garek Erskine took second with a 24.82.
In field events, Sloan placed second in high jump with a 5-8. In triple jump, Hampton took third with a 38-4.5, with fellow Pirate Erskine placing fourth with a 37-10.5