Sanford's Ty Koenig (center) ran some strong races this past weekend.
Alamosa senior Hunter McDaniel gracefully flies over a hurdle en route to the individual title in both the 300 meter hurdles and the 100 meter hurdles at the Center Invitational this past weekend.
Courier Photos by Eric R. Flores
Courier Sports Editor
CENTER—Before a cold blustery wind swept through the San Luis Valley on Friday afternoon, all the Valley track teams converged on Center’s City Park for the 2013 edition of the Center Invitational. For most of the Valley teams with the exception of Alamosa and Centauri, the meet was the first of the season.
The boys’ team title was clinched by Buena Vista. The Demons won eight individual titles to help them score 134 points. Alamosa finished in second place with three individual wins, including 24 points in the pole vault, to help score 82 team points. Crested Butte took third with 51 points while Sanford and Centauri rounded out the top five with 46 and 41 points, respectively.
Custer County (39 points), Antonito (25), Cotopaxi (24), Del Norte (22) and South Park (19) finished sixth-tenth while Center (17), Sangre de Cristo (16), Monte Vista (10), Moffat (8), Cripple Creek (6), Primero (4), Creede (4) and John Mall (3) rounded out the scorers.
On the girls’ side, Centauri only won two events but their depth was enough to get them the team victory as they scored 84 team points. Second place went to Crested Butte, who scored 75 points. They got 20 points by winning the middle distance events. Buena Vista took third place with 70 points while Alamosa capitalized on wins in the 2-mile, the 4x800 meter relay and the 800 sprint medley to capture fourth place with 66 points. Sangre de Cristo rounded out the top five with 43 points. Thirty of those points came from event victories including the 100 and 200 meter dashes and the high jump.
Sixth place went to Custer County with 34, Monte Vista took seventh with 28, South Park finished eighth with 27 while Sanford took ninth with 26 and Sargent took tenth with 18.
Moffat (16 points), Del Norte (14), Cripple Creek (14), Cotopaxi (14), Center (12) and Centennial (10) rounded out the scorers.
Alamosa seniors Hunter McDaniel and Samuel Bilderbeck were responsible for getting the three individual event titles on the day as McDaniel hurdled his way to both the 110 high hurdles and the 300 hurdles. His time of 16.39 in the 110s was almost two seconds faster than second place and more than three seconds faster than third place, Alamosa junior Roman Romo (19.47). In the 300s, McDaniel finished in 43.85.
Bilderbeck led a three-man contingent in the pole vault as the only participants in the event were Mean Moose athletes. Bilderbeck, last year’s pole vault champion, easily won the competition as he set a new personal record by clearing 13 feet, 3 inches. He was close to clearing 13 feet, 9 inches on his first attempt but he clipped the cross bar with his knee and did not regain his composure to close to clearing it again. Junior Giovanni Mejia and sophomore Aaron Martinez were the other Moose in the event as they cleared 8 feet and 7 feet, 3 inches, respectively. When all was said and done, Alamosa accumulated 24 team points.
Bilderbeck took second place in the high jump after he and Sanford freshman Chance Canty both cleared 5 feet, 10 inches but missed all three attempts at the next height. Since Canty needed fewer attempts to clear the winning height, he was awarded the ten points.
Alamosa had good showing from their 800-meter and 1,600 meter relay teams as both finished in second place for eight points each with times of 1:38.56 and 3:53.07, respectively.
Aside from Canty’s win in the high jump, he also had a strong race in the 800 meter dash as he finished in second place with a time of 2:19.53 for eight points. Freshman Austin Chavez and senior Ty Koenig also made contributions to the Indians' 48 points as they combined for 12 points in the 400 meter dash. Chavez finished in second place, just 9-hundredths of a second behind the winner, in 56.04. Koenig, who had just finished running the mile where he finished fourth in 5:14.83, took fourth again as he finished in 58.05.
Dylan Sowards and Garrett Braiden led the Falcons to their fifth place finish as they combined for ten team points by finishing 3-4 in the 800 meter dash. Sowards nipped his teammate as the two had times of 2:18.52 and 2:18.98, respectively.
Chris Romero scored the Antonito’s first points of the meet and they were huge as he ended up winning the 100 meter dash in 12.05 while Sanford’s Dustin Faucette finished third with a time of 12.14.
The Del Norte distance squad scored all of their team points as their 4x800 meter relay team finished second (9:19.76) while John Haefeli finished third (5:14.77) in the 1,600-meter run and Sumner Erhard took second (11:09.72) in the 3,200 meter run.
The Center Vikings got all their points off relays as their 4x400 and 4x800 meter relays took third (3:55.39 and 9:36.38, respectively), their 4x100 meter relay took fourth (49.98) and their 4x200 relay took sixth (1:41.51).
Shadron Wenta had a strong day for the Monte Vista Pirates. He had a strong showing at the triple jump pit by finishing third as he jumped 35 feet, 11 inches.
Moffat’s Gallian Roberts took second in the long jump as he jumped 18 feet, 8.5 inches while Creede’s Lance Munoz scored some points for the Miners by taking fourth in the high jump by clearing 5 feet, 4 inches.
Marissa Storey of Sangre de Cristo made sprinting look easy when she captured both the 100 and 200 meter dash titles with respective times of 12.96 and 27.17.
Alamosa freshman Emily Sowards was the first Valley athlete to finish in the 400 meter dash when she captured third place with a time of 1:08.06.
Sangre de Cristo senior Kathryn New had too much stored up for the end, however she did take second place in the 800 meter run as she crossed the line second in 2:44.67, more than four seconds ahead of Centauri’s Alisha Sorensen, who took third.
Alamosa senior Karlee Smith and junior Brianna Apodoca led the Valley in the mile and two-mile races as they were the first Valley runners in each race to cross the line. Smith took second in the 1,600 meter dash by finishing in 6:21.13. Apodoca easily won the 3,200 meter run in 12:58.96.
In both those races, the Centauri Falcons nabbed 20 points. Saydi Sowards took third place in the mile (6:30.73) while Marissa Sorensen took fifth (6:37.24). Caitlin Babcock took second (14:30.55) in the two-mile while Indica Mestas took fourth (15:18.13).
Sanford’s duo of Kelli and Jaycee Canty led the Valley in the hurdling events. Kelli took second place in the 100 hurdles when she crossed the line in 17.63 while Jaycee took second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 52.93.
The Falcons scored a lot of points in the relays. They won the 4x100 relay (53.85), took second in the 4x200 relay (1:52.98) and the 800 sprint medley (2:05.31) while taking third in the 4x800 meter relay (11:44.40).
Alamosa did equally as good as they won the 800 sprint medley (2:03.80) and the 4x800 meter relay (11:17.13) while taking second in the 4x400 (4:46.61), third in the 4x100 (57.28) and fourth in the 4x200 (1:55.98).
New easily won the high jump by clearing 5 feet, 2 inches while Sargent’s Kelci VanTreese took second with 4 feet, 8 inches. VanTreese had a strong long jump, however, she fell just one inch short of the event title as took second with a leap of 15 feet, 7 inches.
Centauri’s Leah Aziz had a strong day in the shot put, which she easily won. She had a throw of 33 feet 4.25 inches, while second place went to Moffat’s Megan Black with a distance of 31 feet, 3.25 inches.
Monte Vista’s Kirsten Salazar threw exactly a foot further than her completion to capture the discus title. She threw 92 feet, 1 inch while Black, who took second, had a throw of 91 feet, 1 inch.