After a three-year absence from competition and a complete overhaul to the facility, the Durango High School track and field program hosted its first meet at the school’s new facility at Tuesday’s Ron Keller Invitational.
“With this great facility the community has blessed us with, I look forward to hosting more meets and growing the Durango track and field brand across the state,” Durango High School Athletic Director Adam Bright said. “Durango can host top-flight, with state qualifying athletes from multiple states moving forward. I am excited to watch us build that here.”
Fittingly, the first two races on the new Durango High School track belonged to the Demons. Kiara Hamlin won the groundbreaking first race, the girls 3,200-meter run, with a time of 13 minutes, 24.91 seconds. Teammate Saylor Stottlemeyer took second place with an effort of 13:30.45. Not to be outdone, Luke Tichi and Logan Moore also finished one-two in the 3,200 boys race for Durango. Tichi’s time of 11:10.44 and Moore’s 11:24.35 set a pace far better than the rest of the field.
“We went out pretty fast,” Tichi said. “It was fun to look up and see some of our classmates in the stands rooting us on for a change.”
Moore added, “We’ve been running on this track, so it didn’t really feel like anything new this time. Coach told us we were the two best runners in the race beforehand, and he was right.”
The two wins were the first of many for DHS on the day. The Durango girls swept the podium in the 200 as Teagan Garand’s 26.28 was a clear winner. Bekah Moenning finished second with 27.57 and Cassandra Blau took third in 27.71.
Garand also came away on top with a 13.05 effort in the 100-meter dash. Cassandra Blau finished third in 13.48 and Lana Razma took sixth with 14.06.
Garand also finished second with a 59.43 run in the 200.
“I’m proud of myself because it was the first time I felt like I ran a really good 100,” Garand said. “There was a little bit more pressure knowing that we were at home and a lot of our friends were in the stands. It kind of pumped me up.”
The Demons also had an impressive showing in the girls 1,600 as Madeleine Burns (5:19.44), Abby Scott (5:19.48) and Maggie Wigton (5:53.94) went first, second and third. Anna Smagacz took fifth and Sarah Smagacz was sixth and Hamlin was seventh in a dominant 1,600 for Durango.
Senior Fort Lewis College commit Jessica Lee won the pole vault with a mark of 9 feet. Her sister Danielle Lee finished third clearing 7-6.
“It was really fun to have everyone supporting me,” Jessica Lee said. “It was nice and quiet over there for pole vaulting, which was enjoyable because it wasn’t distracting. But, it’s nice to be able to compete here and look up and see so many familiar faces.”
Razma won the long jump with a jump of 16-2.75 and came out on top in tyhe triple jump with a mark of 33-5.
The 4x800 team of Burns, Emma Fitzgerald, Moenning and Scott won in 10:56.30.
Moenning added another Demons win in the 800 with a time of 2:23.87 and Fitzgerald took second with 2:25.79.
“Having Emma (Fitzgerald) right next to me the entire time helped a ton,” Moenning said. “I felt good out there. It felt like I was really representing Durango High School.”
The DHS girls’ 4x200 relay team (Tierney Brennan, Sophie Hughes, Jacey Jeep, Kiley Ryan) finished second in 1:58.56. Kathleen Duft’s 49.57 in the 300 hurdles earned her second place. Alex Poulter also finished second for DHS in the shot put and Azalea Santillan took third.
The 4x400 relay team of Brennan, Hughes, Jeep and Carter Reiter took third. Reiter also placed fourth in the pole vault at 4-4.
The boys 4x800 relay team of Aiden Fitzgerald, Coltin Gallegos, Harry Steinberg and Aiden Urban took second place in 8:57.83. Alex Hise and Oliver Haaland finished second and third in the 100 and Camden Garland finished fifth.
The Demons 4x200 team (Benjamin Brandt, Martin Cuntz, Ethan Jack, Logan Zick) finished third in 1:40.86.
David Lee won the high jump for Durango at 5-10. Camden Garland claimed first in pole vault at 12-6 an Dylan Baken was second at 11-6. Martin Cuntz finished third in the long jump with a leap of 19-7.
BayfieldBayfield’s Amber Johnson broke the BHS school record for the third time this season, as she won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.97 seconds. Fellow Wolverine Jordan Lanning was right behind with a second-place time of 16.01. The BHS sprinters beat the rest of the pack by over 2 seconds.
Johnson also won the 300 hurdles in 48.77 and the 400 meter dash with 59.16. She finished second in the 100 with a personal best time of 13.12. The senior is now ranked second in the state in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
“I’ve been working so hard on my form and doing everything I can to really build that speed,” Johnson said. “I was kind of surprised that I ran the time I did in the 100 hurdles, but it was just a good race out there for me.”
Lanning also won the high jump with a leap of 5-2 and finished second in the triple jump at 32-7.50.
The 4x100 relay team (Claire Belmear, Emma Caldelaria, Tymbree Florian, Maddi Foutz) took first place with a time of 54.30. The 4x400 team (Belmear, Foutz, Isis Gonzales, Bridget Goddard) took first in 4:21.32. The 800 sprint medley relay team of Belmear, Florian, Foutz and Goddard took second.
Foutz was runner-up in pole vault (9-0) and Tessa Heydinger took fourth. Florian finished third in the long jump. Tiarra Christensen, Mikayla Barnes and Courtney Bayles finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively in the shot put. Barnes (101-1) and Christensen (96-2) took second and third in the discus throw.
The BHS boys broke a 37-year-old record Tuesday. The 4x400 team of Carl Heide, Sloan Mazur, Gus Roberts and Cody Speece ran in 3:30.75 which was the fastest at Bayfield since 1980.
Heide came away with a number of other wins as well. He was also part of the winning 4x100 relay team and won the 110 (16.36) and 300 hurdles. Dax Snooks was second in the 110 hurdles in 17.08 and third in the high jump at 5-6.
Brian Mashak took first in the 100-meter dash in 11.33 and pulled away from the pack to lead the Wolverines’ 4x100 team (Heide, Dylan Hilliker, Wyatt Killinen, Mashak) to victory.
“We’ve got a lot of athletes on this team and we just push each other so hard,” Mashak said. “It’s pretty nice to compete here. They did a great job on the track.”
Ryan Phelps took first in the discus throw, edging teammate Sam Westbrook. The two are among the best throwers in all of Class 3A. Westbrook got him back in the shot put with a winning throw of 47-3.25 as Phelps took second with 45-6.50 and Killinen finished third with 43-5.
“Honestly, it’s just huge to have someone at every meet who you know will give you great competition,” Phelps said of his teammate. “We push each other both in practice and in meets, so it’s been nice to see us improving as much as we have.”
Bayfield’s 4x200 team of Briant Cuellar, Ethan Tate, Jesse Westbrook and Josh Westbrook took second with a time of 1:39.01.
IgnacioThe Bobcats were led by a fourth-place high jump finish of 4-4 by Kiana Valdez. Lea Monroe also had a fourth-place finish for Ignacio with a 7-foot clear in the pole vault.
Jaylynn Herrera had a fourth-place finish as well in the long jump with a leap of 14-1.50. Rachael Cooper finished ninth (11-7). Cooper also finished ninth in the 300 hurdles in 57.80 and 12th in the 100 hurdles (20.59).
Mitchell Neil was 36th and Bryan Gram finished 40th in the 100.