The Cedaredge men's track team had 27 top-eight placers and scored 140 points to finish second Saturday at the Delta Panther Invitational. In their first meet of the season the Bruins won four golds, four silvers, and five bronze medals.
Cedaredge won the 4x200 relay in 1:33.67, missing the 2009 meet record by one second, and placed third in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays.
Despite losing some top-placing seniors last year, the defending Class 2A champions still have a strong core of athletes that includes 11 seniors, 14 juniors, four sophomores and a dozen freshmen.
"I'm confident that everyone will step up," and fill in the gaps created by the graduating seniors, said senior Isaac Swoffer, who placed in four events at state his junior year. Swoffer and junior Ty Grant finished one and two in the 100-meter dash on Saturday. Swoffer also won the long jump with a leap of 20-03.75 and placed fourth in the high jump.
In his first year competing in the long jump, junior Drew Markley won silver with a mark of 19-02.25. Markley also won silver in the 300m hurdles with a time of 44.48 seconds.
Senior Brendon Klaseen placed second in the 400 and fourth in the 200, and junior Danny Mendoza won bronze in the 300 hurdles (45.09).
Cedaredge returns eight state qualifiers, including Klaseen (400m, 800m, 1600 and 3200 relay teams), Grant (100m, 200m, 400m and 800m relays); Mendoza (110m hurdles, 300m hurdles); Markley (300m hurdles, 3200m relay); and Jordan McMillan (3200m relay), who placed fifth Saturday in the 400.
Xander Purcell is state-qualifying shot putter. On Saturday, Purcell placed third in the shot put and sixth in the discus. Returning state placer Patrick Walker won bronze in the discus with a throw of 135 feet.
Cedaredge's 41-man roster also includes seniors Aaron Good, Chris Warner, Caleb Williams, Vincent Welsh, Gus Sandels and Zach Ketelsen; juniors Blake Gash, Christian Hawk, David Schipmann, Jayce Cormier, Kacey Tsosie, Richard Lopez, Isaac Vader, Victor Hellstrom, Zak Morgan, Danny Mendoza and Andrew Richardson; sophomores Keaton Sheppard, Zach Nold, Wyatt Camp and Sawyer Carey; and freshmen Cameron Signs, Dustin Nation, Josh Deal, Zach McMillan, Tevin Keller, Ryan Imhoff, Joshua Jenkins, Ethan Fish, Grant Moore, Damon Hudson, Damiyen Knight and Cameron Hudson.
The seventh annual Eckert Crane Days, the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado's West Slope, will be March 16-18. Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BCAS) will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9 to 11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.