Fall prep sports season is in the air. Summer camps are underway, and practices can officially begin in a mere 19 days. And after years of negotiating the rough and uneven surfaces of their eight-lane track, Hotchkiss High School athletes now have a smooth rubberized surface to train on and to sink their cleats into.
Several questions were asked of Cedaredge track and Coach of the Year recipient, Kirby Henderson. The 2017 track season was most successful for the boys team who finished as the Class 2A state champions.
This year's track and field athletes from Delta County have proven themselves beyond a doubt. Many have achieved goals set prior to commencing their track season.
The Eagles seniors finished their careers undefeated at state.
After claiming their fourth consecutive 2A state track title last Saturday in dominating fashion, the six seniors from Paonia basked in the bright evening sunshine at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood and reveled in the celebration.
The track teams from Cedaredge High School put all the pieces together at just the right time.
The Bruins built off of the momentum from their last meet at home two weeks ago and the Cedaredge boys rallied to win the 2A state championship last weekend at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.
For the fourth year in a row, the Paonia girls' track team dominated the 2A competition at the state meet at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood and brought home another team title.
The competition was never really in doubt as the Eagles girls led after the first event and had the title locked up after the second day of the meet.
The track teams from Hotchkiss and Delta may not have won team titles at the state meet last weekend in Lakewood, but the Bulldogs and Panthers got several fine individual performances and represented their schools proudly.
The three teams representing Delta County at Thursday's 2A state track meet in Lakewood, and 4A Delta High School, went through their final paces and prepared to peak at the right time during last Saturday's track meet at Cedaredge High School.
The annual all-division league meets for 1A/2A WSL, 3A WSL, 4A WSL and 5A track teams took place at Stocker Stadium on Friday and Saturday of last week. Both boys' and girls' teams participated in the two-day event.
Cedaredge sent a handful of athletes to the Coal Ridge Invitational on Friday and then followed up with a trip to Gunnison on Saturday for a weekend of track competition. Hotchkiss' Bulldogs were in New Castle with their full team but did not attend Saturday's combined college/high school meet in Gunnison on Saturday.
Skylyn Webb of Delta was chosen as an outstanding student in psychology by the faculty and department staff at Fort Lewis College. All outstanding students will be recognized Friday, April 29, at an on-campus ceremony.
With the exception of Gunnison High School's boys' team, the 16-team field was basically no match for Class 2A Paonia and Cedaredge on the track.
Paonia's girls won their division with 158 points with Cedaredge placing second with 109 points. The boys' division was won by Gunnison (154) with Cedaredge (134.5) second and Paonia (71) third.
Delta's Panthers participated in last week's Phil Wertman Invitational at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. The Panthers' girls finished with 81 points and a fifth place. Delta's boys finished eighth with 38 points.
Paonia's girls won another track meet with a dominant performance in Edwards at the Battle Mountain Husky Invitational.
The Eagles scored 138 points to Battle Mountain's 123 points. Cedaredge was third with 108 points and Delta was 10th in the 15-team field with 28 points.
Paonia High School's track teams enjoyed plenty of success this past weekend, in spite of some of Mother Nature's intervention. A brief rainstorm, accompanied by a dose of lightning, suspended activities at the Frank Woodburn Invitational for a short time.
Delta's Panthers competed in last Saturday's Frank Woodburn Invitational at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. Lily Lockhart and Emily Baier paced Delta's girls to seventh place and 54 points. Lockhart won the discus and was second in shot put while Baier recorded a win in triple jump.
Senior Katy Parsons gave the Hotchkiss Bulldogs their only first-place finish at last Saturday's Frank Woodburn Invitational. Parsons won the tough 800m run against some good competiton and in doing so posted Class 2A's top time at 2:27.51. Palisade's Greta Van Calcar's time was 2:28.96.
A jump of 18-1 in long jump does wonders for an athlete's mindset. Cedaredge senior Kenzie Henderson was all smiles on Saturday after recording the personal best jump at the Frank Woodburn Invitational. Henderson, and her Bruins teammates, finished last weekend's track meet with 79 points and placed third in the team race.
Delta County track teams fared well at last weekend's Cedaredge Invitational track meet. Paonia's girls won the team title in their division with 168 points on the strength of five first-place finishes. The Eagles' Brianna Van Vleet set a new long jump record for the meet in one of Paonia's wins.
The high school track teams from Delta County are just in the second week of competition but already are showing signs that a great running season is in store for all.
At a snowy and windy event at Hotchkiss High School last Saturday, 16 different boys' teams and 15 different girls' teams from all around the Western Slope competed for early season bragging rights.
Lily Lockhart was excited to participate in last Saturday's discus competition in Delta. Lockhart dominated competition last year in both shot put and discus and earned a trip to state last year.
Hotchkiss' boys earned 37 points at last weekend's Delta Invitational and placed sixth overall.
There weren't any first-place finishes for Hotchkiss, but Zack Allen competed for a title in high jump before finishing second on misses.
Paonia's girls put together a solid effort last Saturday to score 106 points and a third-place finish at the Delta Invitational meet. Freshman Alexandra Eaton and senior Marisa Edmondson had first-place finishes for the Eagles.
A first-place finish for Hotchkiss' 800-meter medley relay team helped the Bulldogs capture seventh place with 43.5 points in the girls' team race. The winning time for Hotchkiss was 1:58.57.
The Cedaredge boys' track team fared well at last Saturday's Delta Invitational track and field meet. The Bruins finished first in eight of 12 events with 131.5 points to place third in the 10-team meet.
A trio of third-place finishes highlighted Paonia's boys' day at last Saturday's Delta Invitational meet.
Warren Minerich posted two of those third-place scores in discus and shot put competitions.
Jason Kaighn was a bright spot for Delta's boys last Saturday at the Delta Invitational track and field meet. Kaighn, a junior at DHS, won the 800-meter run by almost seven seconds over Telluride's Jaden Evans. Kaighn's win was the lone first-place finish for Delta on Saturday.
Senior Kenzie Henderson had a record jump in long jump early Saturday morning at the Delta Invitational track and field meet. The Cedaredge senior sailed 17-08.5 and established a new Delta Invitational mark in girls' long jump. Her nearest competitor, Brianna Van Vleet from Paonia, recorded a distance of 16-09.75.
The prep baseball, track and tennis seasons are just getting started. Whether or not the weather cooperates, the spring sports season in Delta County is underway.
Three-time state champion Ashley Van Vleet signed a Letter of Intent to run track at Idaho State University last Thursday in the commons at Paonia High School.
Also a standout volleyball and basketball player, Van Vleet went with her heart and decided to compete in track at the next level.
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