What does it take to be a top college athlete? Many Delta High School faculty members and family and friends, in Delta know the answer to that question.
Paonia High School alumna Ashley Vanvleet, a sophomore member of the Idaho State University Bengals track team, won her first title of the season. Vanvleet scored 3,413 points to win the pentathlon at the Snake River Open, held Jan. 12 and 13 in Pocatello, Idaho.
Former Delta High School student athlete Skylyn Webb competes on the University of Colorado Colorado Springs women's indoor track and field team. Webb recently earned NCAA Division ll provisional qualifying marks.
Delta High School track coach Matt Kevan remains highly excited about this past track season. His Panthers did not win a track title but showed steady growth throughout the season.
The Hotchkiss girls finished seventh overall at the CHSAA 2A state track meet. Of their 35 total points, Kaiya Firor has her name on all of them.
If seeding was any indication, the Paonia girls track team had a shot at winning its fifth state track title by under 10 points. Instead, it dominated, Lady Eagles style, outscoring its closest competitors by 36 points to win the Class 2A state title.
The Cedaredge boys won their second consecutive 2A team title with 97 points, a full 34 points ahead of runner-up Wiggins. Last year's seniors, including Shane Gates and Bryce Klaseen, set the tone for this year's team, said head coach Kirby Henderson.
With chances for more points, and a higher place finish, Delta High School's track teams scratched seven events in order to reach home in time to attend graduation ceremonies Sunday afternoon.
Delta's women scored 10 points during Saturday's competition and placed 23rd in a field of 38 teams.
At the 2017 Class 2A State Track and Field Meet, Hotchkiss senior Zack Allen topped off a four-year career in the high jump with a silver medal after clearing the bar at 6 feet, 2 inches. Allen placed eighth as a sophomore and seventh as a junior.
While some athletes were hoping for one last chance to hit that state-qualifying height, distance or time last Saturday at the Cedaredge Bruin Invitational track meet, Brian Mitchem's girls team, for the most part, took it easy. Their relay teams are already sitting comfortably in top-18 rankings and were mostly working on handoffs.
Cedaredge's track team culminated a successful regular season with 16 boys and 13 girls qualified to attend this week's state track meet in Denver.
Last weekend's Bruin Invitational was a runaway win for Montrose's boys (219) with Cedaredge finishing second with 136 points.
Competition for final spots in the field of 18 was keen around the state last weekend with athletes looking to make one last bid to make it to state.
Montrose's girls claimed the team title in Cedaredge with 181 points while the Bruins finished fourth with 81 points.
This week two of Paonia's throwers are making their second and final trip to state. Seniors Warren Minerich and Blake Benson are both ranked in the top five in their respective event -- Minerich in shot put and Benson in discus.
Since they started throwing back in middle school, qualifying for state their senior year has been their goal all along.
Ever since the Colorado High School Activities Association did away with regional meets and began qualifying athletes for state track and field based on the top 18 times, heights and distances, the Cedaredge Bruin Invitational has marked the last chance to qualify for state.
The 4x800m team of Zack Allen, Gabe Rodriguez, Myles Zouette and Sam Rodriguez ran for a season-best time of 8 minutes, 33.20 seconds to win the event. The time moved the team up from fifth to third place in state top-18 rankings, behind Cedaredge and Burlington.
With some divisions showing some late movement in top 18 contestants for this year's state track meet in Lakewood, the actual list of participants may change as the week progresses.
Delta women's track team has battle all season long with some pleasant results.
The 12 boys teams participating in last week's 1A/2A league meet in Grand Junction were dominated by Cedaredge's Bruins. Cedaredge scored 170 points to outdistance the nearest competition by 89 points.
The four runners on a relay team can all be the fastest on the track, but a single bad handoff can mean the difference between silver and gold.
The Delta boys 4x100m relay team put speed and good handoffs together to win the 3A Western Slope League title Saturday at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
A number of personal best performances helped Delta's Panthers' track team finish third at last week's 3A WSL meet. Delta scored 93 points to finish third behind Coal Ridge (142) and MoffatCounty (98).
As Paonia's top distance runner, junior Caden Meilner can run all out for more than three and a half miles in a single day. You might say he's driven.
The Hotchkiss girls 800-meter sprint medley relay team posted its season-best time of 1 minute, 54.46 seconds to win silver at the 2A/3A Western Slope League track meet. Hotchkiss also took silver in the 4x100 relay with a time of 51.52.
The Hotchkiss boys scored 45 points to place eighth at the 1A/2A Western Slope League meet, held Friday and Saturday at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
In his first year in the 800-meter run, junior Sam Rodriguez took more than 10 seconds off of his season-best time to win bronze.
On his final throw in district shot put competition Saturday, Darrin Young hit a mark of 46 feet, 7.5 inches to win the 2A/1A WSL district title. "It was a good throw," said Young, a soft-spoken junior.
The Paonia girls track team won eight events and were runners up in six more events to win the 2A/1A Western Slope district track and field meet, held Friday and Saturday at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
Sophia Anderson won the district title in the triple jump with a mark of 36 feet, 9 inches.
There were 11 Class 3A schools represented at last week's 3A WSL track meet held at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. Coal Ridge ran away with the team title after scoring 150 points. Delta High School's girls finished with 104 points to place second.
The Hotchkiss boys earned three silver medals at last Friday's Montrose Invitational track and field meet.
Sam Rodriguez placed second in the 1600-meter run with a new personal-best time of 4 minutes, 45.80 seconds.
Cedaredge attended the Montrose Invitational track meet last Friday. The Bruins' boys scored 91.5 points and recorded three first place finishes on their way to a second place finish.
Delta's boys had several top three finishes, which helped the Panthers score 58 points, and place fifth, at last Friday's Montrose Invitational.
For the girls, another superb day from Lily Lockhart, Kaley St. Peter and Emily Baier helped the Panthers score 87 points and place second in the team race.
With high temperatures in the mid-40s, last Friday's annual Montrose Invitational wasn't the best meet for setting new speeds, distances and heights, but it didn't slow Paonia senior Sophia Anderson.
Anderson won both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, resetting her personal best marks in both events.
A large field meant keen competition for Cedaredge's track teams at Coal Ridge last week. The Bruins boys scored 98 points to finish second in the 19-team field while the girls finished seventh with 49 points in a 17-team field.
At Friday's annual Coal Ridge Invitational track and field meet at New Castle, sophomore Kaiya Firor won the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.85 seconds. Firor also took more than two seconds off of her prior best time to win the 300m hurdles event in 48.16 seconds.
In track and field competition, a fraction of a second or an inch can mean the difference between a win and a loss. To qualify for the Colorado High School Activities Association's state track meet, athletes must be ranked in the top 18 in the state in their respective class.
At Saturday's Western State Colorado University -- Gunnison High School Combined Invitational track meet Saturday, the Paonia girls track team set 10 season-best marks. In the process the four-time defending state 2A champions scored 134 points to win the 13-team event. Class 2A Buena Vista scored 130 points to finish second, and 3A Gunnison placed third with 111 points.
Delta High Schools track teams competed against some 5A to 3A schools at last week's Phil Wertman track meet at Stocker Stadium. The boys team finished sixth in a tough 12-team field. Delta's girls had a good day as well against the big schools and scored 57 points for a seventh-place finish.
At Saturday's 20-team Demon Invitational track and field meet in Glenwood Springs the Paonia girls swept the long jump event, with senior Brianna Van Vleet winning gold with a mark of 17 feet, 11.75 inches. The mark also broke the meet record of 16-10.5 set by a Glenwood Springs athlete in 1985 -- the first year the Demon Invitational was held.
The Cedaredge boys track team placed fourth in a field of 20 teams at the Demon Invitational in Glenwood Springs, and Cedaredge's girls finished 15th, out of 21 teams, with 15 points.
Returning state placers Blake Benson and Warren Minerich continue to be consistent point-earners for the Paonia boys track team.
At Saturday's 37th annual Demon Invitational at Glenwood Springs Saturday, Minerich placed fourth in the shot put with a throw of 44 feet, 11 inches.
Last weekend's Demon Invitational was a challenge for the Panthers. There were 21 teams in the girls division and 20 in the boys.
Delta's girls finished eighth with 34 points and the boys scored 22 points to place 11th.
Despite missing its junior teammates due to state testing, the Paonia girls track team scored 111 points to win the 15-team Frank Woodburn Track Meet in Grand Junction Saturday.
Senior Sophia Anderson won two individual events. Her winning time of 26 seconds flat in the 200-meter dash broke the 2015 school record of 26.14 set by Marisa Edmondson.
Cedaredge's girls scored 101 points in Parachute and placed third behind Delta and Grand Valley on April 4.
The Bruins scored 35 points Saturday (April 8) to place ninth in the 15-team field in the Frank Woodburn at Stocker Stadium.
At last Wednesday's Grand Valley Cardinal Open track meet in Parachute, the Paonia boys scored 55.5 points to place fifth.
Junior Caden Meilner won silver in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:55.81 seconds, and placed fifth in the 800m run with a time of 2:18.19.
The throwers were the big point winners for Hotchkiss Saturday at the Eagle Valley Invitational meet.
Junior Darrin Young had the winning throw of 44 feet, 8 inches in the shot put, and added almost 20 feet to his prior personal best for a winning throw of 126 feet, 6 inches.
Delta's girls track team was the class of the field last week in Parachute. The Panthers scored 120 points to capture the team title in an 11-team field.
Delta's 4x100, 4x200 and the 4x800 relay teams earned first place finishes in an 11-team field last week in Parachute at the Cardinal Open. Beau Byers duplicated the three gold medal performances by the relay teams with a trio of victories in his specialties, 110 high hurdles, 300 hurdles and triple jump.
Cedaredge's 4x200 relay team has the boys holding the edge in most races they run in. The team of Isaac Swoffer, Drew Markley, Brendon Klaseen and Ty Grant are unbeaten so far in the three meets they have competed in.
Kirby Henderson's boys track team had most everything going the right direction last Saturday as the Bruins scored 148 points to win their own Cedaredge Invitational track meet.
There were 17 teams entered and all four Delta County track teams finished in the top 10.
Lily Lockhart continues to be in the limelight as she dominated in the shot put and discus events last weekend in Cedaredge. Lockhart chucked the shot put 43'2.25" to break Delta's Bryanna Music's old mark of 42'1" set back in 2014.
Last week's Cedaredge Invitational track meet was a successful one for the Delta Panthers. The boys teams scored 112 points to place second and Cedaredge was first with 148 points.
The Paonia girls scored 81 points to tie with Coal Ridge for first place at the annual Cedaredge Invitational.
The girls won four individual events.
Cedaredge's girls scored 45 points to place 11th at last week's Cedaredge Invitational. Coal Ridge and Paonia scored 81 points each to share the team title on Saturday. Meeker was third (77) and Delta fourth (75) in the 17-team field.
The Hotchkiss girls scored 34 points at Cedaredge. Hotchkiss placed in four relays, with Kaiya Firor, Jasmine Gaub, Fatima Rodriguez and Jordan Tamayo earning silver in the 800-meter sprint medley with a time of 1:57.61.
Cedaredge's Ty Grant and Drew Markley were first place winners at last Saturday's Hotchkiss Invitational track meet.
Junior Ty Grant crossed the finish line with a time of 23.47 to win the 200m dash last Saturday helping the Bruins place second in a field of 17 teams.
The Paonia boys scored 45 points to finish sixth out of 17 teams Saturday at the annual Hotchkiss Invitational track and field meet. The meet was held at Delta High School.
The Hotchkiss boys scored 49 points to finish fifth at the annual Hotchkiss Invitational track and field meet.
Due to ongoing upgrades to their home track, the Bulldogs held their meet at Delta.
Competition was keen on Saturday as 16 teams battled for top honors at the Hotchkiss Invitational track meet in Delta.
The Bruin girls did not have a first place finish and used second place points from Emily Tullis (100 meter hurdles - 18.0) and Katie Hyke (shot put - 35' 11") to score 51 points to finish fifth in last weekend's Hotchkiss Invitational track meet.
Track fortunes for Delta High School's girls track team seem to have turned around in the early going of the 2017 season.
The Panthers have placed high in final standings in the first two weeks with a third place finish this past weekend after scoring 71 points.
Hotchkiss sophomore Kaiya Firor's season is off to a good start. At the March 18 Delta Invitational Firor set a new personal best height of 4 feet, 8 inches.
There were 17 boys track teams that participated in last weekend's Hotchkiss Invitational track meet hosted by Delta High School. The Hotchkiss facility, following repairs, is expected to be ready for use sometime this summer.
The Paonia girls won three events and scored 88 points to finish second at the Hotchkiss Invitational. Montrose won the meet with 146 points.
In his first meet of the season, Hotchkiss senior Zack Allen raised the bar. Last Saturday, Allen opened the track and field season with a state-qualifying high jump of 6 feet, 4 inches to win the Delta Panther Invitational. Allen, a senior and two-time state placer, was one of three to clear the bar at 5-10, but was the only remaining competitor after clearing 6 feet.
The Hotchkiss girls 800-meter sprint medley team had a golden start to the track season Saturday at the Delta Panther Invitational. Jordan Tamayo, Kaiya Firor, Jasmine Gaub and Fatima Rodriquez earned their first gold medal of the season with a time of 1 minute, 57.45 seconds.
Delta has struggled in recent years to qualify athletes for state. Last season, as one of the smallest schools in Class 4A, the Panthers qualified a total of three athletes for state.
Lily Lockhart's track and field season is off to a good start. At Saturday's Delta Panther Invitational Lockhart handily won the shot put and discus.
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.
The Cedaredge girls scored 56 points to place fifth Saturday at the Delta Panther Invitational.
Freshman Brie McGovern placed fourth in the 400m dash, and sophomore Emily Tullis placed third in the 100-meter hurdles and was fifth in the 300 hurdles.
The Paonia girls are a perennial powerhouse in both the track and field events. The Eagles will seek their fifth consecutive state team title this May.
A short note submitted by Merle Lynch of Cedaredge brought forth news of Paonia's Ashley Van Vleet's involvement with track at Idaho State University.
Paonia's Ashley Van Vleet wasted no time in her continued winning streak on the track.
Paonia long-jumper Brianna Van Vleet has qualified for national competition in the U.S.A. Track & Field Junior Olympics.
Van Vleet, the daughter of David and Tracy Van Vleet, is a state record-holder in the long jump.
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