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Track teams battle weather

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Photo by Eric Goold Hotchkiss’ relay team competes in the outside lane of the 1600m relay during a snow flurry in Hotchkiss last Saturday. The two Hotchkiss runners made a successful baton exchange. Winter-like conditions plagued many participants competing in the meet. Montrose won both the boys’ and girls’ title at the day-long meet.
Photo by Eric Goold Paonia’s Tim Helmer leads a runner from Ouray during competition of the boys’ 3200m run at last Saturday’s Hotchkiss Invitational.

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.

Montrose won both the boys' and girls' team titles after the Indians' boys' team posted 154 points and the girls put up 115.5 points.

Locally, on the boys' side of the action, Delta finished fourth (74), Hotchkiss was fifth (68), Cedaredge was sixth (61) and Paonia finished seventh with a total of 49 points.

Delta was paced by a third-place finish in the 1,600 relay. The Panthers finished fourth in the 800 medley relay and third in the 400 relay.

Kory Mills placed second in the discus for Delta with a throw of 136 feet, 7 inches. Mills also took third in the shot put with his heave of 43 feet, 7 inches.

Hotchkiss saw several strong performances from the Bulldogs. Sam Rodriguez led the way with his win in the 3,200, claiming first with his time of 11 minutes, 18.58 seconds. Teammate Allen Hinojos was right behind him in third at 11:46.51.

Wade Katzdorn took fourth in the 200 at 25:17.

The team of Katzdorn, Sam Rodriguez, Gabe Rodriguez and Zack Allen won first for Hotchkiss in the 3,200 relay, blazing ahead of the field with a time of 9:05.69. The Bulldogs also claimed third in the 800 relay with a time of 1:39.01.

Allen took second in the high jump and cleared the bar at 6-1.

For Cedaredge, Bryce Klaseen had a stellar day and won the 100 (11.60). Isaac Swoffer was right behind him in second at 11.61. Klaseen also finished third in the 800 (2:10.6) while J.P. Morgan took third in the 300 hurdles for the Bruins with his time of 46.09.

Tyler Grant was second in the 200 (24.66) for Cedaredge.

Paonia saw senior Austin Katzer race to a first-place finish in the 110 hurdles in 17:07 and senior Jeramiah Hillman finished third in both the 100 and 200 runs.

In the field events, the Eagles were led by senior Cameron Van Vleet's first-place performance in the triple jump. Warren Minerich was second in the shot put and Blake Benson finished fourth in the discus.

Meanwhile, local girls' teams were also in the thick of the competition. Paonia finished fourth as a team with 72 points, Delta was fifth (67.5) followed by Cedaredge in ninth (36) and finally by host Hotchkiss. The Bulldogs scored 19 points to finish 11th as a team and finished fourth in the 3,200 relay.

Paonia was led by performances in the field. Ashley Van Vleet won the high jump and Brianna Van Vleet won the long jump for the Eagles. In the shot put, Emily Clawson was third and Taylor Carsten was fourth for Paonia.

Senior Marisa Edmondson continued her strong start to the season and took second in the 100. Teammate Sophia Anderson came in right behind her at third in the event.

Eagles runners won the medley relay and took fourth in the 400 relay.

Delta's Lily Lockhart won first place in both the discus and shot put events, and the Panthers' Emily Nortnik won the triple jump. Beki Atchley was third in the 3,200 for Delta while Panthers runners also finished third in the medley relay.

Cedaredge was led by Emily Tullis (fourth in the 300 hurdles) and Katie Hyke (third in discus, second in shot put). Bruins runners also placed second in the 3,200 relay.

Cedaredge hosts the next track meet for area teams, slated for Saturday at 9 a.m.

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