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Area track stars hear the gun at Mancos Early Bird meet

Durango junior William Knight finished second in the discus and shot put at the Mancos Early Bird meet last weekend. His discus throw should qualify him for state. Courtesy of Mike Ellis
Durango boys, girls sweep meets

Nearly two years since the last time high school track and field athletes got the chance to compete, plenty were ready to set new personal records when the 2021 spring season began.

In a meet loaded with talent from Southwest Colorado, the Durango High School boys and girls ran away with the team victories Saturday at the Mancos Early Bird meet. The boys scored 210 points, while Bayfield was second with 69 and Mancos third with 66. Montezuma-Cortez would place fourth with 58 points.

Durango’s girls won with 216 points, while Telluride was second with 60, one point ahead of third-place Bayfield. Montezuma-Cortez was fourth with 47.5, and Sargent was fifth with 38.

The Demons did it without the services of some of their top distance runners who competed at the Brigham Young University high school invitational in Provo, Utah. Paul Knight ran the 3,200-meter run in a personal best time of 9:29.61 to place 14th and the 1,600 in 4:27.93 to place 36th. Damian Frausto finished 21st in the 3,200 in 9:42.48 and 34th in the 1,600 in 4:27.91. Land Lambert also was in Utah and ran the 1,600 in a PR time of 4:35.22 to place 57th. There were more than 90 runners in each event.

“Those three guys have been running all winter and early spring getting ready for this season,” said DHS head coach Johnny Bertrand. “Their hard work is already showing.”

Here’s a closer look at the Mancos Early Bird:

Boys Track and Field

Bertrand was impressed by the performance of some freshmen on the boys side. Charlie Dillman was the 800-meter run with a 20-second personal record in 2 minutes, 15.22 seconds. That beat Montezuma-Cortez’s John Whyte, who was second in 2:23.20.

Freshman Jaxon Fancher also won in the 200 and 400 for DHS. His 200 time was 23.80, which put him in front of teammate Emmet Thompson, who crossed in 24.15, two-hundredths of a second in front of Bayfield’s Landon Kennedy. His 400 time of 54.00 edged teammate Landon Roberts (54.35) and Bayfield’s Zeb Shields (55.98).

Durango’s Nathaniel Ellis, another freshman, also won the 3,200 in 11:37.06 to win by almost a minute in front of Sargent’s Westen Burkhart (12:28.71).

DHS sophomore Branden Marquez claimed first in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. He won the 110 in 19.16 seconds ahead of DHS freshman Micah Zastrocky (20.19), and he edged Dolores sophomore Dylan Rantz (48.30) in the 300. It was the first time Marquez had competed in those events.

The boys 100-meter dash victory went to Bayfield’s Kennedy in 11.65, four-hundredths of a second in front of Durango’s Evan Bastin. Durango’s Tyler Woodworth was third in 11.82, while Fancher was fourth in 11.85 and Ean Goodwin was fifth. Thompson made it a clean sweep for DHS with a sixth-place result in 12.00.

Mancos’ Edgar Hernandez claimed first in the 1,600 in 4:45.88 ahead of Bayfield’s Shields (4:57.21).

The boys high jump went to Bayfield’s Crosby Edwards with a leap of 5-feet, 10 inches. That was two inches more than Mancos’ Josh Lindner and six more than third-place Sawyer Smith of Montezuma-Cortez.

Kennedy also won the long jump for BHS at 19-11, well further than Mancos freshman Cole Dainty-Guifoyle’s second-place jump of 18-03. Durango’s Allan Hardee was third at 17-07.

Montezuma-Cortez’s Sawyer Smith would claim the triple jump at 39-09.70 to beat teammate Austin Wood (36-04). Durango’s Kilian Gwinn was third with a jump of 36-01.70.

The boys discus throw was won by Connor Showalter of Mancos with a state qualifying throw of 143-09. Durango’s William Knight was second with a throw of 135-05 that should also get him to state. Durango’s Josh Bates was third with a heave of 134-00.

Showalter again won the shot put with a throw of 50-04, while Knight was second at 48-09 and Bates was third at 45-05.

Girls Track and Field

Nykole Meshew of Bayfield gave the Wolverines a sweep of the 100-meter dash events, as she won in 13.60, one-tenth of a second ahead of Durango’s Mason Turner. Anderson Gillen of Durango was third in 13.91.

Montezuma-Cortez’s Sophia Shepard would win the 200 in 29.31, while Dolores’ Akima Edwards was second in 29.66 and Ignacio’s Lexy Young was third in 29.69.

Durango took the top-three spots in the 400, which was won by Turner in 1:03.56. Halle Moore was second in 1:04.97, and Ava McClellan was third in 1:05.85.

Angela McManus of Durango showed her form in the 800 with a win in 2:29.27, 10 seconds in front of teammate Abby Fehr. Mancos’ Grace Manning was third in 2:43.25.

Willow Lott led Durango’s podium assault in the 1,600, as she won in 5:49.18. Her teammates took the next four spots behind her with Fehr (5:59.97) in second, Nina Quayle (6:03.68) third, Ashley Forrest (6:19.10) fourth and Kayleigh Frazer (6:25.07) fifth.

Lott would also win the 3,200 in 12:52.31, with Ignacio’s Moriah Ashley second in 15:26.34.

Sargent’s Bailey Asbell won the girls 100-meter hurdles in 17.87 to beat Montezuma-Cortez’s Cassandra McCully (18.36). Elise Schumann of Durango was third in 18.77.

McCully would claim the 300 hurdles in 56.12 to narrowly beat Durango’s Jessica McVaugh (56.17). Schumann was third in 58.32.

In the high jump, Bayfield’s Meshew was first with a leap of 5-feet. Gillen of Durango was second at 4-08.70.

The triple jump win went to Sophia Shepard of Montezuma-Cortez at 31-03.25, while McManus was second at 30-05.5.

Sydney Flores of Durango won both the shot put and discus throw at the Mancos Early Bird track and field meet last weekend. Courtesy of Mike Ellis

Sydney Flores of Durango swept the discus and shot put events. Her discus throw of 111-06 was well ahead of Dolores’ Sam Castillo (99-03), and third went to Durango’s Samantha Vasquez at 89-11, which matched the throw of Bayfield’s Emily Nelson.

Flores tossed the shot put 32-04.75. Vasquez was second at 29-03.50, and Castillo was third at 28-10.

Bayfield, Durango and Ignacio will take varsity teams Friday to Alamosa.


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