MANCOS – The Bluejays can add another banner to adorn the walls of the Performance Arts Center at Mancos High School. Running on their home track, the Mancos boys utilized dominance in the distance and field events, tallying 171 points to run away from the eight-team San Juan Basin League field to earn the team title on June 8.
On the girls side, the Lady Jays fought in a back-and-forth meet against Telluride, but the Miners used big points in the jumping events to hold off a well-balanced Mancos performance. Mancos would score 89 points, falling just six points shy of the SJBL champion Miners.
Junior Edgar Hernandez headlined a day full of blue-and-white podium finishes, as he showed his range of talents in the three distance events, along with the triple jump runway. Hernandez swept the 1,600 (4:48.78) and 3,200 meter (11:29.08) runs, winning both by comfortable margins, while also taking second place in the 800 and triple jump.
Hernandez’ 36 individual points were complemented by 30 additional points from classmate Connor Showalter, who captured three individual titles – continuing his dominance in the shot put (50-6) and discus (149-4), while also leading a parade of Bluejays to top finishes in the triple jump (38-8.75).
It was the Mancos depth, however, that truly allowed them to separate from the rest of the SJBL field. The Bluejays had multiple scorers in eight different events, highlighted by the top four finishers in the shot put.
Senior Dustin Morning took second in the shot put (42-6) behind Showalter, while adding a fifth place finish in the discus (107-7). Freshman Cole Dainty-Guilfoyle took the bronze in the shot put (39-7), setting a new personal best in the process, while also showing his track speed in a sixth place finish in the 100 meter dash.
Junior Connor Sehnert helped the Bluejay rout, as he took second place in the 3,200 and fifth in the 1,600. Classmate William Small tallied a second place finish in the discus, to complement his fourth place effort in the shot put.
A pair of first-years also scored in multiple events, as Braxton Dennison landed a sixth-place finish in the 1,600, and seventh in the 800 meters, while fellow freshman Kail Wayman finished fourth in the high jump and seventh in the 100.
Junior Josh Lindner enjoyed the other Bluejay individual title, as he lept over the bar at 5-11 to win the high jump.
In the girl’s competition, Mancos leaned on a balance of scoring from the distance events, sprints, and relays to keep them in the title hunt.
Senior Grace Manning took home the only two individual titles on the afternoon for the Lady Jays, capping a tremendous distance running career with wins in the 800 (2:38.21) and 1,600 meter (6:41.12) runs.
Juniors Aspen Bumgarner and Desi Dainty-Guilfoyle scored big points for the Jays, with Bumgarner taking second in the 3,200 (17:04.32) meters and fourth in the 1,600 (7:25.99), while Dainty-Guilfoyle was runner-up in both the 100 (14.03) and 200 (28.67) meters.
Sophomore Shelby Jabour tallied a fifth place finish in the 100 (14.63) meters, while a pair of freshmen, Clara Most and Chloe Endres, took fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 800 meters to round out the individual scorers for the Jays.
The sprinting events would come through again in the relays, as the Jays won both the sprint medley (1:59.04) and 4 x 400 meter (5:02.81) relays.
Mancos will continue their preparations for the 2A Track and Field State Championships on June 24-26 at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood. The top 18 individual and relay performers in each event will qualify for the meet.