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Montezuma County athletes earn finals berths at state track and field championships

Dove Creek senior Colten Fury placed fifth in the Class 1A long jump at the state track and field championships. (Ben Bradley/Special to The Journal)

LAKEWOOD – Surviving the nerves of the preliminary heats can be a battle, but several Montezuma County track and field athletes thrived and were guaranteed spots in the final round.

Mancos sophomore Jonah Ritter entered Thursday with a busy double, but qualified for the final round in both the 100 and 200 meters. Ritter posted a time of 11.49 seconds in the 100, then took the ninth and final qualifying spot with time of 23 seconds in the 200.

Dolores sophomore Michael Rantz posted the eighth best time in the 400 meters to earn himself a place on the line for the Saturday final.

Montezuma-Cortez sophomore Marlee Mack moved on to the final round of the 100 hurdles, placing fifth in her preliminary round. Meanwhile, Panther senior Levi Bramwell placed 12th in the 110 hurdles.

In event finals on Thursday, Montezuma-Cortez freshman Tessa Jackson earned the first podium finish of the weekend for area athletes, elevating over the bar at 4 feet, 11 inches to tie for eighth in the high jump.

Dove Creek senior Colten Fury (19-6½) placed fifth in the long jump, his lone individual event of the meet. He earned the other medal for area athletes in Thursday’s action.

The Dolores girls 3,200 relay team (Keira LaRose, Kendall Chavez, Maya Lowe and Elia Lowe) placed 12th with a time of 10 minutes, 53.35 seconds.

Mancos sophomore Aysia Mathews cleared 4-10 in the high jump. She was one of eight jumpers who cleared the mark, placing 12th via tiebreakers.

Shortly after his high school baseball career came to a close in the 1A state semifinals, Dove Creek junior Sheldon Gardner placed 10th in the shot put with a throw of 32-8¼.

Action continues Friday at Jefferson County Stadium, with relay preliminaries taking center stage on the track.

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