GJ's Harris finishes third in shot put at final state meet
LAKEWOOD — It’s been a whirlwind week for Grand Junction High School senior Deshaun Harris. He graduated Tuesday and immediately shifted his focus to the Class 5A State Track and Field Championships.
On Saturday, he closed the door on high school with a bronze showing in the shot put. A throw of 54 feet, 2 inches placed him behind only champion Jacob Hanks of Fort Collins (56-11) and Gateway’s Zach Golditch (54-2).
Although Golditch’s best throw matched that of Harris, Golditch won the tiebreaker for second place because his second-best throw traveled farther.
“It was competitive this year,” said Harris, who said he hopes to continue his track and field career at either Weber State University in Utah or hometown Colorado Mesa University. “There were a lot of kids throwing over 54, 55. It was fun to compete against those guys.”
For one last time.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Harris said. “After I relax and get home, it’ll hit me that it’s my last meet as a high school kid. It’s definitely going to hit me pretty good.”
Reddick reaches podium
Central’s lone state qualifier got onto the podium Saturday.
Brailyn Reddick placed ninth in the girls shot put (35-10). Jenna Soukup of Fruita Monument competed in the event but did not advance to the finals.
Whitney Jackson of Grand Junction and Niki Hunt of Fruita Monument both competed in the preliminaries in the triple jump, but neither qualified for the finals.
McGee takes fourth — twice
Montrose sophomore Abi Grace McGee had a memorable day in the hurdles, finishing fourth in the 4A girls 100 (15.36 seconds) and 300 (46.83). Teammate Brooke White was eighth in the 300 hurdles (47.04).
“It wasn’t quite a (personal record), but I’m still pretty happy,” she said.
The 100 is McGee’s favorite of the two hurdles races.
“I mean, I like the 300s, but I don’t know, I guess the 100s don’t hurt as bad,” she said with a laugh. “And they’re fun.”
In 4A boys hurdles action, Delta’s Chris Black ended his prep career with a fourth-place finish in the 300 (38.62).
The senior credited his success to simply being healthy this spring. He said a broken ankle sustained during basketball season last school year cost him his track season.
Although Black broke his wrist in basketball this past winter, his legs were in good shape.
“I always knew I could compete,” he said. “A lot of times, I was just getting held back by injuries.”
Black said he doesn’t plan to run in college. He said he’ll attend Colorado State University to study engineering.
Elsewhere in 4A competition Saturday, Palisade’s Greta Van Calcar followed up Friday’s second-place run in the 3,200 with a fifth-place performance in the girls 1,600. She finished in 5:06.09. Delta sisters Clarissa and Cleo Whiting finished sixth (5:09.10) and seventh (5:09.24), respectively.
In the girls discus, Rifle senior Joey Kuheim placed third (135-6).
Bowles toughs it out for team
Coal Ridge’s Andy Bowles earned a huge ovation by walking his way through the 300 hurdles finals to earn a point for his Titans, who finished second in the 3A team chase.
Bowles injured his hamstring during the 110 hurdles earlier in the day and had to be helped off the track. It cost him a chance to battle Cedaredge’s Reid Gates for the high jump title. Bowles, who took the second seed (6-5) into the high jump, had cleared 6-3 before heading off to compete in the hurdles. He still wound up taking fourth.
Gates cleared 6-7 to win it.
Little practice, lots of places
Plateau Valley’s Audrey Rose Kachin placed third in the 400 (1:01.52), fifth in the 400 (27.82) and seventh in the long jump (14-9.25) on Saturday in the Class 1A girls meet.
Kachin, who also plays soccer with Palisade in the spring, doesn’t get much time to practice for track.
“My long jump kind of frustrated me a little bit, but (the 200 and 400) kind of made up for it,” she said. “I play soccer in the spring, so I make maybe one track practice a week, so technique and all that is hard to master when I’m not there. This is my fourth meet of the season, so considering that, I’m happy about it.”
Allman all the buzz
Speaking of the 4A girls discus, Silver Creek senior Valarie Allman was the buzz of Saturday’s action at Jefferson County Stadium. She won with a state meet-record throw of 167-3. She also owns the Colorado record of 183-3, which she set at a meet earlier this season.
Her 167-3 throw on Saturday would have been good enough to beat the boys in classes 4A, 3A and 1A.