Dash of confidence: Experience and attitude count in 100-meter dash

Grand Junction’s Jamie Derrieux clears a hurdle on her way to winning the 100-meter hurdles Friday at the Phil Wertman Invitational at Stocker Stadium. Derrieux’s victory helped the Tigers win the girls title.

Photo by Dean Humphrey—Fruita Monument’s Martin Zupan strains for the finish line in the 100-meter dash Friday at the Phil Wertman Invitational. Zupan finished third in the race.

The 100-meter dash is a gut-check race.

The event comes down to which competitor can run a short distance in the fastest amount of time.

“It’s the featured race, so there’s some cockiness that they have to have,” Central track coach Jack Robison said. “That’s why it’s an event dominated by juniors and seniors.”

Friday at the Phil Wertman Invitational at Stocker Stadium, three sprinters showed they have what it takes to be successful in the boys 100-meter dash.

Grand Junction’s Stuart Shrum finished first in 11.27 seconds, inching out Central’s Josh Buniger (11.31) and Fruita Monument’s Martin Zupan (11.37).

“Running this race takes a lot of mind power,” Shrum said. “You can psyche yourself out, and that can be the difference between first and 10th.”

Shrum overcame a slow start to finish ahead of Zupan and Buniger.

“I think Stuart didn’t hear the gun go off, because he was the last guy out of the block,” Grand Junction coach Darrell Simonton said. “I was proud that he was behind at 50 meters, and battled back to come out on top.”

Shrum’s 11.27 was a solid time, but it isn’t the senior’s best. He’s ranked 11th in the state in the 100 with a best time of 11.12. The top 18 runners qualify for the state tournament, and although Shrum is in a good position, Zupan and Buniger are hoping to make their way into the top 18.

Zupan was slower Friday than his best time of 11.27.

“My start wasn’t too good, I felt myself pop up pretty fast,” Zupan said. “I was tight in my upper body and in the 100 meters you need to have your upper body be nice and relaxed.”

Zupan’s best time is tied for 27th in the state, but the Wildcats’ junior said he doesn’t pay much attention to the rankings.

“I haven’t checked lately, and I’m not really sure where I’m ranked,” Zupan said. “Constantly looking at the rankings probably isn’t the best idea, because then it makes you think too much.”

Buniger posted his top time of the season Friday. The Warriors’ senior said it’s good motivation to run hard every time he races against Zupan and Shrum.

“We have good competition,” Buniger said. “We are all about the same, so we always push each other to be the best.”

Robison said the local competition helps drive each of the runners.

“We have a nice little race here in town,” Robison said. “We are hoping to start beating Shrum from Junction here soon.”

Grand Junction’s Jamie Derrieux won the girls 100-meter hurdles in 16.80. She earned 10 points with the first-place finish, which helped the Grand Junction girls win the title with 111 points.

Palisade had a good day, finishing second with 103 points. The Bulldogs’ 3,200-meter relay team of Amy Austin, Emily Crow, Olevia Shafer and Sarah Kem finished first at 10:07.51. Fruita Monument finished third with 101 points. Central came in seventh with 67 points.

Meriah Redding won the high jump for Fruita, clearing 5 feet, 1 inch.

Fruita Monument finished first on the boys side with 129 points.

The Wildcats’ Levi Davenport won the shot put with a best throw of 47 feet, 5.50 inches. Central finished second with 101 points. The Warriors were led by a 1-2 finish by Scott Davison and Aaron Wallway in the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles.

Palisade finished third with 100 points. The Bulldogs’ Kevin Martinez finished second in the 1,600-meter run in 4:37.44.

Grand Junction finished fifth with 74 points, with Jonathon Wright winning the 400 meters in 51.31.


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