Fighting the cold at Palisade’s Woodburn Invitational track meet

Mary McGee from Fruita Monument HS in the Girls Long Jump competition

The running of the Girls 100meter race during the annual Frank Woodburn Invitational at Stocker Stadium.

No one can question Olevia Shafer’s commitment to track this season.

In addition to her daily workouts during the week, the Palisade High School sophomore has been practicing before school and even staying for more work after practice.

“It’s long days, working an hour after (practice), but it’s definitely worth it,” she said.

It certainly was Saturday.

Competing in her school’s annual Frank Woodburn Invitational at Stocker Stadium, Shafer set a personal record by five inches in winning the triple jump.

“I knew I could win here,” Shafer said.

Fruita Monument’s Mary McGee led the triple jump through the preliminaries with a jump of 31 feet, 9.75 inches. Shafer surpassed that by more than 10 inches with her first jump of the finals.

Considering that temperatures barely cleared the 30s during the day, she strangely enough attributed her success to staying warm.

“I think it was getting warmed up (properly),” she said.

At the same time as her triple jump preliminaries, she was competing in the high jump.

“I think going back and forth (between the two) was keeping me warm,” she said.

She also had extra motivation.

“All my teachers were here,” she said of the faculty on hand that were serving as meet timers.

Despite snow Saturday morning and the forecast of cold temperatures, only three of the 20 schools — Steamboat Springs, Meeker and Rifle — opted to withdraw from the meet.

The cold temperatures didn’t provide for optimal times, heights or distances, but there were some solid performances.

After finishing second in the 100-meter dash in the morning, Grand Junction sprinter Breanna Jones won the 200 meters in the afternoon.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Jones. Two weeks ago, she missed some of her sprint events in the Mickey Dunn Invitational to attend dance practice. Jones was part of the Spirit
Express dance team that competed last weekend at the Jam Fest Nationals in Las Vegas.

Splitting her time between dance and track has left her a little frenzied.

“I’ve been keeping them separate,” Jones said, although that’s no longer a problem since the dance season ended with last weekend’s appearance. “I’m done with dance, so I’m focused on track.”

Jones said dance practice was more physically demanding than track practice.

“A lot of girls can’t take how hard the (dance) practices are,” she said.

Jones said she’s in better shape for track this year because of her work with the Spirit Express.

Moffat County, on the strength of double victories by Erin Urbanoski and Alicia Nelson, won the girls meet with 97 points. Urbanoski edged Jones for the 100-meter title and also won the long jump. Nelson won the 800 and 1,600 meters.

Grand Junction was second with 89 points and Fruita Monument third with 81. Palisade, which also got a victory from Holly Odneal in the 100-meter hurdles, was fourth with 73 points and Central fifth with 51.

Central won the boys meet with 114 points, finishing 34 points ahead of Delta.

Blaine Jackson (100), Nolan Curtis (400) and Robert Jerome (3,200) won individual events for the Warriors.

Grand Junction was third (79.33), Fruita Monument fourth (70) and Palisade sixth (48) in the team race.


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