Giving it a shot
Unconventional approach lifts Barajas to shot put title
He went from a glider to a spinner.
In doing so, Cedaredge’s Miguel Barajas went from frustrated to a Class 3A Western Slope League champion.
On Thursday at the boys 2A-4A Western Slope League meet at Stocker Stadium, Barajas’ shot put of 46 feet, 10.75 inches won his division.
Cedaredge is in fifth place in the 3A WSL division with 20 points. Defending 3A state-champion Rifle is in first with 50, followed by Gunnison (33) and Hotchkiss (23).
Moffat County leads the 4A WSL meet with 39 points. Palisade is in fourth with 24 points, including Tanner Smith’s winning discus throw of 157-4.
Paonia is pacing the 2A WSL with 56 points after five events.
The meet resumes at 8 a.m. today.
While a glide in shot put involves a sharp kick and a straight-forward lunge before release, a spin involves just that. And for Barajas, it comes with some risk.
Frustrated, he tried the spin for the first time two weeks ago at Montrose.
And he sent out a warning.
“I said, ‘Watch out, guys,’ ” he said, ” ‘I’m a rookie.’ “
Fortunately, the shot put found the inbounds dirt.
“I still don’t know much about the spin, to be honest,” Barajas said. “It’s a little awkward. You just can’t lose control.”
One of the closest races of the boys meet was in the 3A 800 run, where Hotchkiss’s Cody Bartlett out-leaned Rifle’s Aaron Wagler to win by .02 seconds.
Bartlett’s time was 2:02.24.
Each 800 run, Bartlett overcomes a mental block in the first 200 — the ensuing pain.
“I think, ‘Wow, this is gonna hurt,’ ” he said. “Basically my stomach hurts, but that’s over after the first lap.”
Bartlett used Wagler to set his pace. But after one lap, he heard someone tell Wagler: “61 seconds.”
“I took off,” Bartlett said. “I thought maybe he was having an off day and I wanted to take advantage of that.”
Then the typical footsteps, those of Wagler, followed him into the final straightaway. With 20 meters remaining, Bartlett kicked his weary legs, hoping for a hidden burst.
“I thought he’d out-sprint me,” Bartlett said. “But I had some energy left in my legs.”
Today everyone will be trying to catch Rifle.
For the Bears in preliminaries, Brandon Kittle has the top time in the 100 dash (11.32), Ryan Moeller has it in the 200 dash (22.84) and Aaron has the top time in the 400 dash (51.11).
Moeller also won the triple jump — a final — with a leap of 44-11.75.
In 2A, Paonia won the 3,200 relay. Members were Trevor Walters, Ben Justman, Jason Sturgis and Josiah Spano.