Odneal peaking at perfect moment

A long and sometimes frustrating track season for Holly Odneal appears to be heading toward a good finish.

After spending the first three weeks of the season foregoing competition while resting an injured knee, it’s taken the Palisade High School senior all season to reach her best form.

She achieved that Saturday, setting a school record in the 100-meter hurdles in the finals of the Class 4A Western Slope League championships at Stocker Stadium.

Odneal won the high jump on Friday, clearing 5 feet, 2 inches. She defeated Delta’s Katie Chapman, who also made the same height, Odneal winning on the basis of fewer misses.

She clocked a time of 15.20 seconds in the 100 hurdles Saturday morning, winning by more than one second over Eagle Valley’s Angela Phillips.

“I didn’t have a goal of breaking the school record,” Odneal said. “It was just a plus.”

After experiencing pain in her right knee midway through the basketball season, Odneal spent the past three weeks of that season sitting out of practice and only playing in games.

Her track coach, Tim Reetz, suggested Odneal hold off on serious track workouts until April.

Despite missing the first few weeks of practice, “I had high expectations at the beginning of the year,” she said.

“There for a while I was scared it wasn’t going to happen.”

Odneal finished sixth in the 100 hurdles at least year’s state meet and tied for ninth in the high jump. Her goal this season is to finish in the top three in both this week.

“Now I’m peaking really well,” she said.

Glenwood Springs, which won seven events, including all five relays, took the team title with 173 points, outscoring second-place Eagle Valley by 54 points.

Moffat County’s Alicia Nelson was the meet’s only triple winner individually, taking the three distance events.

Glenwood was nearly as strong in the boys meet, scoring 150 points to win by 21 over Eagle Valley.

Palisade’s Troy Gomez upended Delta’s Phillip Turano to win the 100 meters. Turano came back to take the title in the 200.

Gomez joined Zach Adair, Chris Lopez and Devin Kenney on the winning 800-meter relay team.

The Most Valuable Athlete for the meet, voted on by the league’s coaches, was Moffat County’s Erin Urbanoski, who won the 100-meter dash and the long jump.

The boys’ MVA was Dakota Stonehouse of Glenwood Springs, who won both hurdles events, edging teammate Kurt Hartmann in both.

Glenwood’s Blake Risner was selected as the girls coach of the year. His counterpart at Delta, Kirk McLaughlin, was chosen as the top boys coach.


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