One individual champ enough for ‘Cats to win Mickey Dunn
Once Josh Flint handed the baton to Jonathon Wright, he figured Grand Junction High School had won the 400-meter relay.
It turned out to be a photo finish.
Wright held on to beat Fruita Monument’s Martin Zupan to the finish line for the victory in 44.06 seconds Saturday in the Mickey Dunn Invitational at Stocker Stadium. Fruita took second in 44.09 seconds and Central was third in 44.78.
“I was surprised, he was coming at me so fast,” Wright said. “I saw him in my peripheral (vision), and thought, ‘No way.’ I decided to kick it. It was close, really, really close.”
“It looked like we did (have it won). I wasn’t expecting that. He came up, so I had to give it my all on that one.”
Fruita Monument won the boys team title with 125 points. Durango took second with 75, Rifle was third (70), Grand Junction placed fourth (63) and Central finished fifth (54).
“We’re doing well on the track,” Fruita coach Tom Goff said. “Our 4x1 finished the race and didn’t drop the baton. I kind of changed it up a little bit. We switched a couple kids in there.
“Our kids are doing a great job. I’m really proud of ‘em. The distance kids are doing their usual great job. Our sprinters have done a great job. I knew Martin Zupan would be a strength, but he’s surprised me. He (set a personal record) in the 100 and 200 last week.”
Zupan took second in the 200 (23.60) and fifth in the 100 (11.60). Woody Seagren, though, was the Wildcats’ only individual champion, winning the 3,200 run in 10 minutes, 13.47 seconds.
Glenwood Springs ran away with the girls team title, scoring 139.5 points. Durango was second with 73.5, Central third (63.5), Palisade fourth (63) and Grand Junction fifth (53).
“We targeted the Mickey Dunn Invitational as our biggest pre-spring break meet,” Glenwood Springs coach Blake Risner said. “We wanted to work hard and be prepared for a good early season performance here.”
The Demons had several good performances, including Michaela Mansfield in the 800.
The sophomore won the run in her first high school track meet in 2:29.28. Rachel Beverlin of Dolores took second (2:29.42) and Grand Valley’s Brandi Krieg placed third (2:29.72).
“I didn’t even know how to pace myself,” Mansfield said. “I was thinking about taking second, but everyone was cheering, so I decided I’d try to get first. The first-place runner was 10 meters ahead and I was going to stay at that pace, but everyone was screaming, so I gave it all I had and went as fast as I could.”
Mansfield’s teammate, Madi Goodstein, hung on to defeat Grand Junction’s Jamie Derrieux in the 100 and 300 hurdles.
“I was nervous,” Goodstein said. “The Grand Junction girl (Derrieux) ... I’ve seen her win a lot. I was pretty nervous, but it helps me.”
Glenwood’s Julie Dubois won the 100 in 13.25 seconds in her first 100 of the season.
“It’s fun getting back into it again,” Dubois said. “It’s one of those races you really enjoy doing.”
Connor Adams took second in the 200, Allison Brown was second in the 400 and the Demons won the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays.
“Madi is coming off a quad injury, so today was definitely a breakthrough for her,” Risner said. “Allison Brown ran well in the (400). She ended up placing second, but had a season-best time.
“Theresa Gabriel did very well in the jumps. She had season-best 16-1 in the long (jump) and going into the finals had the leading jump in the triple.”