Second helping

Meeker's Shelton finishes 2nd in both 100 and 200 at state

Meeker’s T.J. Shelton, right, finished second in both of the sprint races Saturday at the Class 2A state track meet, finishing in 11.21 seconds in the 100-meter dash and in 22.59 seconds in the 200 dash.

Montrose’s Abby Grace McGee, center, finished fourth Saturday in the 100-meter hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles at the Class 4A state meet in Lakewood.

LAKEWOOD — T.J. Shelton has little time for video games or television.

Rare was the spring day when the Meeker High School sophomore wasn’t going to track practice, grabbing a quick bite to eat and then heading to wrestling practice.

Both have paid off for Shelton, who came up one place short in his quest to repeat as the Class 2A boys 100-meter sprint champion at the state track and field championships.

Shelton’s 11.21-second sprint Saturday placed him second behind the 11.03 of Denver Lutheran’s Chris Youngs in the 100 final. Shelton won the event last year.

The two could be seeing a lot of each other in the next couple of state meets. Youngs also is a sophomore.

After winning his second 2A state wrestling title in February, Shelton had no time for a break. Preseason track practice had already started.

No doubt Shelton was in shape at the end of wrestling season, but it wasn’t track shape.

“I wasn’t starting to get into (track) shape until two weeks before (the) league (meet),” he said.

Even in the heart of track season, wrestling was still on his mind a bit.

“I’m thinking about going to freestyles in Pueblo in two weeks,” he said of competing in an offseason tournament.

Despite his natural sprinter’s speed, Shelton will have little time to work on his running this season. When he isn’t wrestling, Shelton will be in Meeker’s weight room or doing 7-on-7 drills preparing for this fall’s football season.

Shelton followed up his finish in the 100 by placing second in the 200, again trailing only Youngs, who won in 22.42 seconds. Shelton’s time was 22.59.

McGee places high again

Montrose junior Abby Grace McGee made a slight improvement in her return to the 4A girls state meet.

McGee finished fourth in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles one year ago, and she matched that place in the 100s on Saturday, then topped it by placing third in the 300s.

“I was hoping to do a little better in the 100s,” said McGee, who posted the second-fastest qualifying time (15.22 seconds) Friday and ran it in 15.25 seconds Saturday.

Later Saturday, she set a personal record of 44.98 seconds in the 300s.

McGee relishes the chance to race against the state’s elite.

“It’s the best of the best,” she said. “All the girls are so fast. It’s so much fun.”

She prefers shorter distances, although in the summer she runs 70-mile relays or half-marathons with her family, which doubles as her offseason distance work.

Her father made a couple of hurdles, which she sets up on a rural road outside of Montrose in order to practice. That’s her offseason plan, along with every hurdler’s quest of honing their form.

Good experience despite shins

Palisade sophomore Jay Shuman learned a lot from his first trip to the state championships.

“Just to come here as a sophomore was a really good experience,” said Shuman, who competed in both hurdles races and the long jump.

Friday was a tough day for Shuman.

“I’ve been battling shin splints all season,” he said

That affected his performance in Friday’s long jump, where he failed to make the finals. He went back to his motel room and spent the evening icing his shins.

That helped him get ready for the 110-meter hurdle finals Saturday. He had qualified in Thursday’s prelims with the third-fastest time.

Shuman placed fifth in the finals. His time of 14.82 seconds was four-hundredths of a second behind his Thursday prelim time, which was a personal best.


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