Hurdlers lead Sailors to 2nd at Meeker Invitational meet |

Hurdlers lead Sailors to 2nd at Meeker Invitational meet

Weather fails to dampen athletes' spirits, results

A die-hard group of athletes headed to Meeker on April 15 to face uncertain weather conditions and top competition in one of the biggest track and field meets of the season — so far.

By the time those storm clouds finally cleared, the same Steamboat athletes were headed home with a bus full of top finishes including a second-place team showing for the boys and a third-place team showing for the girls.

“The weather wasn’t the greatest so our times were not that fast,” Steamboat hurdler Ryan Wattles said. “But it was great for me.”

Wattles and teammate Darren Lucas highlighted the boys results.

Wattles, who is in his first year with the team, was first in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 16.55 seconds. He was followed closely by Lucas who was second at 17.11. The two runners were not in the same heat, but spent a lot of time working together in practice.

“It’s great to have someone who is that close to you on your own team,” Wattles said. “It really pushes us in practice and it makes us better at the meets.”

In the 300-meter hurdles, Lucas came in second at 44.03 and Wattles was fourth at 45.16.

“I am really surprised that I’ve picked up the hurdles so fast,” Wattles said. “I’m not saying that there isn’t a lot of room for improvement before regionals. But I’m pretty comfortable with where I am for this early in the season.”

Wattles credited his new coaches for his success this season. He said the coaches have really pushed the hurdles in practice and he thinks that has helped the team on the track.

Other top finishes included Ryan Johnston’s second place in the high jump.

The Sailor jumper soared 5 feet, 6 inches on his best effort. He also jumped 17-4.25 to place seventh in the long jump.

Steamboat also was second in the 800-meter relay event with a time of 1:39.27, and third in the 400-meter relay with a time of 48.12. Steamboat runners also took fifth in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 4:17.56.

Rangely won the meet with 103 points. Steamboat was second at 87.5 and Aspen came in third with 74.33.

Once again, Rachel Starr led the pack on the girls side with 24 team points.

Starr’s best effort came in the 800-meter run where she finished in first with a time of 2 minutes, 36.88 seconds. In the 400-meter run Starr wasn’t pushed in her heat and placed second overall with a time of 1:04:51. Olathe’s Talitha Henderson won that race with a time of 1:03.72.

Jessica Flores also shined in the 300-meter hurdles with a second-place time of 54.51. She was beat by Olathe’s Susan Avila who won the race with a time of 54.02. Flores also placed fifth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 18.11.

The girls relay teams placed first in the 800-meter medley with a time of 2:00.17 and third in the 400-meter event with a time of 57.30.

Olathe was first in the team standings with 111 points. Rangely came in second at 93 and Steamboat was third with 60 points.

–To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail

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