Bears track wraps up busy week

Upton, Schwartz, Wright, Elder win individual events

Jessica Schleisser throws the shot at the Cortez Invitational.

With three meets in less than one week, the Dolores High School boys' and girls' track teams were able to shake off all their Spring Break rust.

Now more than halfway through their season, the Bears must keep improving as members of the team progress toward next month's state meet.

Kicking off last week in Cortez at the Montezuma-Cortez Invitational on April 9, the Bears relished the opportunity to test themselves against local competition.

Performing especially well for Dolores was Taylor Elder, who finished second in the 200-meter dash.

On the boys' side, Dallas Neely enjoyed a solid day in the 100, 200 and long jump, but pointed out that the team still has room to improve.

"I feel like we've been working hard, but we have a long ways to go," said Neely.

"I'm hoping we get a little more practice in," added Tristan Holgate.

After competing at the Montezuma-Cortez Invitational, the Bears travelled to Bayfield to compete in the Abel Velasquez Invitational on April 12.

Leading the way for the Bears on the boys' side was Ethen Upton, who cleared five feet, nine inches, to win the high jump. Upton also finished third in the 100 with a time of 11.98 and third in the discus with a throw of 119 feet, 6 inches.

Other standout performers for the boys' team include Rylan Huff, who finished fourth in the 100 (12.17) and Jackson Vermule, finished fourth in the triple jump (35 feet, 7 inches).

Leading the girls' team, Elder finished first in the long jump (16 feet, 2 inches) second in the 200 (28.96) and second in the triple jump (29 feet, 11 inches).

Also turning in a solid performance for the Bears was Brianna Schwartz, who finished first in the 300 hurdles (49.99), second in the 100 hurdles (17.60) and third in the long jump (14 feet, 1 inch).

Rounding out the girls' team's event winners was Olivia Wright, who finished first in the 400 (1:04.17).

Wrapping up their busy three-meet schedule, the Bears competed in the Ron Keller Invitational in Durango on April 15.

Highlighting the meet for the Bears was the performance of the girls' 4x400 relay team made up of Schwartz, Shavargus Noyes, Kelly Charles and Elder, which finished second overall (4:27.68).

Pacing the boys' team was the 4x100 relay composed of Rylan Huff, Mikeal Ford, Vermule and Upton, which finished fourth (46.46).

Excelling individually for the Bears, Upton finished second in the high jump (5 feet, 9 inches) and Schwartz finished second in the 300 hurdles (51.01).

"Overall, the meet went very well," said Bears' head coach Nick Kohler.

The Bears' track teams will next compete at the Pine River Invitational on April 19.