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    Red Devils triumphant at season-opening home meet

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    Boys take first, girls third at Red Rock Invitational

    The Red Devils dominated their own tourney when they hosted the Red Rocks Invitational Track and Field Tournament on Saturday, Mar. 9 at Grand County High. Carbon, Mancos, Emery, Montezuma-Cortez, San Juan, Monticello, and Green River participated in the meet. The boys team took first place out of the eight competing schools and the girls finished third out of eight.

    Kylah Ricks placed first in the 800-, 1600-, and the 3200-meter for the Lady Devils. She took third in the 400. Jessica Anderson earned second in the 3200-meter in 13:02.81. Emree Olsen secured fourth in the 300-meter hurdles and she took sixth in the 200-meter. Alethia Hirt placed fifth with a time of 6:10.8 in the 1600-meter.

    The boy’s team ran away with the running events. Eli Hazlett took first in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter. Hazlett said he felt good about the wins, but the 400 could have been faster. He also felt good about currently being rated number one in the state in the 100- and 200-meter, but “there was definite room for improvement.”

    Connor Guerrero won the 110-meter hurdles and placed second in the 300-meter hurdles. “It was good to get out there. It was my first time doing it since freshman year. I wasn’t worried about the win. I was more worried about seeing if I was still able to do it and seeing how I compared to other people,” Guerrero said. Guerrero gave up on the hurdles in his freshman year because at that time, he took almost dead last and decided to “focus on other ways to help the team.” He took up the challenge this year because the team needed help.

    Evan Ellison and Malachi Ricks had a friendly rivalry on the track. Ellison finished first in the 1600-meter. Ricks was on his heels for second place. Ellison nailed second in the 3200; Ricks was just under two seconds behind him for third in the 3200-meter. “Malachi was with me most of the way and took the lead for about a lap with a little less than a mile to go. I think that helped both of us in the long term. It helped set the pace we both wanted. He still had a good finish. He held off Emery for third place. It was a good first race for all of us,” Ellison said.

    In boy’s team action, Ellison, Ricks, Guerrero, and Kasey Kemp took first in the sprint medley relay. Hirt, Anderson, Tava Walling, and Kyha Gritts took second place for the girls.

    A few weeks ago, coach Dennis Wells expressed confidence the girls team would do better than last year and that Veda Gritts would be one of the keys to success this year. He was correct. Gritts took first in shot put, first in discus, and second in javelin. Ever modest, when Gritts was asked if she was happy with her wins, she stammered, wavered, hesitated and said: “…I could have done better in shot and disc … and I’m a little frustrated with my javelin score … it’s the first meet of the season.”

    Jarom Shumway placed first in shot put for the boys. Austin Johnson took second in that event. Jaymmin Hester took fourth in shot put. Shumway took first in discus and Hester locked up third in that event. Jayden Dowd earned third place in javelin and he took fourth place in the high jump. Teddy Park placed fifth in the high jump and Kaine Allred scored third in long jump. Ryelan Jones took fifth in that event.

    The Grand County track and field team will be in Price on Saturday, Mar. 23 for the Carbon Invite.

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