Keeping not just head coach John Gurule, but also father/IHS athletic director Rocky Cundiff in suspense, Ignacio thrower Natoni Cundiff clinched a berth into the 2018 Class 2A State Track & Field Championships' shot put event (he was already in for discus) in dramatic fashion.
Putting all he had into what could have been his final prep-level shotput at 5A Grand Junction's May 10-11 Tiger Invitational, the senior heaved the heavy sphere 43 feet, 7.5 inches on his sixth attempt.
A personal best by two feet, the throw was 3'0.5" farther than his previous best at the meet, and ultimately held up to earn fourth place and five of the 11th-place Bobcats' 22 team points.
4A Palisade captured first with 110.5, with 4A Durango (95.5) coming in second.
Led by state-bound thrower Aliyana White's winning 37'1" in the shot and third-place 110'8" discus toss, the Bobcat girls placed 12th at Grand Junction with 16 points.
In the 1,600-meter run, Ignacio's state-bound Elco Garcia, Jr., PR'd by about seven seconds with his fourth-place 4:47.25. Jason Foutz finished fifth in the pole vault with a best clearance and personal best of 8'11" before scratching on three tries at 9'5".
Charlize Valdez set a new personal best in the girls' 1,600 with her 14th-place 6:31.08, and the girls' 4x200 relay (Kiana Valdez, Emily Cundiff, Vanessa Gonzales, Charlize Valdez) achieved a group-best 2:04.55 and took ninth.
Locked in for Lakewood in the 800m run, Jonas Nanaeto looked to improve his standing in the 400 and placed third in 53.66 seconds. His 2:06.55 in the 800 landed him seventh, but was worth two of the eight team points he earned. Garcia also scored two points in the 3,200 via his seventh-place 11:26.75.
Cundiff finished 13th in the discus (122'4"), while senior Mitchell Neil tied for 14th in the shot (38'11").
2018 GRAND JUNCTION TIGER INVITATIONAL BOYS' TEAM STANDINGS: 1.Palisade 110.5, 2.Durango 95.5, 3.Carbondale Roaring Fork 81, 4.Fruita Monument 80, 5.Grand Junction 79, 6.Craig Moffat County 40, 7.Montezuma-Cortez 35, 8.Rifle 33.5, 9.Mancos 33, 10.Montrose 27, 11.IGNACIO 22, 12.Ouray 12, 13.G.J. Central 10, 14.Dolores 9, 15.G.J. Caprock Academy 3.
2018 GRAND JUNCTION TIGER INVITATIONAL GIRLS' TEAM STANDINGS: 1.Fruita Monument 120, 2.Palisade 105.5, 3.Craig Moffat County 68, T-4.Durango/Montezuma-Cortez 64, 6.Rifle 53, 7.Grand Junction 50.5, 8.Telluride 35, 9.Dolores 29, 10.Dove Creek 20, 11.G.J. Caprock Academy 18, 12.IGNACIO 16, 13.Mancos 13, 14.Carbondale Roaring Fork 10, 15.G.J. Central 5, 16.Ouray 3.