Already doubling up on her springtime extracurricular activities as part of Lady Bobcat Soccer, young Rachel Cooper boldly attempted to do prior to spring break what none seemingly can hope to do: upset 3A Bayfield senior Eva-Lou Edwards in the 3,200-meter run.
It didn't happen, but the freshman's 13:49.32 earned Ignacio some morale-boosting points. None were scored at the March 8 Early Bird in Farmington, and the next weekend's Piedra Vista Invitational in Farmington yielded few. Cooper's time also kept her close to Edwards' runningmate Aubree Lorenzen, who clocked a 13:42.25.
Edwards, meanwhile, was already long gone in just 11:48.69, in one of the prime highlights of the 2014 Aztec Icebreaker, held March 21 inside chilly Fred Cook Memorial Stadium.
Another Bobcat highlight was IHS' Klayson Smith. Picking up where he left off in 2013 in seeking a Class 2A title, the junior cleared a winning 6'2" in the high jump, with Nick Herrera also scoring points with his 5'8". The boys also were blanked at the Early Bird, and mirrored the girls' 12th-place result at Piedra. There weren't many more points to be had, however. The Bobcats' accumulated 19 landed them ninth out of 11 squads, while the Lady Bobcats' eight landed them 11th out of 13.
In Aztec, Ignacio's 4x200 relay boys-Wyatt Hayes, Christian Knoll, Mike Perez, and Smith-posted a third-place run in 1:39.17, not even two full tenths of a tick behind Valley neighbors BHS as all Colorado crews took their first shots at registering State-qualifying figures.
Hayes also scored by taking fourth in the long jump (19'5"). Perez leapt 16'6", and also laid down a 17.91 in the 110-meter hurdles. Knoll ran a 54.98 in the 400, and also cleared 10 feet in the pole vault.
Hayes also hopped, skipped, and jumped a 37'7" in the triple, close to in-state familiars Liam O'Neil (37'10") of Durango and 3A Pagosa Springs' Mason Chronowski (38'7"). Chase Sanchez (32'10"), Keith Joosten (31'11.5") and Tyler Riepel (30'1.5") also competed in the event.
Joosten (9'6") also took part in the pole vault, while Kelton Richmond heaved the shot 36 feet, 11.5 inches and launched the discus 106'1". As Ignacio's only short-sprinter, Isaiah Harrison clocked a 12.76 in the 100 meters, and ran 27.45 in the 200.
For the Lady 'Cats, the 4x200 of Jaylynn Rose Herrera, DaShona Lloyd, Alejandra Lujan and Azala Perez was solid with a fourth-place 1:55.89-nearly five seconds faster than Bayfield, and fastest amongst the meet's Colorado schools.
The 4x100 relay ran a 55.95-reportedly third-quickest amongst in-staters-and the 1,600-meter medley posted a 5:26.45. Individually, Perez ran a 15.26 in the 100, trailing teammate Savannah Turner (14.42), amongst others, and in the 400 Isis Gonzales (1:14.12) and Sharmaine Price (1:16.20) were Ignacio's top finishers.
High-stepping through the 100-meter hurdles were Veronica Gonzales (20.98) and Jerica Jackson (23.62), with Jayce Stricherz completing the 300-meter version in 59.08 seconds. In the field events, Amya Bison (13'9.25") and Herrera (11'4.5") represented IHS in the long jump, but the team had no presence in the triple-both being specialties of on-the-mend Sky Cotton.
Jackson (4'4"), Lujan (4'2") and Annika Zschiegner (4'2") gave the high jump their respective bests, with Stricherz (6'6"), Chrystianne Valdez (6'6") and July Stricherz (6'0") doing so in the pole vault. Finally, thrower Alana Watts sent the shot 26'4" down range, and hurled the javelin-a still-emerging attraction in Centennial State circles-eighty feet, three inches.
The Bobcats will next compete at the Bayfield Quad tomorrow and return to Wolverine Country Stadium on April 12 for the IHS/BHS co-hosted Abel Velasquez Invitational.