On a fitting date of Saturday, April 8, the eighth annual Abel Velasquez Invitational attracted nine teams to the IHS track, and the hosting Bobcats made sure to represent well at their home meet.
Tops individually for the girls' side was senior Lea Monroe, whose six-foot, nine-inch pole vault was bettered by only 2A Del Norte senior Maxine Salazar's 8'1", and equaled (but in more tries) by 3A Bayfield senior Emily Bauer's 6'9".
Sophomore Kiana Valdez took fourth in the high jump (4'7"), trailing DNHS sophomore Lacie Jones (5'0") and senior Devin Dallas (4'11"), as well as 4A Durango sophomore Alyssa McConnell (4'11"). Senior Jaylynn Herrera also earned Ignacio four team points in the long jump with a fourth-place maximum of 13 feet, 11 inches, while Valdez finished ninth (12'3.5").
Herrera placed sixth in the 100-meter dash, clocking 14.55 seconds (Valdez was 13th in 15.01), but rose to third in the 200 in an elapsed 29.93 (Valdez finished eighth in 30.75).
In a time of 23.53 seconds, senior Rachel Cooper was 13th of 14 finishing the 100-meter hurdles but shot up to seventh in the 300-meter variety with her 1:00.63 effort.
Sophomore Briana Duran was 14th in the shot put (22'2.5") and 15th in the discus (58'1"), while 3A Pagosa Springs junior Keena Murphy won both specialties with respective bests of 34'1" and 130 feet even - which was 40 feet, nine inches farther than freshman teammate Alondra Hernandez's second-place throw.
Up next for the IHS girls - who placed seventh overall with 22 points - will be the Pine River Invitational in Bayfield on Saturday, April 15, and Durango's Ron Keller Invitational on the 18th.
2017 ABEL VELASQUEZ INVITATIONAL GIRLS' TEAM STANDINGS: 1.Pagosa Springs 144, 2.Montezuma-Cortez 120, 3.Del Norte 106, 4.Durango 64, 5.Dove Creek 44, 6.BAYFIELD 29, 7.IGNACIO 22, 8.Mancos 18, 9.Dolores 16.