Ignacio's Elco Garcia Jr. registered another excellent effort in the 3,200-meter run last Saturday with his third-place 11:07.83 at the Monte Vista Last Chance. Only Pagosa Springs rival Jacob Hughes (10:47.63) and Lake City Community School's Gabe Murphy (11:07.29) beat him across the finish line.
But in solidifying his standing amongst the event's state-bound top 18 individuals, the freshman also scored a serious morale boost before heading to Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood for the Class 2A State Championships.
For trailing him in fourth, with a time of 11:15.37, was Crested Butte Community's Joe Coburn, brother of Emma Coburn, the University of Colorado star and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist (3,000m steeplechase, in a U.S.-record 9:07.63).
Overall, the Bobcat boys totaled 17.5 team points, good for 16th place in the standings.
State-bound in his best specialty, junior Natoni Cundiff logged another top-five in the discus with his fourth-place 122'10", and also finished ninth in the shot put at 38'8". Senior Colten Smithson took sixth in the pole vault (9'0"), and classmate Bryan Gram finished seventh in the 200-meter dash (24.14 seconds) and 11th in the 100 (12.13). Esteban Romero ended up eighth in the 400 (55.51) with the 4x400 relay (3:46.75) doing likewise.
Gram will also represent Ignacio at the 2017 season's final competition, having qualified in the 400.
Unfortunately, no Bobcat girls will compete as no individual or relay warranted top-18 inclusion in any events after last weekend's Last Chance attempts.
Senior Lea Monroe led the IHS girls with fifth-place points-the Lady 'Cats totaled six and placed 16th-in the pole vault, achieved by clearing 7'3", and senior Jaylynn Herrera registered a seventh-place 1:07.83 in the 400 and also took tenth in the 200 (28.92).
Sophomore Kiana Valdez tied five others for ninth in the high jump with a 4'6.5" best, and senior Rachel Cooper finished 11th in the 300-meter hurdles (57.75).
MONTE VISTA LAST CHANCE GIRLS' STANDINGS: 1.BAYFIELD 147, 2.Alamosa 126.5, 3.Crested Butte 59, 4.La Jara Centauri 51, 5.Del Norte 47, 6.Pagosa Springs 46.5, 7.La Veta 37, 8.Lake City 34, 9.Fairplay South Park 30, 10.Antonito 27, 11.Sargent 26, 12.Monte Vista 23, 13.Cotopaxi 20, 14.Sanford 19, 15.Center 16, 16.IGNACIO 6, 17.Creede 5, 18.Cripple Creek-Victor 1.
MONTE VISTA LAST CHANCE BOYS' STANDINGS: 1.BAYFIELD 101.5, 2.Monte Vista 78.5, 3.La Jara Centauri 54.5, 4.Pagosa Springs 52, 5.Crested Butte 49.5, 6.Alamosa 48, 7.Sanford 47, 8.Center 44, 9.Lake City 37, 10.Cotopaxi 32, 11.Sargent 24, 12.Del Norte 22.5, 13.Fairplay South Park 21, 14.Creede 20, 15.La Veta 18, 16.IGNACIO 17.5, 17.Mosca Sangre de Cristo 11, 18.San Luis Centennial 6.