Even if the Bayfield boys' track-and-field team is something of an unknown entity on the Front Range, the Wolverines proudly trashed that cloak of anonymity last Saturday.
Closing out Spring Break 2018 at Grand Junction High School's Mickey Dunn Invitational against a field comprised mainly of Class 4A and 5A opposition, the Wolverines primed themselves for an April explosion with standout efforts in the hurdles and throws, plus a relative surprise in the fastest relay race.
With zero surprise, senior Carl Heide yet again proved uncatchable in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, clocking respective winning times of 15.28 and 40.61 seconds, and earning BHS the maximum 20 team points.
Senior Wyatt Killinen and sophomore Dylan Hilliker then combined for seven in the 100m dash as they placed 5-6 in, respectively, 11.68 and 11.70. But with 4x100 relay mate Dawson French unavailable, someone needed to step up if the short-sprint scoring was to continue midway through the meet.
Enter senior Shea Marx. Translating his known soccer speed onto the Stocker Stadium track, his own effort in the 100, a ninth-place 11.78, earned BHS another team point. Then Marx ran with Bayfield's best burners, with the result being a 10-point, first-place 44.22 bettering the meet-hosting 5A Tigers' 44.83, 5A Highlands Ranch ThunderRidge's 45.26, plus 12 more quartets.
Running in the very next event, the longer 400m dash, Marx slowed to a 36th-place 1:00.94, but senior teammate Dawson Heide laid down a fourth-place 52.10, good for five points, and later teamed with brother Carl, Killinen and senior Dax Snooks to end the day with a fifth-place 3:38.00 in the 4x400 - earning the final four of Bayfield's 82 points.
Highlands Ranch-based 5A Mountain Vista managed to top the 23-team table with a winning 84. 4A Monument Palmer Ridge finished third overall with 69 points, followed by 5A Littleton Dakota Ridge (52), 4A Montrose (52), TRHS (51) and GJHS (46).
Destroying his initial "seeding" distance by almost two feet, Killinen won the shot put with a 49-foot, 7.25-inch heave, with senior Ryan Phelps right behind at 48'7.25" and junior David Hawkins fifth at 46'10". That gave the Wolverines an imposing 22-point take from the event.
Obliterating his seeding distance in the discus by five feet, nine inches, Phelps scored 10 points with a winning 155'1" on his fourth of six throws. 4A Battle Mountain's Max Christenberry had managed an even 152-footer right off the bat, but could not improve before he was surpassed.
Snooks managed to total 3.5 of BHS' points via his sixth-place 16.03 in the 110m hurdles and his eighth-place 5'10" (which he achieved faster than did Dawson Heide) in the high jump, and was a near-miss in the triple jump with a ninth-place 38'7.75".
French, who had joined Josh Kaufmann, Marx and Kalon Mead in running the 4x2 (BHS finished 13th in 1:45.50) before the aforementioned 4x1, placed seventh in the pole vault, held the previous day at GJHS, rather than inside Stocker, with an 11'1" best, with Mead taking tenth at 7'7".
Up next for the Wolverines will be the April 6-7 John Tate Challenge Cup, hosted by Pueblo Centennial inside that city's Dutch Clark Stadium, with Day 1 action set to begin at 1 p.m. Bayfield's junior-varsity athletes, meanwhile, are slated to compete at Saturday's Abel Velasquez Invitational in Ignacio.
2018 MICKEY DUNN INVITATIONAL BOYS' TEAM STANDINGS (top 10 of 23): 1.Highlands Ranch Mountain Vista 84, 2.BAYFIELD 82, 3.Monument Palmer Ridge 69, T-4.Littleton Dakota Ridge/Montrose 52, 6.HR ThunderRidge 51, 7.Grand Junction 46, 8.Gypsum Eagle Valley 40, 9.Fruita Monument 38, 10.Carbondale Roaring Fork 30.