BAYFIELD – Historically, the only thing that gets in the way of a memorable Pine River Invitational track and field meet has been the weather.
Bayfield High School track and field head coach Josh Walton has checked the radar throughout the week and is in much better spirits knowing that Saturday’s forecast has drastically improved from Monday’s original outlook.
“The pressure is on us a little bit when you’re running your own meet,” Walton said. “You want it to be as good for everyone as possible. We’re excited about the weather and the prospects for a competitive meet.”
It will be the final home meet for 10 Bayfield seniors, including David Hawkins, Mikayla Barnes and Jordan Lanning, who combined to break six different school records last Saturday at the Abel Velasquez Invitational at Ignacio High School.
“There’s a real potential to see some stadium records fall,” Walton said. “That’s nice to have your athletes have your own stadium records.”
Walton said 12 teams will compete Saturday at Wolverine Country Stadium, including Durango, Ignacio, and a number of other Class 3A Intermountain League teams such as Alamosa, Monte Vista, Montezuma-Cortez and Pagosa Springs.
“We always get great competition, and it’s doubling over as a preview at what our league meet will look like in two weeks,” Walton said. “A lot of teams are using this as their pre-prom meet, so they’ve got prom Saturday night, so we’re gonna lose some athletes, as they’ll come for the first half of the meet and compete and then head out. But even still, everybody will have their top athletes competing, so we’ll see how it goes.”
The Wolverines are preparing for the home meet in a slightly different manner, as they will enter two teams in the 4x400 relay.
“That’ll be a little bit of fun for us to see what the girls can do, and a lot of the girls have not run 400s this year, so it’ll be nice for us to see and possibly build a 4x4 from that,” Walton said.
On the boys side, Walton is looking forward to seeing sophomore Zeb Shields have a breakout weekend. He finished third last weekend in the 400 with a time of 56.70 seconds, and he was seventh in the 1,600 with a time of 5:21.40.
“Zeb Shields is going to run the 800 this weekend. We’ll be curious to see how he does,” Walton said. “He’s improved a lot, and earlier in the season he was ranked the No. 1 sophomore in the state in Class 3A, so we’re excited as he keeps progressing. He’ll have another two years with us, and while he’s not running the top 10 yet, he’s got the potential to be there, and this weekend could be big for him.”
The meet begins at 9 a.m. Saturday starting with the field events, while the track events start at 10 a.m. at Wolverine Country Stadium.