The Miners are making up for lost time.
The Telluride High School track team, in spite of a two-week hiatus for spring break, is attacking school records and smashing personal records, thanks in part to Saturday’s Montrose Invitational.
Under sunny skies with warm temperatures, the Miners warmed up for the stretch run to the state track and field championships with bellwether performances on the brand new track surface at Montrose High School.
The jump runways also featured the fast new red surface, which junior Lily Graves used to break the Telluride school record in the triple jump Saturday.
“I just got back from spring break,” Graves said after her record jump. “With all the snow and everything, I’ve had like a day to practice any jumping.”
Nonetheless, Graves attacked the runway with the same approach she used a year ago, when she set the school record that she would reset in Montrose.
“I just went and figured it out,” she said. “ … It was surprising, but I’m really excited about it.”
She said there’s more work to be done as she looks at the 35-foot range.
Her school-record jump of 33 feet, 8.5 inches ranks fifth best in the state in Class 2A this season, well within the top 18 that will qualify for the state championships.
“I hope to break it again,” Graves said before heading off to compete in more events at the Montrose meet, which attracted a Western Slope regional field that included Delta, Olathe, Paonia, Cedaredge, Norwood, Nucla, Crested Butte, Fruita Monument, Grand Junction Central, Ouray/Silverton, Basalt, Roaring Fork, Glenwood Springs, Eagle Valley and host Montrose.
The Miners, under the direction of first-year head coach Joanna Marczyk and longtime assistant coach Mark Galbo, recorded a number of personal records (PRs) to go along with podium finishes at Montrose.
“We had several with PRs, and Lily broke the record (in the triple jump) and we’re very close to a couple more records,” said Marczyk, a former college and prep standout runner from New Hampshire who took over the Miners’ program this year. “We’ve had a lot of hard work (by the athletes), especially the upperclassmen.”
Like senior Jaden Evans.
“Jaden did a really good job in the 800 and the 3,200,” she said.
Evans, who is on track for his fourth consecutive trip to the state meet, posted a blistering time in the 800-meter dash Saturday against a field of 5A, 4A, 3A and 2A runners.
Evans was the top 2A finisher in 2 minutes, 05.66 seconds, a qualifying time for the state championships in Lakewood in three weeks.
He’s been on the podium at states in both the 1,600 and the 3,200 with qualifying times in those events again this season.
He’s recorded the third fastest time at 1,600 meters this season. And he’s at 10 minutes, 31.06 seconds in the 3,200, posted Saturday, which is the sixth best in the state.
If the times hold, Evans would qualify for the state meet at 800, 1,600 and 3,200.
“He’ll have a very busy weekend (at states),” Marczyk said.
Fellow distance runner Spencer Keating is also chasing qualifying standards in the middle distance events.
“Maile (Silva) made the finals in the long jump, and she set a PR for the 300 hurdles,” the Telluride head coach said.
Silva is also on schedule to return to the states again this season. Her PR time of 46.97 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles is the second-fastest time in the state in Class 2A so far this season.
Her time trails only that of two-time defending state champion Kaiya Firor of Hotchkiss (44.28), who was named the top athlete in the girls 2A state meet last year.
Silva also is among the state leaders in the 2A long jump with her 16 feet, 8.5 inches posted in March.
“Shannon (Wyszynski) was second in the 100 meters, which was great,” Marczyk said, citing the bigger schools competing. She said the Miners also have a strong 4x100 relay team on the girls side.
Wyszynski ran the 100 meters in 13.17 seconds Saturday, jumping into the top 10 in the 2A rankings. She’s been to state and on the state podium multiple times for the Miners.
Maya Ordonez, back in her Telluride track uniform after spending a year studying abroad last year, is working her way back toward the state meet. She was a member of Telluride’s state championship 4x800 relay team two years ago.
Ordonez also finished second at state in the 1,600 two years ago with then-teammate Soleil Gaylord winning the title. Ordonez, a senior, placed fourth at state in the 3,200 in 2017, and she was seventh in the 800.
The Miners also are landing state berths in the field events this season.
Senior Jess Pack is a likely qualifier in the discus.
Thomas Hatcher qualified for the finals in the long jump Saturday at Montrose.
“I’m very impressed with their work ethic,” Marczyk said of the Miners’ trackers. “I’m having so much fun. I couldn’t ask for a better group for my first coaching job. The upperclassmen have been so helpful, and they’ve been great leaders.”
The Telluride track team was scheduled to compete in the San Juan Basin League meet early this week in Ignacio.
On May 10-11, the Miners will compete at the Tiger Invitational at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction — the final state-qualifying opportunity.
The annual state championships will be held May 16-18 at Jefferson County Stadium in suburban Denver (Lakewood).