The Durango High School track and field team tested the best of the best in Colorado last weekend.
The Demons competed in the annual Liberty Bell Invitational at Heritage High School in Littleton, a huge multiclassification meet that annually draws Colorado’s best
“Jared (Blake) won the 110 high hurdles, and he PR’d in the prelims,” Durango head coach Mark Dutro said of Blake.
“And he had plenty of competition. It was a tough field,” Dutro said.
“In the finals, he had to come from behind over the last couple of hurdles,” Dutro said of Blake, who finished second in the high hurdles at the state meet last year.
Blake ran a 14.87 in the preliminary round.
Josh Mielke of Thompson Valley (Loveland) finished second to Blake. Mielke later won the 300-meter hurdles; Blake finished fifth.
“Jared’s prelim time was better than the finals,” Dutro said, adding that the finals featured mostly Class 5A hurdlers. The Demons are Class 4A.
The Demons also collected a third-place finish from the girls 4x800 relay team of Karli Foreman, Madeigh Winsor, Dominique Ward and Shannon Maloney.
The Demons ran 9:36.28.
“That’s the second fastest 4x800 we’ve ever had (at DHS),” Dutro said. “That’s close to the school record (9:34).
“They dropped 14 seconds from their best time,” he said.
Dutro said several other Demons had career-best times or throws, even though they didn’t qualify for the finals at the Liberty Bell.
“Shannon Maloney had a PR in the open 400,” Dutro said of the DHS freshman.
“It was a great experience for her. Running against people like that will make her faster,” Dutro said.
She ran 59.98.
Austin Miles also recorded a career-best in the shot put. Miles threw 47-10.
“He threw over 47 feet twice,” Dutro said.
“It was well worth the trip.” the DHS coach said. “The meet had the feel of the state meet, which should help us.”
Another Four Corners runner excelled at the Liberty Bell.
Ty Williams of Norwood/Telluride, a three-time Class 2A state cross country champion, beat the entire field to win the 3,200-meter run in Littleton. He ran 9:35.78 against a field of 5A, 4A and 3A runners.
Williams, who has signed to run at Kansas University next year, finished eighth in the 1,600.
The Demons will return to competition Friday and Saturday at the annual Tiger Relays in Grand Junction.