Track team members MIA

Many students vacationing on spring break or suffering from minor injuries

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— A couple of bum ankles and a group of AWOL students have plagued the Sailors track and field team this week.

The Sailors, who are preparing for a meet in Rifle Saturday, will be minus about 25 athletes who are on spring break or have minor injuries.

Thirteen Sailors are expected to compete at the Rifle Invitational, which does not have a starting time yet announced.

Patrick McMahon, a sophomore, was the only runner on the 400 and 800-meter relay teams at practice Tuesday. The two relay teams are missing Kyle Svendsen, Ryan Wattles and Derek Haverley.

Haverley and Svendsen are soaking up the sun in Cozumel, while Wattles is projected as a no-go with a nagging knee injury. Wattles is expected to be back at practice by Thursday but most likely will not compete Saturday.

"Two of them are gone in Mexico having fun with the rest of the school while we get to hang out and practice track," McMahon said.

Haverley could not have competed this weekend anyway because he twisted his ankle about a week ago shooting hoops, said Suzie Mefford, Sailors assistant coach.

Jeremy Hays, who does the 1,600-meter relay, 400-meter dash and 800-meter run, is questionable with an injured hip.

Svendsen also has ankle problems, Mefford said.

The boys' 400- and 800-meter relay teams did not compete at an invitational in Glenwood Springs this past Saturday. Nor will they give it a go at Rifle.

"We do have several (athletes) with problems," Mefford said. "A little break isn't bad for them either."

The Sailors' meet at Rifle will be followed by their final regular-season meet at Craig May 5.

Regionals are May 11 and 12 in Grand Junction.

A short-handed Sailors team competed at Glenwood this past Saturday against 20 other teams.

Most spring breakers already had skipped out of town before the Glenwood meet.

"We had definitely limited numbers that went to Glenwood and that made it difficult because we didn't have the number of people in the events that we usually do," Mefford said.

At Glenwood, the Sailors' Luke Nykamp recorded a personal best in the discus throw with a toss of 128 feet, 5 inches.

Nykamp was fifth in the discus.

Jessica Flores also set a personal best. Flores powered through the 100-meter high hurdles in 16.79 seconds. She was second behind Glenwood's Megan McGrath at 16.49.

Rachel Starr did not compete in the 800-meter run because she was not feeling well, Mefford said.

But Starr had enough energy in the 400-meter dash to place third in 1:02.00.

Jessica Brown of West Grand was the No. 1 finisher in the 400-meter dash at 56.60.

Hayden's Joel Wixson continues to blow the competition away in the 100-meter dash.

Wixson broke his school's 100-meter dash record by finishing in 11.13.

The Sailors girls' 1,600-meter relay team finished third behind West Grand and Moffat County. Flores, Lennae Jenkins, Mackenzie Little and Starr finished the 1,600-meter relay in 4:26.18.

Glenwood coach Blake Risner said mostly sunny weather paved the way for a good day of competition.

"I think the meet went well because we had the weather cooperate for the first time in many years," Risner said. "They were able to compete under pretty good conditions."

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