Snow shortens Sabercat Invitational

Arriving flakes halt track and field competition late in the meet

Tom Munds
Littleton's Victoria Dinkel clears the barrier in the 100-meter hurdles at the March 22 Sabercat Invitational. Dinkel finished third in her heat in the hurdles and later helped the Lions finish second in the 800-meter sprint relay.
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Mother Nature brought the snow as officials prepared for the high hurdles and they made the decision to halt competition at the Sabercat Invitational Track Meet held March 22 at Sports Authority Stadium in Parker.

Temperatures hovered in the mid-30s during the meet and the arrival of snow led to the decision to close the event down.

During the meet, every athlete focused on winning plus every athlete and spectator focused on staying warm as temperatures hovered just above freezing.

Groups huddled together for warmth, individuals wrapped themselves in blankets and some even crawled into sleeping bags in efforts to keep warm in the stands and around the track.

“This meet was in question and we had a few teams decide not to come today,” Ryan Whitenack, meet director and Castle View track coach, said while competition was still underway. “It is chilly but, since there was no snow, we went ahead with the meet to provide a chance for the teams and athletes to compete. Snow, along with these temperatures, may mean we cut things short. ”

Ponderosa runner Sarah Lark smiled and said she was glad to be running against other teams.

“It is chilly but I think it is good weather to run,” she said after competing in the 4x200 relay. “Today was fun. Our team didn't do as well as we can do but this is my event and it was a good race.”

Twenty-five teams registered for the event and 17 took part in the meet. Bill Knipmeyer, a Littleton assistant coach, said the invitational was a good opportunity for Lion athletes to match their talents against top-caliber competition.

“The weather hasn't been good to us this spring so I am glad this meet went on as scheduled,” he said. “I think this is the first chance for some of our young kids to see what they can do at this level of competition.”

Trey Smith, who ran the 100-meter dash for Douglas County, said the cold temperatures made his muscles tight and he didn't feel as good as he would have if it had been warmer.

“Still, everyone facing the competing in the same weather conditions so it was still fun to run today,” he said. “I knew going in that, in this weather, I wouldn't have a great time but I did run pretty well I think.”

He did run well as he won the event with a time of 11.06 seconds.

The results posted online were limited and didn't include boys team scores. In the girls division, Cherry Creek finished first with 68 points, Fountain-Fort Carson was second with 54 points and Castle View was third with 51 points.

Arapahoe was eighth, Douglas County was 11, Elizabeth was 12th and Littleton was 17.

Fountain-Fort Carson won the boys team title with 82 points and Cherry Creek scored 65 points to finish second.

Chaparral and Douglas County tied for fourth place with 30 points each while Castle View, Elizabeth and Arapahoe each scored 27 points and were tied for seventh place. Littleton finished 14 and Ponderosa was 15.