Monticello track and field teams kick off new season at Red Rocks Invitational in Moab

On a stormy, cold, blustery Saturday, March 13 in Moab, the Monticello track and field teams started the season at the 2021 Red Rocks Invitational hosted by the Grand County Red Devils.

What a difference a year makes. Almost exactly one year after the track and field teams had their season wiped out by COVID-19, Monticello was able to start the track season at its usual first meet of the season.

With ten boy teams and nine girl teams in attendance from 1A, 3A, and 5A, the prospects of a great competition were present, and the meet didn’t disappoint.

The Monticello boys team had a great meet, placing third overall with 72.5 points behind 3A schools Carbon (112 points) and Emery (86.5). San Juan placed 6th as a team scoring 41 points.

The Buckaroos had good success in the distance events with senior Cory Bunker winning the 3200-meter race with a time of 10:17. Senior Alan Pettit placed sixth, running an 11:11. Freshmen Curtis Bunker and Jesse Pettit placed eighth and tenth with times of 11:49 and 12:35.

In the 1600, Cory Bunker placed second behind an Emery runner with a time of 4:55. Jesse Pettit had another top-ten finish, placing ninth with a 5:35.

In the middle distances, Buckaroo senior Eric Montague placed second in the 400-meter with a time of 56.25 and junior teammate Boston Freestone placed fourth, finishing in 56.77.

In the 800, Curtis Bunker and Jesse Pettit placed eighth and ninth with times of 2:43 and 2:57.

Monticello failed to put a runner in the top ten in the 100-meter.

Freshman Robert Morrison was the team’s top finisher, placing 12th overall. No Monticello runners competed in the 110-meter hurdles.

The only relay Monticello participated in on the day was the 1600-meter sprint medley, which they won with a time of 4:02 over North Sevier and Emery.

In the field events, senior Tuff Adair and Robert Morrison placed sixth and ninth in the shot put with tosses of 32-03 and 31-11.

In the discus, Robert Morrison placed seventh and Tuff Adair tied for eighth when they winged the discus 82-05 and 82-0 respectively.

Eric Montague won the javelin competition with a fine throw of 147-01 and Cory Bunker placed fourth with a throw of 120-01.

In the long jump, Robert Morrison came in fifth place with a jump of 16-10 and Boston Freestone placed seventh, jumping 16-06.

On the girls side, Monticello placed sixth overall in the team competition, tying San Juan with 19 points.

The Lady Bucks also had good success in the distance events. Junior Lily Long ran a 13:07 to take third place in the 3200-meter and placed sixth in the 1600 with a time of 6:14.

Long also placed fourth in the 800-meter, running a 2:50. Freshman Shayla Pehrson placed 12th in the 3200 with a 15:26 and 15th in the 1600 with a 7:21.

In the 100-meter sprint, freshman Sadie Adair crossed the finish line in 15.47 to place 15th overall. In the 110 hurdles, sophomore Berlynn Black placed eighth with a time of 21.16, and Sadie Adair claimed 12th, running a 21.90.

In the field events, Berlynn Black placed fifth in the high jump when she cleared 4-04.

The teams will be back in action on Friday, March 20 when they travel to Price for the 2021 Carbon Farm Bureau Invitational.

It had to have felt good for the Monticello baseball team when they opened their season on Tuesday, March 9 in Blanding after they missed the entire 2020 season due to COVID-19.

In 2019, Monticello finished the season 0-12 overall and 0-9 in the 2A Central Region, losing to Kanab in the first round of the 2A state playoffs.

In the afternoon game against the 3A San Juan Broncos, the Bucks fell behind 3-0 after two innings of baseball and never could recover.

They gave up seven runs in the third inning and five in the fourth to drop the game 15-1. The lone Monticello run crossed the plate in the third inning.

The Buckaroos ended the game with three hits, one run, and three errors. Hunter Young suffered the loss on the mound. Josh Kirby had Monticello’s lone extra base hit when he clubbed a double and Eaton Young drove in Monticello’s lone run.

Three days later in Moab Friday, March 13, Monticello faced the 3A Grand County Red Devils. Unfortunately for the Bucks, the bottom of the first inning buried them as Grand ripped off seven runs to take a commanding early lead.

Monticello seemed to steady themselves in the second inning though, scoring two runs while only giving up one. But the Bucks got doubled up 4-2 in both the third and fourth innings to drop the game 16-6.

MHS scored six runs on four hits while giving up 16 runs on 17 hits. Pitcher Devon Hatch started the season 0-1 on the mound but hit a triple at the plate and drove in a run.

Paxton Christensen had a double in the game and drove in two runs. Carson Wells and Easton Young also had an RBI each in the loss.

Monticello will have all of spring break week off, but they’re back in action on Tuesday, March 23 in Gunnison. The San Juan Broncos visit Monticello Friday, March 25 for the Bucks’ home opener.

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