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Despite deep snows, Titans track season gets under way

“We just had to be really creative”

It’s no secret that running a track program at 9,000 feet has its challenges, especially this year.

 

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The Crested Butte Titans track season started two weeks ago with a variety of workouts in an effort to get the team ready for its first meet of the season.
The first challenge actually came last year when head coach Bill Quiggle stepped down from his position, leaving the program in the hands of Sarah Fuld. Erica Black moved up from the middle school track program to join Fuld at the high school level this year.
“Bill Quiggle is missed,” says Fuld. “He did a lot for this track team and I have very big shoes to fill.”
The next challenge for Fuld came during pre-season, when several tracksters were still busy with the basketball post-season.
“A lot of the basketball kids have barely run a week,” says Fuld.
And then there’s the weather.
Every year the track team endures random storms during the early weeks of the season, but this year conditions have been unprecedented due to the massive amounts of snow, coupled with the typical spring storm cycle.
“We’ve been doing a lot of indoor stuff and ran as much as we could,” says Fuld. “We just had to be really creative.”
In addition to running, Fuld has a number of other goals in mind as she prepares the team for the season.
“I believe in running, but I believe in core fitness,” explains Fuld, “staying injury-free and having fun while we do it.”
Fuld, Black and the team rose above the issues at hand to rally 14 athletes to the first meet of the season, the Mickey Dunn Invitational in Grand Junction on Saturday, March 22.
“I was just looking for them to try new things and experience a meet,” says Fuld. “Everyone that went did really well.”
The girls’ team finished the day in 11th place out of 17 teams led by senior Emma Coburn.
Coburn picked up where she left off last year with a second-place finish in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5.31.22, fast enough to pre-qualify her for the state meet.
Coburn tacked on a third-place finish in the 800-meter with a time of 2.26.53 and a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 64.11.
While Coburn’s results scored a majority of points for the team, Fuld saw a strong effort from the other runners as well, starting with junior Mackenzie Mailly.
“Mackenzie is healthy, and if she stays healthy, she’ll be a powerhouse for the team,” says Fuld.
Fuld also sees freshman Erin Kelley as another solid performer this year. Kelley made a name for herself in the fall, running cross-country but needs practice on the track to get dialed in.
“With a little bit of practice and work on the track, she’ll get faster,” says Fuld. “She’s a dedicated athlete.”
The girls’ relay teams are just a few workouts away from making themselves known as well.
“I thought our sprint medley team did really well,” says Fuld. “We just need work on our hand-offs.”
The boys’ team continues to be a work in progress from year to year as interest in the sport grows through the ranks.
Junior Jack Linehan opened his second season on the team with a solid showing in Grand Junction in the 400-meter dash as well as his first attempt at the 1,600-meter run.
Linehan posted a time of 56.02 in the 400-meter and should be a contender for the state meet as time progresses.
“He should be able to qualify for states with a little more work,” says Fuld.
Fuld turned to several athletes to try a variety of other events, and they accepted the challenge without hesitation.
“Jeffery Hargrove and Henry Linehan were willing to try anything,” says Fuld. “I really respected that a lot.”
The season is now in full swing and Fuld hopes to add more athletes into the fold.
“We’re still totally up in the air,” says Fuld.
In the meantime, the Titans look to fit as much training and meets as possible into the next 10 weeks, with their sights set on the state meet.
“Our season is very short,” says Fuld. “We’d like to get as many kids to qualify for states as possible and keep the Titans rolling.”
The Titans track team heads to Cedaredge on Saturday, March 29 for their second meet of the season.

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