Team sets sights on Montrose
Snow continues to plague the Crested Butte Titans’ track season. Just as the team gains momentum, Mother Nature steps in and throws them another hurdle. The latest hiccup in the season came last week when the Titans were proceeding with workouts in near-blizzard conditions in preparation for the Eagle Valley Invitational in Gypsum on Saturday, April 4. While the Titans are no stranger to running in foul weather conditions, a majority of the state is, and as the team put the finishing touches on their pre-meet workouts, they were informed that the Eagle Valley Invitational would be postponed to Tuesday, April 7, due to snow.
The Titans track team rolled with the flow and left town early Tuesday morning bound for Gypsum. Once there, they were met with near perfect weather with sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s.
Senior Jack Linehan and sophomore Erin Kelly took advantage of the favorable weather to post a couple of first place finishes.
Linehan started the day running the opening leg of the boys’ 4×800-meter relay. Linehan was joined by sophomore Sky Egelhoff, junior Nicholas Harper and freshman Jeffrey Hargrove, and the four Titans rallied together to finish in second place with a time of 9:22.52.
“It was a really good performance by them,” says coach Laura Puckett.
Linehan then proceeded to win the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:37.72 battling with a runner from Rifle in the opening two laps before making his move on the third lap to close with the win.
Ultimately though, the two previous efforts and a “dark horse” speedster from Buena Vista took their toll on Linehan in his final event of the meet, the 800-meter run.
The Buena Vista runner jumped out to an early lead and held on the entire 800-meters leaving Linehan in a battle for second. Unfortunately, his second-place opponent put one last kick in to edge out ahead of Linehan. Still, Linehan finished with his fastest time this season running as a Titan, with a time of 2:02.60.
“He ran a good race but in the end, he just got out-kicked,” says Puckett.
Kelly made the most of her one event, winning the 1,600-meter with a time of 5:34.22. It was a tight race for Kelly until the third lap when she made her move into the lead, essentially crushing the spirit of her opponent.
“She made a decisive move and that move won the race,” says Puckett.
Junior Ricky Sandoval had a solid day in Gypsum, posting three top-ten finishes out of four events. Sandoval started off with a 10th-place finish in the 100-meter dash, took 12th in the 200-meter dash and then moved into his premier events, the long jump and the triple jump.
Sandoval jumped 18 feet, one inch in the long jump to finish seventh and hit a personal record distance of 37 feet, two inches in the triple jump to take ninth place.
“He was real consistent in all of his events, which is an awesome thing to see,” says Puckett.
Senior Mackenzie Mailly made her competitive debut for the 2009 track season in Gypsum, battling out of the unseeded first heat of the 100-meter hurdles to come in fifth place overall with a time of 18:33. She equaled that feat in the 300-meter hurdles, taking fifth place again with a time of 52:82. “It’s great to have her out there,” says Puckett. “It’s impressive to go from an unseeded heat to finish in the top five.”
Mailly joined freshmen Ali Turner, Kelsey Beltz and Melanie Whiting to post a seventh-place finish in the 4×800-meter relay and a sixth place finish in the 4×100-meter relay.
With the school on spring break right now, Puckett has only five Titans traveling for a meet in Gunnison on Saturday, April 18. The team returns to workouts on Monday, April 20 and the freshmen and sophomores head down to Gunnison on Wednesday, April 22 for a freshmen/sophomore meet at Western State College.
The entire team then heads to Montrose for the Montrose Invitational on Friday, April 24, a benchmark for Puckett and her team.
“That’s kind of where we have our sights set,” says Puckett.