“I’d say, at this point in the season, we’re hitting our groove”
After spending a windy day in Center last Friday, the Titans track team and their coach realized they’ve got something going on this season.
Coach Laura Puckett knows she’s got some talent, and the numbers, for success this year as a team. They had a solid showing in Delta two weeks ago and after the team’s efforts in Center, it appears Delta was no fluke as the Titans continue to blaze a trail on the track scene.
“I’d say, at this point in the season, we’re hitting our groove,” says Puckett.
Puckett and her coaching staff came into the Center Invitational on Friday, March 22 looking to change things up and throw athletes into a variety of new events. The hope was to find out what other weapons they may have in their arsenal.
“We did a lot of playing around with events,” explains Puckett. “We tried to shake it up and see what we got.”
What they have is talent across the board as the girls’ team finished in second and the boys’ team in third place out of 21 teams, including several 3A programs.
Junior Monika Olesen scored big points for the team, placing second in both the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.
“She had really good races in Delta and it was good to see her come back with solid times again,” says Puckett. “It’s good to see that consistency.”
Junior Rosie Ewert is already turning out to be the comeback kid of the year. Based on her recent results, it appears Ewert has come back from massive hip surgery even stronger, posting a third-place finish in the 100-meters.
Senior captain Amber Scott dominated the distance events, winning both the 1,600- and 800-meter events by comfortable margins.
“It was an impressive double,” says Puckett.
Junior Ali McGuire posted a third place in the triple jump and the girls’ 4×200 relay team took third as well, shaving five seconds off their time from their last race in Delta.
“The team is starting to show real depth,” says Puckett. “Now we’re going to work on bringing up the freshmen to be more competitive.”
Sophomore Kaleb Schultz and junior Dakota Wiggins are proving to be a one-two points-scoring punch in the sprint events. Schultz placed second in the 200-meters, with Wiggins coming in fourth place to put some key team points into the final tally.
Freshman Shawnee Landry, junior Rain Landry and junior Danny Prieto then teamed up with Schultz to win the 4×100 relay and the boys’ 4×400-meter relay team placed fourth.
Puckett saw a new side of junior captain Kyle Boyle in Center. Boyle spent the first two years of his track career in the 400 meters but the coaches decided to try him out in mid-distance races this year.
Boyle got his first test running the 800-meters in Center and crushed it, winning the event and adding more versatility to the ever-growing boys’ team talents.
Junior captain Liam Mortell put together one of his best track meet efforts in Center. Mortell placed fourth in the shot put and seventh in the discus, setting a new school record of 108 feet, six inches.
“He had a great day throwing,” says Puckett. “It’s fun to have all of these great events going on this year.”
The team heads to Cedaredge on Saturday, March 30 to line up against several 2A programs from their region.
“We’re hoping to get a glimpse of the Western Slope 2A competition,” says Puckett.
The only trouble is ACT testing is on the same day, so Puckett will be missing a large group of juniors for the meet. That loss will manifest itself in the team scores but Puckett is still looking for some individual highlights.
“It’s going to be every person for themselves,” says Puckett.