“It played out better than expected”
by Than Acuff
The April break at the Crested Butte Community School can throw a huge wrench in the plans of any coach, especially when it comes to track. All the work done on speed, endurance and technique can suffer when the athletes head off to the beach or desert.
When head track coach Ben Davis saw his team at the first practice following the break, things were looking bleak and he had little idea of how things would shake out at the team’s first meet in Gunnison following the break on Saturday, April 23.
“A lot of the kids came back out of shape and so the first race after the break was a little unpredictable,” says Davis.
In the end, things played out much better than expected with several Titans improving on their previous efforts thus far this season.
“It played out better than expected,” says Davis. “A lot of PRs [personal records], which surprised me.”
The girls’ distance crew got a huge boost in Gunnison as Sam Crossett returned to the fray. She had yet to race in an official meet and she kicked off her senior season with a bang, placing second in the two-mile and fifth in the mile.
“That was cool because that was her first official meet of the season and to have her come out that strong is good news,” says Davis.
Teammate Sydney Peterson posted another standout performance, shaving six seconds off her previous best time in the two-mile and running away from the field for the win.
“She had the lead in the first 200 meters and basically competed against herself,” says Davis.
As of right now, Peterson has qualified for the state meet in three events: the 800 meters, the one-mile and the two-mile.
The girls 4×200 meters and the sprint medley relays are knocking on the door of posting state qualifying times. Both squads set PR times for the season and are a second out of making the cut for the big show, all without their standout runner, Malia Olson.
“They ran well and there are some easy fixes to make to knock down their times,” says Davis.
Davis believes he has the boys relay team set, barring a couple of minor tweaks, and will focus on fine-tuning their efforts.
“Right now the teams are pretty set and it’s just about perfecting their exchanges,” explains Davis. “I still believe there’s hope for both the boys and girls teams.”
Speaking of the boys team, Thomas Taaca posted a PR in the 200 meters and had his best result in the 100 meters, placing fifth. Tate Young set a new PR in the high jump to place fifth and improved on his efforts in the 800 meters to take eighth.
The freshmen and sophomores headed back to Gunnison on Wednesday for a freshmen–sophomore meet and then the entire team will be headed to Montrose for a meet on Friday, April 29. Until then, Davis plans on keeping the pedal to the metal during workouts.
“We’re finishing work on speed and technique and doing harder workouts now that we’re midway through the season,” says Davis. “Now it’s more about finishing races at full speed.”