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Titan track continues climb to full strength as season progresses

Making the most of limited numbers

by Than Acuff

Sometime soon, maybe not until after the April break, but soon, the Crested Butte Titans track team will reach their full potential both as individuals and as a team. With the aches and pains of training and a variety of other conflicts impeding the team, coach Laura Daniels has been somewhat handcuffed as far as total team results.

“We’re still a really, really small team so we don’t have a lot of flexibility,” explains Daniels.

Case in point was their past meet on Saturday, April 1, in Cedaredge, since the team was missing two girls and therefore unable to build any relay teams. Nevertheless, her athletes continue to gain ground as individuals and that should pan out in the bigger picture as the season continues.

“They’re getting much stronger and their endurance is much better,” says Daniels. “They were able to do all of the events they were assigned. We had a pretty good smattering of personal records and seem to be solidifying as a team.”

The Cedaredge meet attracted some of the smaller programs and, as a result, left the door open for domination by junior Sydney Petersen in the 1,600 meters. Petersen ran away from the field posting a season’s-best time to win the 1,600-meter event and is currently ranked top three in the state for 2A runners.

Junior Maria O’Neal continued her efforts in the 800 meters, placing second with Petersen three seconds back in third and then jumped into a new event for her, the 400 meters, and placed second.

“Maria just crushed it—she ran really well,” says Daniels.

Freshman Keely Olson posted an eighth-place finish in both the 100 meters and 400 meters and freshmen Annalise Chain and Olivia Gordon continue to hone their 800 meter skills with Chain setting a new personal record (PR). Meanwhile, sophomore Hope Freeman did the same, setting a PR in the 200 meters.

Sophomore Josh Merck placed seventh in the 100 meters and sixth in the 400 meters and while he didn’t set any PRs, he came close and that showed Daniels that Merck is steady as he goes.

“He had some solid performances and is just off of his PR times, so that shows me that his fastest times weren’t just flukes,” says Daniels.

The boys 4×800-meter relay team of juniors Finn Wilson, Woody Martineau, Sully Marshall and sophomore Joe Coburn combined to post the Titans’ fastest 4×800 time of the season and place fourth. Coburn also set a new PR in the mile with a time of 4:58:71 to place seventh.

“He broke five minutes and that’s a huge mental barrier to break,” says Daniels.

Sophomore Tate Young set a new PR in the high jump to finish fourth and made his first foray into the 400 meters this season and placed ninth.

The team heads to Salida this weekend with several athletes missing the meet due to ACT testing. Nevertheless, Daniels will continue running her athletes through their individual events and forming relay teams for later this season when the team is back to full strength.

“I do feel like we’ve gotten to see where everybody’s strengths are and after April break we’re looking for the relays to break out,” says Daniels.

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