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Titans track eases back into the spring season

“From what we saw overall, we were pleased”

by Than Acuff

The April break is over and the Crested Butte Titans track team is easing back into its season with a week of workouts before jumping into competition with the Montrose Invitational on Saturday, April 28.

Prior to the break, the coaches asked that their athletes do their best to maintain their fitness levels, whether they were relaxing in Sedona, on a beach in Mexico or even in Panama. When they returned, the coaches got a glimpse into the team’s follow-through.

“Some used the break to relax, some did the workouts, some didn’t, so we kind of got a mixed bag,” says coach Laura Daniels. “Overall they’re pretty tired right now.”

The team took an additional hit to their development as they managed to compete in only part of the meet in Montrose as Prom that evening and a lightning delay during the meet curtailed their effort. Still, the Titans did rise to the challenge in a couple of events, including both the boys and girls 4×800-meter relay teams placing second.

It was the first 4×800 race of the season for the girls. While Daniels has standout distance runners Sydney Petersen and Maria O’Neal as a core for the team and Annalise Chain coming into her own, the fourth spot was still in question. But Daniels called on Corrina Donovan to step up and she happily accepted.

“Corrina opted in and it was awesome,” says Daniels. “She has a go get ‘em attitude and all of the girls were excited for something new.”

Chain posted her fastest 800 of the season in the race, O’Neal and Petersen did what they do and Donovan filled in nicely to team up for the second-place finish. Even better though, the team, in just their first and only race of the season, is now ranked second in the state in 2A.

“They’re 14 seconds ahead of the third-ranked team,” says Daniels. “It’s very, very cool.”

The boys 4×800-meter team remains in flux as Daniels has at least five, if not six, athletes to draw from. At the Montrose meet, she called on Tate Young to give it a try and he joined forces with Joe Coburn, Woody Martineau and Vincent Michel to place second, shaving seven seconds off the season’s best time.

“We’re still trying to figure out the final line-up for state but it’s great that we’re very deep in the boys 400 meter and 800 meter range,” says Daniels.

Young went on to take fourth in the long jump and Josiah Tunkey and Max Faust each posted personal records in the mile.

“From what we saw overall, we were pleased,” says Daniels.

But the truncated meet makes for a stressful finish to the season as the Titans now have only two more meets to qualify more athletes for the state meet, the last of which is in Monte Vista.

“I’m convinced Monte Vista is where wind was born,” says Daniels.

If it’s too windy, times don’t count so the Titans have to make the most of the upcoming meet on Friday, May 4 in Cañon City, just in case.

“It’s stressful to have it come down to the wire,” says Daniels. “At this point, every event counts. We are looking very good in some areas but a lot of them are on the cusp of qualifying and it’s just a question of what will happen in a lot of the individual events.”

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