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Titans track team is setting sights on state championships

“Also, part of our goal is to have just a great meet and enjoy doing track”

by Than Acuff

It appears the Crested Butte Titans track team is hitting its stride at just the right time, as team members continue to set personal records and school records with the state championships on the near horizon. They headed to Cañon City for the Blossom Invitational on Friday, May 4 and posted several great results with one last meet in Cedaredge opening up an opportunity for a few more athletes to get into the big show.

The Titans coaches kept the impending state meet in mind when they took the team to Cañon City as they laid out a plan to use the meet to gain more insight into their athletes as well as give them additional insight into the bigger Colorado track and field scene.

“It’s a big meet with not a lot of small schools and it was really cool to interact with schools we never really see,” says coach Laura Daniels. “We didn’t win a lot of events but kids were dropping big personal records [PR] and performing really well.”

In addition to the litany of PRs, a few school records were set as well. Sully Marshall and Finn Wilson set school records in the 300-meter hurdles and 110-meter hurdles, respectively.

“They had never hurdled before this year but showed promise early on and are now excelling,” says Daniels.

Maria O’Neal is on fire in her events as she set a new school record in the 400 meters, while placing second in Cañon City.

“She was really challenged by the competition. It was great,” says Daniels.

Emelie Elkins reached her PR in the high jump again and Daniels believes her consistency at that height means the potential for big things soon.

“She’s been consistently hitting her PR and I think that means she’s ready to bust out a new one,” says Daniels.

Corrina Donovan carries the hurdle torch on the girls team with similar success to Wilson and Marshall. She placed third in the 300-meter hurdles in Cañon City, shaving 2.5 seconds off of her previous PR.

The coaches laid out a specific strategy for the boys in Cañon City. With big numbers and lots of options for state qualification, the coaches used Cañon City for additional fine-tuning of their athletes and to maybe get additional qualifying results in individual events.

“We wanted to run them in as many open events as possible because our relays are looking strong for getting into state,” explains Daniels. “Also, we wanted to see their fastest times in certain events to pick our fastest runners for each relay.”

Walker Carroll and Woody Martineau each set PRs in the 400 meters; additional PRs were set in the 200 meters; Tate Young placed fourth in the 800 meters; and Vincent Michel set a new PR by 10 seconds in the two-mile.

“We wanted to get more data and, for the most part, it worked,” says Daniels. “Overall we had good performances from everyone.”

The team will head to Cedaredge on Friday, May 11 for the last meet of the season and the last chance to qualify. And while that goal remains in everyone’s mind, Daniels is also looking for the team to use the last meet as a celebration.

“At this point we have a few people on the bubble that we’re hoping to push in,” says Daniels. “Also, part of our goal is to have just a great meet and enjoy doing track. It’s not all about the rankings.”

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