“We’re just finding out what their limits are”
by Than Acuff
After muddling through illnesses and shaking off the long winter with indoor workouts, the Crested Butte Titans track team looks to be hitting its stride finally as it wrapped up a successful trip to the Western Slope, posting numerous top results at the Cedaredge Invitational on Saturday, March 30.
“It was an amazing weekend,” says coach Laura Daniels. “It was nice to see how we stack up against other 2A schools.”
The team was nearly full strength for the Cedaredge meet, finally giving Daniels the opportunity to put some relay teams together. Just one week earlier, Daniels had only one relay team in one event. At Cedaredge, she was able to field five relays, with two relay teams winning their races and four of five scoring points with their results.
The boys 4×400 team of seniors Joe Coburn, Josh Merck, Tate Young and sophomore Hilt Freeman led the way as they ran to a first-place finish. Senior Ty Sherman then joined Merck, Young and Freeman to win the sprint medley relay, while Coburn teamed up with freshmen Porter Washburn and Grayson White and sophomore Logan Utz to place eighth in the 800-meter relay.
The girls 4×400-meter relay team of Keely Olson, Sam Merck, Madison Pankey and Marlowe Desmarais finished in fifth place to round out a solid day of relays for the growing team.
In addition to his team efforts in the relays, Josh put together a stellar outing in his individual events as well, winning both the 200 meters and the long jump. Young joined Josh in the 200 meters to finish in third place, Coburn posted a fifth-place finish in the 800 meters and Sherman’s fifth place in the long jump and fourth place in the triple jump helped push the boys team to a fifth-place finish out of 16 teams.
“We’re over illnesses, figuring events out and all of the training is starting to pay off,” says Daniels.
Daniels also feels the athletes are starting to truly test themselves and the coaching staff now has some data to work with in their upcoming training sessions.
“They’re just starting to find out what their limits are,” says Daniels. “Before, I felt like they were just testing the waters. Now we have times from races that will help with our training.”
Several of the athletes are currently ranked high enough to qualify for the 2A state championships as the team heads to Salida this weekend for a meet. Unfortunately, that will be their last meet until May 3, since the school’s April break puts the breaks on the program’s competition schedule.
“It’s important they run well this weekend to set times that will hold up for state during that month we don’t race,” says Daniels. “There will be a lot of big schools there, so hopefully that will bring out the best in our kids.”