Titans track toes the line in Salida

Small team, big effort

[  by Than Acuff  ]

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a bit of an illness circulating through the school. No, not COVID, just your every year illness that works its way through the students. That, combined with ACT testing, left a somewhat depleted Crested Butte Titans track team of 12 athletes competing in Salida on Saturday, April 2.

“Our plans to have a full team didn’t really fall that way,” says coach Christa Meilak. “But, we did have some good results from those that did compete with four personal records (PR) and one seasons’ best time.”

Once the Titans unloaded the bus in Salida, they and every other team were handed a massive curveball by Mother Nature.

“Our biggest competition was the wind, it started at 9 and never quit,” says Meilak. “But everyone battled through it and it was good to get some experience dealing with the elements.”

Seniors Sam Merck and Hayes Freeman did what they could with the wind, or rather against the wind, in the jumping events. Merck came close to her high jump goal set by the coaches but a tweak in her ankle left her two inches shy. She still finished in third place in the high jump while Freeman finished in third place in the long jump.

Meilak put together a girls 4×800-meter relay team for the Salida race with freshman Mandala Covey, sophomores Poppie Pleak and Lilla Laird and junior Ruby Pendy combining forces to place fourth place.

“All of the girls are running super solid 800s and Ruby had a heroic effort in the anchor spot,” says Meilak.

Pendy continued her effort in the 800 meters individual race this season. An established miler, Pendy has been working on the half-mile distance and set a PR in Salida to finish in fifth place. 

Missing athletes had Meilak put together a new boys 4×200-meter relay team and they got some key race experience under their belt. Meanwhile, freshman Jake Pendy placed fifth in the 1,600 meters and sophomore Asher Arell placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles.

“We had good times across the board and it was great practice to get under their belts,” says Meilak.

Meilak and the coaches are looking forward to the next meet, the Frank Woodburn Invitational at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction on Saturday, April 9.

“Fingers crossed we should have a full roster and it should be a fun, fast weekend,” says Meilak. “Everyone is much stronger and much faster and this weekend we have some state qualifiers we’re trying to solidify.”

Check Also

Six Titans headed to 2A state track championships

“They’ve had their eyes on this prize” By Than Acuff The Crested Butte Titans track …