Last call for state this Friday
[ by Than Acuff ]
All season long the Crested Butte Titans have toed the line against bigger programs from throughout the state. And while the effect has been positive in terms of development throughout the season, results are always a mixed bag.
On Thursday, May 5 the Titans got a chance to face off against their 2A peers when headed to Del Norte for the Southern Peaks league meet and came away with a flurry of top 10 finishes while still setting new personal records throughout the team.
“It was under the lights and the meet was one of the highest-energy meets we’d been to all season,” says coach Christa Meilak.
The Titans’ results were especially encouraging as Meilak was missing several athletes due to AP testing leaving her little options for relays and pushing several athletes into a variety of events.
“We put a lot of kids in a lot of open events to see what they could do,” says Meilak.
Seniors Sam Merck and Hayes Freeman led the way for the Titans as Merck took first place in the high jump pushing her into a state qualifying spot and Freeman placed second in the long jump. In addition, freshman Sam Bullock finished second in the mile and sophomore Jake Pendy posted a second-place finish in the two-mile. Senior Cormac Billick led the way in the middle distance 800-meters event taking fourth place while freshman Kenny Bullock placed fifth and freshman Giles Billick finished in ninth place.
The Titan sprinters continued to post strong results in Del Norte as Poppie Pleak placed fifth in the 400 meters, Freeman took seventh in the 300-meter hurdles and Asher Arell ran to a third-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles.
Meilak did manage to put together one relay team out of her small roster of runners and they rose to the challenge. Cormac, Kenny, Sam and Pendy joined forces in the 4×800-meter relay to run a season’s best time and place fourth.
“We had some breakthroughs for sure,” says Meilak. “We had nine personal bests with just one-third of the team there. We don’t get much time on a track in training, so the meets are a way to try their skills on an actual track and they’re all getting a little bit faster every time.”
Which is exactly the plan as Meilak is looking for her athletes to peak as the post season approaches. The team has one more meet before the big show which means one more chance for Titan athletes to punch their ticket to the 2A state championships when they head to Monte Vista on Friday, May 13 for the Last Chance Invitational. Best of all, Meilak and the coaching staff will have a full team for that final meet, and they are looking for a few more state qualifiers to come out of the Last Chance meet.
“It’ll be the first time, maybe ever, that we will have everybody at a meet,” says Meilak. “We’re bringing it down to the wire. They know what they have to do and they know how to do it.”