According to coach Bernie Pearce, the team’s work ethic is largely to thank for their so-far successes this spring; “Their energy and enthusiasm is evident in practice and with their results against some high-powered competition,” he says.
But Ouray’s track and field team has another big thing going for it this season, and that’s its size. Such a hefty crew of strong athletes from such a small school speaks to Ouray’s students’ athleticism, Pearce says.
“Having such large numbers turn out for the season adds some real clout just even in stepping off the bus, because the other schools know that Ouray has come to do battle full force,” he said.
At the Hotchkiss Invitational meet last Saturday, Geordyn MacDougall broke out with a second place finish in the 300m hurdles and fourth in 100m hurdles; this followed her two top-ten results in hurdles March 14 in Delta, where she took sixth in the 100m hurdles and seventh in the 300m hurdles.
Kaleb Sackman’s specialty, the triple jump, landed him on the podium twice in the last two weekends, taking third in Hotchkiss after his personal record triple jump of 40’ 6” at Delta put him in second.
Scott Fedel also made the podium in Hotchkiss last weekend, taking silver with his lofty high jump of 6’0”.
Also breaking into the top ten at the 20-team event in Hotchkiss were Clay Schafer, fourth place in shot put; Stephanie Ficco, sixth place triple jump and seventh place 400m dash; Kenneth Wilson, seventh place discus; Nick Purvis, eighth place high jump; and Chris Blansett, eighth shot put.
In the relay events, Ouray also sprinted into the top ten, with the girls team (Mandy Plaisance, Taylor Shoenbaum, MacDougall, and Ficco) completing the 800m medley relay in 2:11.60 to take seventh, while the boys’ team (Fedel, Purvis, Irving Macias, and Clay Schafer) came in eighth in the 4x200m relay with a time of 1:41.05.
While many of Ouray’s contenders crept into the top ten, nearly as many posted personal best records at the Hotchkiss event as well. In the 200m, Plaisance shattered her past record with a time of 33.67. Steven Duce shaved nearly six seconds off his past personal best time in the 1600m, finishing in 5:34.28. In the triple jump, Blake Zimmerman stretched beyond his past record with his jump of 26’6”.
Ouray’s girls team finished eleventh overall at the Hotchkiss event, while the boys placed twelfth.
The Ouray high school track and field team’s next event will take them to Cedaredge this Saturday, March 28.