I didn’t mind hearing my annoying alarm clock blaring at 2:30 Friday morning. Yes, I woke up the whole house, but they quickly went back to sleep while I prepped for my five-hour ride to Pueblo for the Class 2A track and field championships.
You see, unlike the majority of the people in Ouray County please, I mean no offense to those who are as gung-ho as me; names like Bernie Pearce, Charles Jones and Danny Wilbur come to mind track and field is in my blood, so sacrificing nearly my entire weekend and spending a couple of days away from my family was an easy decision. Plus, it’s my job and I hope I did the three Ouray/Ridgway representatives justice by being here.
So I loaded up my car with my laptop, my trusty camera with the monopod given to me as a gift from the Ouray School Booster Club last week (many thanks; by the way, it worked wonderfully) and a small bag with my change of clothes and I was off. It was 3:30 a.m., but I was hell-bent on getting here to Dutch Clark Stadium by 9:30 a.m. in time to see Ridgway sophomore Lauren Hagemeyer compete in the high jump, one of my favorite events in which I wasn¹t half bad at myself. Six-foot, 10 inches isn’t too shabby, right?
Anyway, after a quick stop for some go-go juice at City Market in Montrose, I was heading east. I'm sure it’s a much prettier drive when its daylight, but nevertheless, I was cruising.
I made the only one-way stop I planned unfortunately at McDonald¹s in Salida. After a not-so-tasty breakfast I still can’t believe they claim “Billions and Billions” served I was off again.
So I finally get to the stadium, which by the way, is named after the only
I must say, there¹s nothing quite like high school athletes putting their talents on the line in an individual setting. And nothing makes it more worthwhile when kids you know and have come to enjoy watching compete and do well.
Hagemeyer went on to take fifth in the high jump, and then Ridgway senior Jim Perkovich I tell ya, you may not find a nicer, harder working kid than Jim took eighth in the long jump.
And then there was junior Ethan Fries, Ouray’s lone representative. Coach Jones has done a fantastic job with Ethan this spring and it wasn¹t more evident than him dropping nearly two seconds off his time in the 110-meter hurdles from the start to finish of the season. That¹s insane! Believe me, I competed in the event I was a state champion myself and later coached it, so I know when credit is do. So I commend both coach Jones and Ethan.
You’ll not find a more humble kid either.
Well, let me put a period on this piece so we can all get on with our day.
Track is very special to me and I realized it¹s also very special to six others directly involved this past weekend: Fries, Hagemeyer, Perkovich, and coaches Pearce, Jones and Wilbur. And, I can’t forget Clay Schafer and his mom, Joanie, and sophomore sprinter Riley Arrington, who also made the trip in support of the athletes.
The season has now come to a close and no one has anything to hang their head about. Next year looks very bright for the Trojans’ track program.
Let's continue to support them, I know I will.