Spartans Race to State Track Title
Girls team claims top spot in class 3A
By Dan Karpiel
Only a fully motivated athlete can win a championship. It takes a complete team of inspired performers to a win a team title. The Berthoud Spartans girls track team had motivation in droves this weekend as they took home first place in the 3A state track and field championships.
The Spartans’ individual motivations come in many forms. For senior athlete Cheyenne Hall, who ran the anchor leg for the Spartans 4x200m relay championship quartet, a prior defeat provided the necessary spark. “They (Eaton) beat us last week and I didn’t want that to happen again, especially at state; they can beat us at conference I guess… but state is a different story, I was not going to lose to them a second time!” said Hall with an ear-to-ear grin after Friday afternoon’s 4x200m finals. Hall also ran the anchor leg of the Spartans’ first place 4×100-meter relay team and finished second to teammate Courtney Mills in the triple jump.
Ashley Prescott, Hall’s teammate in both the 4×100-meter and 4×200-meter, said her motivation is born out of a desire to not let down her teammates, “Honestly, I just want to see my team succeed. I’m in the relays so I’m all about the team thing … having other people there who are depending on me pushes me to do better.” In addition to winning state titles in the 4x100m and 4x200m relays, Prescott is a member of the 800-meter sprint medley relay team that finished as state runners-up to Hotchkiss.
It was not only in the relays where the Lady Spartans racked up the 89 points needed for their state title. Senior Julia Leonard, who missed attending her graduation ceremony Saturday morning in order to compete in the 100-meter hurdles, contributed 11 points to Berthoud’s team total thanks to earning seventh place in the 100-meter hurdles and a runner-up finish in the 300-meter hurdles. “It was really tough (to miss graduation) but for my team and even for myself I think it was for the best that I came here to compete,” said Leonard and added, “I just really like the feeling of winning and doing my best, that’s what motivates me.”
Senior Tanya Bezanson contributed eight points to the Lady Spartans’ team total by finishing second in the shot put competition. However, Bezanson, who said she pushed herself extra hard this season because as a senior it will be her last competition, was somewhat letdown by finishing state runner-up in an event she had dominated all season. “I was kind of upset about (finishing second) because I came in ranked first with a 39 (foot throw) and only threw a 36 today … all week I’ve been struggling with my form and I don’t know why.”
Berthoud’s most dominant individual performer this season has been junior Courtney Mills. Mills, who Prescott described as “an amazing, amazing athlete,” has run and jumped her way to multiple school and meet records in 2011. State was no different as Mills’ triple jump of 39 feet, nine and three-quarters inches was enough to give the junior the 3A state meet record. “Setting the record was just the icing on top … winning first is a huge accomplishment that I’ve wanted for the longest time and getting the meet record was just mind-blowing,” said Mills Saturday afternoon after completing her events.
Mills finished second in the long jump and grabbed a pair of bronze medals for her third place finishes in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Berthoud track coach Colby Shultz remarked after the meet that Mills’ extensive talent can make it tough to decide in which events to place her. “Miss Mills was so gracious in the fact that she knew she was going to have a tougher time getting titles since she was going to have to go run and jump individually, and she embraced that challenge. She really coached the other kids up who replaced her (in the relays) and she’s just been a real foundation for this team,” Said Shultz of his star athlete.
Mills explained that she is driven by a desire to improve and relished competing in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes against established sprinters. “It really makes me want to improve my running because they were so far ahead … running against them gave me an idea of what I have to do,” said Mills and added “seeing people in front of you just makes you want to try so much harder.”
While they were out-shone by their female counterparts, the Berthoud boys team had a respectable meet finishing in thirteenth place with 24 points. The Spartans took home third place in the 4×200-meter relay and second place in the 4×100-meter relay. Junior runner Chase Fraser, a member of both relay teams, said of their strong performance, “we’re just trying to keep up with the girls, they’re winning all the time so we’re trying to represent for the guys.”
Spartan sophomore Troy Johnson also had a strong showing for the Berthoud boys team. Johnson earned a bronze in the 100-meter dash and finished in eighth place in the 200-meter. “Troy got better every single meet he ran in this year and is a kid who is willing to put in the time and is only going to get better,” Shultz said of Johnson’s performance. Johnson himself remarked that as a only a sophomore he is motivated by watching the upperclassmen and has pushed himself to reach their level, “most of the seniors have been carrying the team way more than I have but by the end of the year I’ve kind of caught up with them and we’ve all been pushing so hard to help the whole team.”
While each individual was driven to compete for their own unique reasons, the opportunity to win a state title was what motivated the entire team. As Shultz astutely pointed out after the meet concluded with Berthoud on top, “It’s truly a team title because every one of those kids has fought and scratched for every single point they could get.”
Recorder Photos by Dan Karpiel
Complete Saturday 3A Results
Team scores—Rifle 81.50, Classical Academy 76, Eaton 50, Roaring Fork 45, Mead 42, Faith Christian 41, Middle Park 37, Gunnison 34, Pagosa Springs 30, Bayfield 29, Holy Family 28.50, Manitou Springs 24, Berthoud 24, Alamosa 23, Cedaredge 21.50, University 20, Kent Denver 19, Salida 18, Coal Ridge 18, Buena Vista 17, Trinidad 16, Brush 15.50, Basalt 15, Monte Vista 10, Estes Park 10, Weld Central 9, Lamar 8, St. Mary’s 8, Platte Valley 8, Bennett 7, Florence 6, Strasburg 6, Machebeuf 5, C.S. Christian 5, Centauri 5, Peak to Peak 4, La Junta 4, Highland 2, Grand Valley 2, Aspen 2, Lake County 1.
100 meters—1, Alex Mead, Mead, 11.04; 2, Taylor Browning, Roaring Fork, 11.10; 3, Troy Johnson, Berthoud, 11.21; 4, Gunnar Haynes, Eaton, 11.25; 5, Zach Browning, Roaring Fork, 11.28; 6, Adam Hange, Platte Valley, 11.30.
110-meter hurdles—1, Sam Little, Middle Park, 15.11; 2, Taylor Webb, Rifle, 15.46; 3, Jake Wood, Manitou Springs, 15.77; 4, Anthony Erps, Florence, 16.25; 5, Brett Jackson, Centauri, 16.38; 6, Tyler Nebelsick, Weld Central, 16.60.
200 meters—1, Alex Mead, Mead, 22.34; 2, Taylor Browning, Roaring Fork, 22.35; 3, Andrew Proebstle, Rifle, 22.48; 4, Zach Browning, Roaring Fork, 22.81; 5, Sean Robnett, Machebeuf, 22.81; 6, Chris Ochoa, Trinidad, 23.10.
300-meter hurdles—1, Sam Little, Middle Park, 39.15; 2, Jake Wood, Manitou Springs, 39.52; 3, Jared Hernandez, Mead, 40.40; 4, Jose Salazar, Rifle, 40.81; 5, Dante Markley, Cedaredge, 40.87; 6, Tyler Nebelsick, Weld Central, 41.47.
400 meters—1, Chris Ochoa, Trinidad, 49.20; 2, Zach Browning, Roaring Fork, 49.35; 3, Andrew Proebstle, Rifle, 49.52; 4, Taylor Browning, Roaring Fork, 49.62; 5, Michael Sobon, Middle Park, 51.13; 6, Zerek Jones, Pagosa Springs, 51.16.
400-meter relay—1, Eaton, 43.71; 2, Berthoud, 43.97; 3, Mead, 44.36; 4, Classical Academy, 44.45; 5, Coal Ridge, 44.47; 6, Roaring Fork, 44.50.
1,600 meters—1, Josh Simkins, Classical Academy, 4:27.02; 2, John Cusick, Bayfield, 4:29.95; 3, Evan Fortney, Faith Christian, 4:31.94; 4, Conner Roper, Basalt, 4:32.88; 5, Garrett Coles, University, 4:34.44; 6, Bryce Johnston, Gunnison, 4:36.85.
1,600-meter relay—1, Rifle, 3:26.66; 2, Pagosa Springs, 3:27.38; 3, Coal Ridge, 3:28.52; 4, Strasburg, 3:30.92; 5, Middle Park, 3:31.97; 6, University, 3:32.51.
Pole vault—1, Travis Stuever, Bayfield, 12-06; 2, Brandon Kittle, Rifle, 12-06; 3, Steele Allred, Bayfield, 12-06; 4, Samuel Bilderbeck, Alamosa, 11-06; 5, Tyson Naranjo, Eaton, 11-00; 6, David Krier, University, 11-00.
Long jump—1, C.J. Kukus, Brush, 21-06.75; 2, Jared Hernandez, Mead, 21-00.75; 3, Collin Scheer, Classical Academy, 20-09.25; 4, Nic Heller, Buena Vista, 20-07.75; 5, Ryan Moeller, Rifle, 20-06; 6, John Reynolds, Kent Denver, 20-03.
Triple jump—1, John Reynolds, Kent Denver, 45-01; 2, Thomas Vanhoudt, Holy Family, 44-10; 3, Ryan Moeller, Rifle, 43-09; 4, Collin Scheer, Classical Academy, 43-02; 5, Jack Rosenberg, Kent Denver, 42-05.50; 6, Christopher Roob, Peak to Peak, 42-04.
High jump—1, Andrew Cirone, Estes Park, 6-05; 2, Gunnar Haynes, Eaton, 6-04; 3, Collin Scheer, Classical Academy, 6-03; 4, Danny Martinez, Cedaredge, 6-02; 5, Reid Gates, Cedaredge, 6-02; 5, C.J. Kukus, Brush, 6-02.
Team Scores—Berthoud 89, Eaton 88, Classical Academy 82, Middle Park 60.50, Hotchkiss 58.50, Cedaredge 53, Pagosa Springs 43, James Irwin 38, Estes Park 30, Grand Valley 30, Brush 28, C.S. Christian 27.50, Holy Family 27, Platte Valley 25, Gunnison 25, University 17.50, Rifle 17, St. Mary’s 16, Kent Denver 15, Olathe 14, Alamosa 12, Lamar 12, Florence 11.50, Coal Ridge 11, Roaring Fork 10, Bayfield 9.50, Bennett 5, Frontier Academy 5, Salida 5, Manitou Springs 4, Ellicott 3, Trinidad 1.
100 meters—1, Sierra Williams, Cedaredge, 12.19; 2, Icenia Anderson, James Irwin, 12.29; 3, Courtney Mills, Berthoud, 12.41; 4, Rachael Moralez, Platte Valley, 12.47; 5, Kathryn Hall, Kent Denver, 12.53; 6, Kelsey Reichert, Florence, 12.71.
100-meter hurdles—1, Tiffany Kenney, C.S. Christian, 14.93; 2, Gabby Pajak, Pagosa Springs, 15.48; 3, Alexa Chacon, Classical Academy, 15.78; 4, Tori Cox, C.S. Christian, 15.86; 5, Megan Fuentes, Gunnison, 16.21; 6, Lisa Wood, Manitou Springs, 16.63.
200 meters—1, Icenia Anderson, James Irwin, 25.29; 2, Sierra Williams, Cedaredge, 25.33; 3, Courtney Mills, Berthoud, 25.73; 4, Samantha Berggren, Middle Park, 25.94; 5, Kelsey Reichert, Florence, 26.42; 6, Kathryn Hall, Kent Denver, 26.50.
300-meter hurdles—1, Alexa Chacon, Classical Academy, 46.56; 2, Julia Leonard, Berthoud, 47.46; 3, Megan Fuentes, Gunnison, 48.40; 4, Hannah Watters, Classical Academy, 48.48; 5, Adrienne Ackerman, Roaring Fork, 49.01; 6, Jordan Needens, Eaton, 49.03.
400 meters—1, Samantha Berggren, Middle Park, 56.36; 2, Jennifer Celis, Hotchkiss, 58.11; 3, Brittany Pierce, Eaton, 59.44; 4, Ashley Araujo, Brush, 60.28; 5, Kasey Jones, James Irwin, 60.31; 6, Nicole Sassaman, Classical Academy, 60.86.
400-meter relay—1, Berthoud, 49.86 (state meet record, old record, 49.90, Lyons, 2010); 2, Eaton, 50.47; 3, Cedaredge, 50.84; 4, Coal Ridge, 51.86; 5, Olathe, 52.21; 6, Lamar, 52.32.
1,600 meters—1, Samantha Berggren, Middle Park, 5:08.70; 2, Natalie Anderson, Hotchkiss, 5:10.63; 3, Brandi Krieg, Grand Valley, 5:11.00; 4, Shelby Stableford, Classical Academy, 5:11.22; 5, Sydney Harris, St. Mary’s, 5:16.00; 6, Jenny DeSouchet, Alamosa, 5:18.39.
1,600-meter relay—1, Classical Academy, 4:06.02; 2, Hotchkiss, 4:06.52; 3, Cedaredge, 4:07.57; 4, Eaton, 4:09.69; 5, Holy Family, 4:09.93; 6, Pagosa Springs, 4:13.03.
Long jump—1, Tiffany Kenney, C.S. Christian, 17-09; 2, Courtney Mills, Berthoud, 17-04.50; Gabby Pajak, Pagosa Springs, 16-10.25; 4, Rebecca Deal, Cedaredge, 16-07; 5, Makenna Linn, Bennett, 16-05.50; 6, Brenda Suarez, Olathe, 16-01.50.
Shot put—1, Mel Herl, Eaton, 38-00.25; 2, Tanya Bezanson, Berthoud, 36-04.25; 3, Joey Huheim, Rifle, 35-07; 4, Rebecca Walker, Brush, 34-06.25; 5, Caylor Albers, Gunnison, 34-05; 6, Keri Ruff, Eaton, 34-02.25.