Oak Creek Steady improvement coupled with hard work are the ingredients a young Soroco High School track team used to make a strong showing against seven Western Slope schools at a meet in the Craig Thursday.
Fifteen athletes are out for the Rams 2000 squad and none are seniors.
"We are a young team, but they are a bunch of hard workers," coach Vicki Beaver said.
At the meet in Craig, Soroco didn't place but still had success with improving personal times.
Because of the young team, and a couple of uncontrollable health events, the track team is focused on improving the athletes' best records instead of placing.
Among some of the health problems, Tara Allen, a sophomore, has been having ankle troubles and didn't participate in Craig. She was a state qualifier in the triple jump last year.
"We're hoping she's coming back in the next couple meets," Beaver said.
Her longest jump this year was 30 feet, a foot less than last year's best of 31 feet.
Junior Matt Hayne ran in the state track meet last year and was expected to be the team's most frequent placer in long-distance events, but he is still regaining his strength after a stint with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
"Matt Hayne is getting stronger and stronger," Beaver said.
Kate Hayne, Matt's mom and coach, said it's difficult for him to not come in first place, like he's used to doing.
"He's been running sprints because he knows he can finish them," she said.
At Thursday's meet, he dropped a second off his 200-meter race best, running it in 30.1 seconds. Also, he dropped seven seconds off his leg of the 800-meter relay.
Hayne, Jerimiah Hill, Brandon Gilleland and Justin Spaeth are making dramatic improvements on the 800-meter relay team, Beaver said. They dropped more than a minute off their previous time Thursday, placing fourth.
It was freshman Spaeth's first time in the event and he helped out the team tremendously, coach Hayne said. He also dropped .77 seconds of his high hurdle time in Craig, running 20:01.
"Meg Hayne also has been really strong," Beaver said.
Meg, a freshman, placed second in the 3,200-meter race. She finished the distance race in a time of 14:39. She also improved her distance on the discus throw, logging a 72-11 throw.
Junior Kristie Glawe leads the team in the discus throw and placed fourth in Craig, tossing 92-1/4.
Her best throw this year is 95 feet, which puts her close to the top 10 percent of discus throwers in the league.
"Once she gets up in that 100-foot range, she'll be there for sure," Beaver said.
Freshman Jessie DeGanahl placed third Thursday in the 200-meter dash. she ran a personal best on the 100-meter low hurdles. However, she fell in the 300-meter race, which is her best event.
"I'm looking forward to league right now," Beaver said.
Soroco has competed against larger schools all year and league meet on May 5 will be a chance to see where the athletes are compared with similar schools.
-- To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org