Steamboat Springs The season flew past coach Scott Lewer faster than the finals of the 100-meter dash, but not before the 50 members of the Steamboat Springs Middle School track team made an impression.
"This was a great bunch of kids," Lewer said about his team. "They came out and worked hard, and I'm just so proud of what they accomplished in a very short season."
The middle school's track team is made up of seventh- and eighth-grade boys and girls. Lewer said the young student athletes opened the season inside the school's hallways and gym, but finished by hosting nine other schools at the Steamboat Springs High School track the first week of May.
Lewer said it was the highlight of his team's six-week, three-meet season. The team was scheduled to go to four meets, but nasty weather resulted in a cancellation of the East Grand meet. In addition to the finale in Steamboat, the middle school athletes also traveled to meets in Rangely and Craig.
"We did OK," Lewer said. "The Rangely meet was the first time our seventh-graders had ever been on a track."
Lewer said his entire team was dedicated, energetic and optimistic during the season, with several young athletes rising to the top.
Michael Yost, Colton Lewer and Dylan Wilkinson led the eighth-grade boys team, while Nikki Fry led the girls in the 100-meter dash and high jump.
Lewer also is excited about the future of the program after watching inspiring performances from seventh-graders Cutter Pasternak, Ben Holden, Sage Sullivan and Christine Krentz.
Steamboat recorded several top finishes in the eighth-graders' final meet of the season, including a first in the boys 800-meter relay and a second in the boys 800-meter medley relay. Wilkinson also posted a second in the 100-meter dash, and Lewer was third in the 100-meter hurdles. Fry topped the eighth-grade girls 100-meter dash and high jump. Teammate Linnea Franke won the 100-meter hurdles. Steamboat also placed second in the 400-meter relay and third in the 800-meter relay.
Pasternak led the seventh-grade boys with a second in the long jump. Teammate Holden was third in the 800-meter run, and Steamboat finished third in the 1,600-meter relay in the final meet. On the girls side, Sullivan was first in the high jump and third in the long jump, while teammate Lena Barker was second in the 400-meter dash.
Around the county
Several other area schools competed at the Steamboat meet, including strong contenders from Hayden and Soroco, who also completed successful seasons on the track.
Soroco Middle School's Micaela Meyer dominated the eighth-grade girls results in the final meet of the season, with first-place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter dash. She also was second in the 200-meter dash and third in the 100-meter dash. Teammate Josie Rossi was second in the 1,600-meter run, the 800-meter run and third in the 400-meter dash. Jaelyn Whaley was second in the 400-meter dash. The Soroco girls also won the 800-meter medley. Soroco's eighth-grade boys picked up first-place finishes from Nic Paxton in the triple jump and long jump, and Josh Baker in the 800-meter run and 1,600-meter run. Baker also was third in the 400-meter dash. A.J. Anderson also finished second in the high jump, and third in the 1,600-meter run. Soroco's Alexandrea Bryant finished third in the shot put for the seventh graders.
Hayden Middle School's Savannah Williams led the Tigers with first-place finishes in the 1,600- and 800-meter runs. She also was third in the triple jump at the Steamboat meet. Mark Doolin led the eighth-grade boys efforts with a first in the high jump and a second in the triple.
Hayden's promising seventh-grade girls team also had a strong showing, with Olivia Zehner picking up first-place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles and triple jump. Heather Nearson was second in the 1,600- and 800-meter runs. Becca Hoza was second in the 200-meter dash and triple jump. The team also had third-place showings from Jordan Temple in the 100-meter dash and a third-place showing in the 1,600-meter relay.