Weary Sailors finish strong | SteamboatToday.com

Weary Sailors finish strong

Dave Shively

— While the rest of their peers and teammates are busy vacationing, the Steamboat Springs distance running squad and a handful of throwers have been practicing hard to prepare for their regional track meet May 12 and 13 in Grand Junction.

“It’s pretty much just the distance runners here. I mean, if you miss a week, you’re pretty much out of it,” freshman Charlie Stoddard said.

“Everybody’s sore. We’ve really upped the intensity of our speed intervals, working hard to gear up for regionals,” Steamboat distance coach Greg Long said.

Despite the harder, concentrated workouts, the short-handed Sailors earned positive finishes at the Clint Wells Invitational meet Friday at Moffat County High School in Craig.

Junior Matt Hill displayed signs of a hard-working athlete, competing through pain, finishing second with a time of 4 minutes, 53.79 seconds in the 1600-meters, despite a severely swollen Achilles tendon.

“Matt’s got the fastest 1600 time in the region. It’s the first race he’s run since his injury 2 1/2 weeks ago. He’s been taking it easy with pool and bike workouts but hasn’t really been running,” Long said.

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Although Hill was disappointed with his finish, other Sailors were pleased with the results from their tougher spring break practices.

Freshman Brittany Long set a personal record for the 1600-meters with a time of 5:54.78, earning her an eighth-place finish overall. Freshman Rachel Caires also set a personal record, placing fifth in the grueling 400 with a time of 1:04.99.

“It was like death. That race is so hard for so long — you’re sprinting the whole time. You can’t even think straight on that last 100-200 meters. It all comes down to endurance and determination, and we’ve been training really hard,” Caires said.

On the throwing events, sophomore Lizzie Stoll won fourth place in the discus with a throw of 107 feet, 7 inches.

Sophomore jumper Colby Kostur, who placed seventh in the high jump with a 5-foot-6-inch jump, summed up the sentiments of the weary Sailor squad:

“It’s been kind of hard all week, with people gone and not that many people at practice. We’re kind of on vacation, so no one is that motivated and there to push each other.”

— To reach Dave Shively, call 846-1129 or email dshively@steamboatpilot.com