Up until the 2010 season, Nucla students wanting to compete in spring track and field events would have to take the trip to Norwood High School, and join its team. Last year, however, the Mustangs finished the season with five athletes competing. With the 2011 season underway, coach Mike Bena says, that number has doubled to 10 athletes, evenly split with five boys and five girls.
With just a few of those athletes returning, Bena says, the team is young but excited to compete and learn.
“For little less than a majority of our team, this is their first year,” Bena says. “We want to learn and continue to improve as the season progresses.”
Along with runners, Bena said the team has a few shot-put and discus throwers as well as a couple long jumpers and high jumpers.
The 2011 season kicked off last weekend with a meet in Montrose High School and continues on Saturday, March 19, with a meet at Delta High School. Throughout the entire 2011 season, the Mustang track team will tour the Western Slop with meets in Palisade, Hotchkiss, Durango, Grand Junction and Cortez all culminating to the State Meet in Denver on May 19-21.
“This is good for the kids,” Bena says. “It’s a nice thing to do every day after school, getting to work out and have some team unity.”
And while many athletes may have their sights set on the state championship, Bena emphasizes the importance of making small improvements throughout the season.
“The state championship in my eyes is held equally with continuing personal bests,” he says.