GRAND JUNCTION – Three years ago, the roster for the Telluride High School Track and Field team was only four students long. Last weekend, Telluride showed up to their regionals event in Grand Junction with a whopping 15 athletes, nine of which made the podium after competing in the day’s events. Five of those student qualified for the state meet, which starts today in Denver.
“We’re definitely getting to be a sizeable team, now able to compete more on a team basis,” said coach Keith Hampton, who has overseen the THS Track and Field program over the last few years. This year’s strong Miner showing at regionals spoke to the program’s blossoming success, with the team qualifying for State in two relay events, which catapulted them into 10th-seed in 2A rankings.
“Success breeds success, and that was certainly the case this year,” Hampton said, pointing to the large number of podium places at regionals, as well as the five state qualifiers.
Emerging as the regional champion in the 200-meter dash, which earned her an invitation to the state meet, was Josephine Bush – who returned home from the meet just in time to leave the valley again, this time as a member of the State Playoff-qualified girls soccer team (who played on the Front Rangeaza on Wednesday, losing to Manitou Springs, 6-0. See related story page TK.)
Bush also qualified for state in two relay events, the 4x100m and the 800m sprint, alongside teammates Emy Ludwig, Nicole Goldsworthy and Hannah Krieg. Telluride took the bronze in the 800, following their silver-medal-winning race in the 4x100.
Colten Rogers also earned a golden ticket to the state meet, thanks to his third place finish in the 3200m run.
In addition to Telluride’s state-qualifying finishes last weekend, the Miners also walked away with a slew of podium finishes at the regionals event. According to coach Hampton, this year’s regionals showing was by far the strongest from Telluride yet. “In the past, Telluride was pretty much unrepresented in the finals. This year, every kid qualified for the finals in at least one event,” he said.
Kirk Holstrom took 6th place in each of the 100m, 200m, and 400m events, notching a personal best time of 11.84 in the 100m.
Lobo James also posted a personal best, 39’ 10.50”, to take 7th place in the triple jump, while Bryan Kell took 8th place in that event with his personal best jump of 39’ 04”.
Also posting personal bests were Krieg, who finished 6th place in the 100m with her time of 14.06, and Ludwig, who clocked personal best times of 17.08 and 49.96 in both the 100m hurdles and the 30 m hurdles. Those times were fast enough to put her on the podium, with a 4th place in the 100m and 5th place in the 300m.
Other Telluride notables at the regional event included: Sarah Carlson, finishing 5th in the 3200m run and 8th in the 1600m run; Bush who placed 6th in the long jump; Rogers who finished 5th in the 1600m run; and Lindsey Bosse, who set both a personal best and a new school record in the 800m run, with a time of 2:41.77.
Telluride sprinters and jumpers will have their work cut out for them this weekend, when they face off against the highest ranked 2A track and field athletes in Colorado. Hampton expects that Telluride, seeded 10th (or 11th, depending on the event) going into the championships, will make their school proud by coming home with some championship podium places.
“We’re definitely right there, competitive-wise,” Hampton said. “Every year for the last three years we’ve put kids on the podium,” he added. This year, he expects, will be no different.
The team left for Denver on Wednesday, with athletes competing in preliminary heats Thursday. Competition will continue through Saturday at Lakewood’s JeffCo Center.