Steamboat track squad has eye on state |

Steamboat track squad has eye on state

The Steamboat Springs High School track team warms up for practice Thursday. The team kicks off its season this weekend at the Fossil Ridge Invitational.
Joel Reichenberger

Sailors 2011 track and field schedule

Saturday: Fossil Ridge Invitational

March 19: Delta Invitational

March 26: Mickey Dunn Invitational, Grand Junction

April 1: Broomfield Shootout

April 9: Eagle Valley Invitational

April 15: Fruita Invitational

April 15: Coal Ridge Invitational

April 16: Glenwood Springs Invitational

April 23: Rifle Invitational

April 29: Clint Wells Invitational, Moffat County High School

May 7: Battle Mountain Invitational

May 13 and 14: Western Slope League meet, Grand Junction

May 19: State track, Lakewood

— Snow still covers large patches of the track at Steamboat Springs High School, but it was a sunny day at the state meet and school records that lingered on the minds of Sailors tracksters Thursday as the Steamboat track and field team prepared for its first meet of the season.

The team doesn’t return anyone who competed at the state meet last year, but it does return a wealth of optimism and big plans, particularly from an experienced pack of distance runners.

“We’re really excited for this season,” senior Jack Burger said. “We don’t have a big team, but the kids that are on it are a lot of fun. We have a good group, and we want to go out with some school records.”

Burger, Asher Rohde, Jeff Sperry, Colton Lewer and Scott Powers make up the backbone of a distance-running arm that coaches think could power the Steamboat track team this season.

Sperry returns as the defending regional 800-meter champion, leading the way for the five, who spent most of their winter running to stay in shape.

Rohde and Burger have individual hopes in the 3,200, but the whole group is eyeing its chances in the 3,200-meter relay.

“That’s a huge goal for me,” Sperry said about state. “We’ve been working with the relay team throughout the winter. We have good kids who should be able to run it pretty fast.

“We’ve put in the work, so we’ll be good this year.”

That relay team just missed a chance to go to state last year but figures it is better and faster this time around.

In Class 4A, the teams that register the top 18 times during the season earn trips to state. Steamboat’s 3,200 relay doesn’t hope to just crack the 18; it wants to go into the big season-ending meet ranked much higher.

“That group of five, they’re really fit,” Steamboat assistant coach Greg Long said. “Their expectations are big. That (3,200-relay) team should be our surest lock. They really should be going to state. Looking through the times it typically takes to get there, we should be way under than that.

“We’re shooting for at least the top 10.”

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or e-mail

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