2 for 2: Soroco seniors competed in two state championships this fall
COLORADO SPRINGS — Less than two weeks ago, Soroco High School seniors Eden Mayer and Kayedence Bruner were in Colorado Springs with the girls cross country team. This weekend, they’re back with the Rams volleyball team, making history as the team earned its first-ever appearance at the Colorado High School Activities Association State Championships.
The Rams went in ranked No. 4 in the 2A bracket, sitting out the first round. They faced No. 5 Holyoke on Thursday afternoon and fell 3-0. They’ll play No. 11 Ignacio in the consolation bracket at 8 a.m. Friday morning at the Broadmoor World Arena. If the Rams win the next three loser-out games, they will be in the semifinals.
“By no means are we done,” said head coach Jeannie Jo Logan. “We just have a tougher road.”
Making it to state in both volleyball and cross country proved it was worth it, but Mayer and Bruner had a challenging fall balancing both sports.
Two years ago, in the last “normal” school year, both Bruner and Mayer ran cross country in the fall, which is also when volleyball typically competes. Last year, they ran cross country in the fall and played basketball in the winter, as usual. However, volleyball was moved to season “C” in the early spring during which Bruner and Mayer had no other athletic options. So, they decided to play volleyball.
When the fall of 2021 rolled around and volleyball and cross country competed at the same time again, they had some thinking to do.
“When it came this year to make a decision, we couldn’t do it,” Mayer said. “We wanted to do both.”
Balancing the sports was not easy. The girls would go to cross country practice for an hour and run a few miles, improving their endurance.
“I think it’s very mentally challenging and makes you work hard at everything else you do,” Bruner said.
Then, they’d drag their heavy legs to volleyball practice where they have to communicate and work with teammates around them. The girls didn’t get a pass at volleyball practice because they took on another sport, but they knew what they were getting into.
“They didn’t get to just slack off,” Logan said. “They ran a lot and then ran a lot more. … They had the desire to do both sports, and that’s what made them successful.”
Other than needing some endurance and a bit of mental toughness in volleyball, Bruner said the sports are completely different. So, the girls would have to be 100% engaged all the time in both sports to perform their best and late in the fall, that got difficult.
On the morning of Oct. 8, the Rams ran a cross country meet in Fairplay, then booked it across the Western Slope to Rangely for an evening volleyball game.
Two weeks later, they ran at regionals in Delta, then drove “up the road” to take on Plateau Valley in volleyball. The next day, the volleyball team traveled to play De Beque.
It was a lot for the girls to manage, but they did it.
The volleyball team had to ask for some games to be moved knowing that Mayer and Bruner would be competing at state the weekend of Halloween. They got the games rescheduled, and Soroco qualified for regionals and then state without a hitch.
“The support’s there,” Logan said. “Kim Kuda, the head (cross country) coach and I, we met and talked frequently. We understood where we were in each other’s season and supported each other. We worked things out. It did get tough when it came down to some crucial meets for them. … I think there was a stretch there where they got tired.”
Now, the goal is to get to state in all four sports they compete in. Both have competed at state track in the past and getting back this spring shouldn’t be a problem.
Regardless of how they place at the volleyball championships, they made it there. Next up: basketball.
No. 5 Holyoke 3, No. 4 Soroco 0
H 25 25 25 – 3
S 8 16 17 – 0
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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