Soroco track and field returns troves of talent |

Soroco track and field returns troves of talent

Soroco junior Marissa Martindale hands the baton to freshman Lexi Vandenburg during a rainy 4x100-meter relay at the CHSAA State Track and Field Championships at JeffCo Stadium in 2021.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

Last year, the Soroco High School girls sprint relay team stood on the podium three times at the state championships.

All four of the runners — Larhae Whaley, Lexi Vandenburg, Kayedence Bruner and Marissa Martindale — are back this year as seniors and juniors, and they hope to return to state and earn top finishes again.

Vandenburg is out with an injury, but she should be back in plenty of time to help the team qualify and be in tip-top shape come state championships in late May.

“We plan to be in the top five again at state,” coach David Bruner said.

The girls relay teams are already off to a great start, winning the 4×200-meter relay in the season-opening meet in Brighton last weekend and taking third in the 4×100.

Additionally, Martindale won long jump, while senior teammate Sophia Benjamin took second. Benjamin was also second in triple jump and Whaley finished second in pole vault.

All in all, the season opener set high but accurate standards for what the Rams could achieve this year.

Bruner hopes individuals such as Benjamin, Kayedence Bruner and Martindale can qualify for state and perform well, especially since they are seniors.

Soroco junior Kayedence Bruner anchored the 4x100, helping her team qualify for the finals at the CHSAA Track and Field State Championships at JeffCo Stadium in 2021.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

The guys side of the team is much smaller, just five strong compared to 15 girls. Sophomore Alan Mayer, who also runs cross country, is the closest thing the team has to a veteran and should do well in his events.

Junior Logan Whaley and freshman Wyatt Trout will compete in the sprint events, while sophomore Isaac Perez will compete in more middle distance and long distance races. Because they’re newer to high school track, don’t be shocked if they try a little bit of everything.

Soroco junior Marissa Martindale used a leap of 16 feet, 4 inches to earn third at the CHSAA State Track and Field Championships at JeffCo Stadium in 2021.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

Bruner is still unsure about how far some of the newcomers will get this season.

“It’s really too early in the year to see,” he said.

But freshmen sports seasons are rarely about titles and championships and mostly about joining the team and becoming familiar with a new level of competition.

Despite not having a track with markings and not having jump pits available, the Rams have always been a capable track team.

After having a later season last year, the Rams are back to running in the early spring, working out on snow, in the school parking lot and inside. Still, the results are showing.

Soroco runner Alan Mayer competes at the Clint Wells Invitational in Craig in 2021.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

Handoffs in parking lots translated well onto the track, and technique drills clearly worked for Martindale in long jump.

“It’s kind of like normal with the weather in Routt County,” Bruner said. “We’re just working on techniques for field events. Kind of like normal, for us.”

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