Steamboat track and field athletes want their names on the record board
Before the Steamboat Springs High School track and field team spread out for warmups, coach Lisa Renee Tumminello asked who brought shovels.
More than a dozen athletes raised their hands and one boy raised a bright red shovel. Tumminello told the squad they can’t touch shovels to the track, so they should focus on clearing the jump pits that day.
On Tuesday, March 21, the throwers spent time clearing snow and the next day, it was time for the runners to do their part. That’s just part of the charm of track and field in the mountains.
The track at Gardner Field isn’t quite ready for meets, but the Sailors are in strong early season form and have already started competing.
The team opened its season at Rifle at a massive invitational that featured schools from all competitive classes. Sailor veterans performed extremely well, with senior Nik Keyek finishing second and third in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and senior Elise Colby took third in the girls long jump. Senior Kelsey Hamilton also had a pair of third-place finishes in the 200- and 400-meter races.
“Those first two races, I messed up on small stuff like starting on the blocks and getting over the last hurdles,” Keyek said. “But I already broke my (personal records) in both hurdle events, so I’m excited.”
Additionally, the newcomers had a great first meet of the year. Hamilton, a senior captain, was very impressed with all the underclassmen.
“They’re all really confident in themselves, and I think a lot of them knew what was going on,” Hamilton said. “I know it can be nerve-racking for underclassmen to come into a big meet such as Rifle. I think we all did really well and there wasn’t much confusion.”
March 18 – at Rifle
March 25-26 – at Grand Junction
April 1 – at Grand Junction
April 9 – at Eagle Valley
April 16 – at Glenwood Springs
April 19 – at West Grand
April 23 – at Dakota Ridge
April 26 – at Battle Mountain
April 29 – at Moffat County
April 30 – at Steamboat Springs
May 2 – at Eagle Valley
May 6-7 – Regionals at Rifle
May 13 – at Longmont or West Grand
May 19-21 – State at Denver
Colby loved that atmosphere and team camaraderie, which usually takes a couple weeks and a few meets to come about.
“They really came together to support the team,” she said. “I’m excited.”
Usually, the team has an intrasquad meet that introduces new track and field athletes and freshmen to the format of high school events. However, snow prevented that from happening this year. Still, they all seemed to transition well.
“I didn’t see the normal stress and worry from underclassmen or seasoned veterans,” said senior Bowden Tumminello. “Everybody just seemed dialed in and it was really cool.”
Tumminello hopes that energy carries through the rest of the season. He’s also aiming to get the boys 4×400 and 4×800 team back to state, and thinks this is the year he’s going to break the school record in the 800.
Senior Tommy Hagney thinks the boys can take a crack at the 4×100 relay record as well. Colby and Hamilton are aiming to beat the 4×100 or sprint medley records, since they already hold the 4×200 record.
In addition to hitting results-based goals, the seniors want to leave a legacy as well, making sure the team is full of athletes who love the sport, love their teammates and want to be strong leaders in the future.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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