Track and field season preview: Highland sophomore Remington Ross’ pursuit of titles among three things to watch | MyWindsorNow.com

Track and field season preview: Highland sophomore Remington Ross’ pursuit of titles among three things to watch

Bobby Fernandez
bfernandez@greeleytribune.com

Coming off an always chaotic winter season, there is really only one other state competition that matches the pageantry and Weld County championship success of the state wrestling tournament in February — that's the state track meet.

Class 1A-5A, Weld often has double-digit state track champions across a variety of events, from relays to throwing events to sprints and jumps.

Highland sophomore Remington Ross — arguably Weld County's most prolific athlete — could bring home multiple titles herself.

Here are three things to watch locally this track season:

1. Will the state titles begin to pile up for Remington Ross?

A year ago as a freshman, Ross earned her first individual title, blowing past the competition in the 2A girls 100-meter dash (12.28 seconds).

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She also was right on the cusp of contending for titles in the 200, 400 and long jump, placing fourth in the latter two events.

It's almost a no-brainer Ross will be a multi-time state champion in her career. She could win multiple titles this year alone.

All the while, she'll look to lead Highland's girls team to new heights after it placed sixth in the team race this past season.

2. Can deep, balanced teams like Platte Valley, Roosevelt and Windsor break into the top 5?

Perhaps no programs in Weld County have as many quality athletes, across their boys and girls teams as Windsor, Roosevelt and Platte Valley.

A year ago, the Rough Riders had one of their best seasons in program history with the girls placing ninth and the boys placing 19th. Both squads won a slew of team titles up until state, including dual 4A Tri-Valley Conference championships and Weld County Championship titles.

At that same 4A state meet, Windsor placed 14th in the boys team standings, and the girls also had strong representation.

In 3A, Platte Valley's boys were 11th at state. The boys and girls team were runners-up in the 3A Patriot League meet.

All of these aforementioned squads have the returning talent and newcomers to rise to even greater heights this spring.

3. Who will fill big shoes for Eaton's perennially contending girls team?

Few, if any, 3A girls track and field programs have produced the amount of consistent state meet success the Reds have had the past decade.

This past May, Eaton placed seventh in the girls team standings at state, which would be a standout year for most but was a relative pedestrian year for the Reds.

Eaton placed first in each of the previous three years and had three consecutive runner-up finishes before that.

The Reds' hopes of continuing such success will depend on some fresh faces and new leaders after the program graduated some heavy-hitters from last year's squad.

None were more instrumental than Tarynn Sieg, who won her fourth and fifth individual titles in May — her third consecutive shot put title (45 feet, 5.5 inches, a 3A meet record) and her second consecutive discus title (143' 4").

Track preview capsules

Dayspring Christian Eagles

» COACH: Joan Jackson, second season

2017 RECAP: The Eagles had five state finalists in the Class 2A state meet. They had first-place finishes in the boys 100 and girls high jump at state and a runner-up finish in boys long jump.

» KEY ATHLETES: Katie Kurz, sr., high jump; Megan Roberts, sr., 400; M’kenna Nelson, jr., discus; Beau Shenkenberg, sr., distance.

» OUTLOOK: Dayspring has a young team but excellent senior leadership. Jackson said the Eagles are looking forward to having several athletes at state and some more league records broken. Health will be key.

Eaton Reds

» COACH: Kaelie Sandstrom, fourth season

» 2017 RECAP: The girls team finished first at the 3A Patriot League meet and eighth at state. The boys finished seventh at league.

» KEY ATHLETES: Manny Canedo, sr.; Austin Coalson, sr.; Matthew Jones, sr.; Jesse Mongan, sr.; David Pringle, sr.; Alhan Rodriguez, sr.; Alexis Lamoreaux, sr.; Ana Scott, sr.

» OUTLOOK: Sandstrom said she expects the boys and girls team to be competitive again this year. The Reds will continue to have depth in the field events, Sandstrom said. They should be able to have strong performances at state, as well, she said.

Fort Lupton Bluedevils

» COACH: Karch Hickman, fifth season

» 2017 RECAP: Johnnie Hearon qualified for the 3A state meet in the 100 and 300 hurdles.

» KEY BOYS ATHLETES: Humberto Guerrero, jr.; Antonio Marquez, so.; Cody Bravo, sr.; Eliseo Pereyra, sr.; Hector Lopez, jr.

» KEY GIRLS ATHLETES: Monica Marquez, sr.; Rosaelena Cardenas, sr.; Gianna Tijerina, jr.; Elizabeth Kissler, so.; Esperanza Mercado, sr.

» OUTLOOK: With five top-9 finishers from last year’s league meet returning, the Bluedevils are set up to have another successful showing at the Colorado 7 League Meet, Hickman said. They have strong senior leadership and a youthful core that will work hard to represent Fort Lupton. Hickman said they are also excited to host the league meet this year.

Frontier Academy Wolverines

» COACH: Arron Chambers, second season

» 2017 RECAP: Frontier Academy’s boys team finished ninth in the 3A Patriot League and 42nd at the state meet.

» KEY ATHLETES: Levi Chambers, sr., distance; Jaden Davis, jr., distance; Brenden Worley, sr., sprints/distance; Jacob Johnson, sr., sprints/jumps

» OUTLOOK: Frontier Academy’s boys will look to work their way into the top 3 at the Patriot League meet, with hopes of moving up into the top 10 at the state meet. Chambers said the distance group will lead the way, but the sprinting group, the jumpers and the throwers are improving and stand to get stronger as the season progresses.

Highland Huskies

» COACH: Eric Lind, eighth season

» 2017 RECAP: Highland had 28 athletes participate at the 2A state meet. The girls team took sixth place overall. Remington Ross became the 2A state champion in the 100. As a program, the Huskies earned 10 total state medals, and eight school records were broke during the season . The boys finished third in the Mile High League, while the girls were back to back conference champions.

» GIRLS KEY ATHLETES: Maison Tolle, sr.; Lauren Frink, jr.; Laramie Woods, jr.; Olivia Himmel, jr.; Remington Ross, soph.; Ryleigh Carr, soph.; Sidney Brown, soph.; Rylee Habel, soph.; Kora Rich, fr.; Lexi Rigg, fr.; Sierra Staab, fr.

» BOYS KEY ATHLETES: Trey Allmon, sr.; Uylesses Jaquez, jr.; Koby Anderson, jr.; Tate Bessier, soph.; Kyle Linnertz, soph.; Joesph Faryna, fr.

» SEASON OUTLOOK: As a whole, the team continues to see a large turnout for track with more than 60 athletes once again looking to compete for the Huskies. On the boys side, there will be a high expectations for Allmon — who was a state qualifier in the 200 and 100 last season and will look to be a medalist in each event this season, Lind said. The throws will be an area of strength once again. Uylsses Jaquez and Koby Anderson will look to capture state qualifying marks with aspirations of earning a state medal. The girls team will look to build off a successful last spring with the return of a deep pool of talented athletes. Returning state medalists Tolle and Ross will help lead what hopes to be a total team effort in the quest for a team state title. A strong freshman class is expected to contribute, heavily, as well.

Northridge Grizzlies

» COACH: Joel Thurman, fourth season

» 2017 RECAP: The Grizzlies returned to the 4A state meet for the first time in four years with Josh Torres in the boys 1,600 and 3,200. Torres broke three school records with his distance runs and the 3,200 relay. The boys relays were consistent scorers all season.

» KEY ATHLETES: Josh Torres, sr.; Avery Schumann, ae.; Missy Dancey, sr.; Niko Antuna, jr.

» OUTLOOK: The Grizzlies look to have their best season of Thurman’s tenure with all of his coaching staff returning, giving the program the longest consistency in school history. The boys distance team looks fierce, Thurman said, with three of four members of the 3,200 school-record relay team returning and ready to capitalize off their success from cross country. The girls team is rebuilding with a group of promising young athletes led by Schumann, the school shot put record holder, and Missy Dancey. Many events are developing but are led by veterans. This should be the best Grizzlies team in years, Thurman said.

Pawnee Coyotes

» COACH: Kathy Adams, 18th season

» 2017 RECAP: Four boys competed at the 1A state track meet. The highlight was Drew Ellis and Bryce Schnug finishing first and second, respectively, in the long jump.

» OUTLOOK: The Coyote boys should do well in the high jump and hurdles (Jade Cass), long and triple jumps (Cass and Logan Cacciola), distance (Josh Keiper and Josh Duggan) and throws (Wyatt Schnug). Erin Ellis and Missy Cline will be the girls team, competing in throws.

Platte Valley Broncos

» COACH: Darren Horn, fifth season

» 2017 RECAP: The boys team was the 3A Patriot League meet runner-up, placing 11th at the state meet. The 1,600 relay team of Brendan Bunting, Zach Waite, Garret Mix and Sebastian Zehnder were state champions. The girls team was the Patriot League runner-up.

» BOYS KEY ATHLETES: Dustin Horn, jr., hurdles; Gerardo Garcia, sr., sprints/pole vault; Kaleb Johnson, sr., sprints; Andrew King, sr., distance; Garret Mix, sr., sprints; Zach Waite, sr., sprints; Sebastian Zehnder, sr., sprints; Brendan Bunting, jr., sprints; Trevon Wehrman, jr., sprints; Roberto Lara, jr., throws; Josh Yancey, soph., sprints/pole vault; Gryphin Hooper, soph., high jump, hurdles.

» GIRLS KEY ATHLETES: Jacey Reinert, sr., sprints; Allison Walters, sr., sprints; Kendra Kaspar, jr., hurdles; Annika Zenk, jr., middle distance; Annita Ibarra, jr., throws; Claire Smith, soph., sprints; Rhys Maxey, soph., middle distance; Emalee Roth, soph., middle distance; Hunter Ivy, soph., middle distance; Katie Ellis, soph., hurdles and pole vault.

» OUTLOOK: Platte Valley’s boys will be fighting for a Patriot League title after falling short last year. All relays and individual state qualifiers return. Among those returnees, Dustin Horn was a state qualifier in the 110 hurdles. Waite was sixth, and Bunting qualified in the 400. King will lead the distance runners, qualifying last year in the 1,600 and 3,200. The Platte Valley girls squad lost several athletes to graduation last year. The girls have several state qualifiers to lead the team but will need many sophomores and freshmen to fill gaps, Horn said. Reinert and Smith will lead the sprints. Both placed at the state meet last year. Zenk, Maxey, Ivy and Roth will lead the middle distance group. Ibarra will lead the throwers. Kaspar and Ellis will lead the hurdlers.

Roosevelt Rough Riders

» BOYS COACH: Daniel Joiner, third season

» GIRLS COACH: Abe Sauer, eighth season

» 2017 RECAP: The Rough Riders boys team had one of the best seasons in school history. It came away with team titles in the Welco Championships, Randall Hess and Tri-Valley Conference meets. At the 4A state championship meet, the team placed 19th with multiple placers. The girls successfully defended their 2016 Tri-Valley Conference title and won their first Welco Championships title. They took ninth with a 4A school best 26 points at state.

» BOYS KEY ATHLETES: James Heater, sr.; Angelo Hurtado, sr.; Brayden Hamby, sr; Isaac Orozco, sr.; Mikey DeRock, sr.; Trent Beall, jr.; Justin Podojil, so.

» GIRLS KEY ATHLETES: Madi Kenyon, jr., distance; Logan DeRock, jr., throws and sprints; Raquel Reese, jr., high jump and sprints; Tatum Sammon, soph., high jump and long jump; Kendra Eickleberry, sr., distance; Mia Castillo, sr., high jump and sprints; Sage Sudtelgte, soph., triple jump and long jump; Lauren Hall, sr., triple jump and hurdles; Daisy Ortiz, soph., distance; Grace Lange, soph., long jump and sprints; Kelsey Lagunas, jr., distance

» OUTLOOK: The Rough Rider boys team brings back a full squad of state placers and qualifiers. It’s led by Heater in throws and Hurtado in hurdles. Depth has been a strong point for the boys. They look to bring home the conference and Welco titles again and also have high hopes for placing well as a team at the state meet in May. The girls team returns a strong group of athletes across most events. High quality depth has been the strength of this program lately, Sauer said, with approximately 70 girls on this year’s roster. The Rough Riders will need their talented pool of young athletes to step up to fill the void left by the losses of last year’s state placers Jerica Baeza, Jessica Pancost, Emily Meek and Everett Elder.

Weld Central Rebels

» COACH: Scott Poole, third season

» 2017 RECAP: The girls team finished second in the 3A/4A Colorado 7 League and was led by state qualifier Katelyn Becker, who made it to state in the 300 hurdles. The boys team took third in the league meet and have two returning state qualifiers — Michael McClure (high jump) and Jonathan Rodriguez (200, long jump and 400). Rodriguez was also the state runner-up in the 400.

» GIRLS KEY ATHLETES : Katelyn Becker, Kinlee Pippen, Emily Harris, Kelly Miller, MaryGrace Hinkle

» BOYS KEY ATHLETES: Jonathan Rodriguez, Michael McClure, Matt Cole, Isaac Wagner, Thomas Rees, Jose Juan Perez

Windsor Wizards

» COACH: Bryan Horn, eighth season

» 2017 RECAP: Both the boys and girls teams finished in the top 15 in 4A after a season defined by its injuries.

» BOYS KEY ATHLETES: Brett Frietag, sr.; Aiden Sall, sr.; Jalen Butkus, jr.; Brayden Peterson, sr.; Preston Terwilliger, jr.

» GIRLS KEY ATHLETES: Torrie Gibson. jr.; Morgan Hykes, jr.; Julianna Piz, sr.

» OUTLOOK: The Wizards have a great bunch of athletes who are motivated, excited and ready for a season full of opportunities and new adventures, Horn said. Windsor’s success will rely on its returning members for their leadership. The team is filled with young members who, with a little mentoring, will become great athletes, Horn added.

— Capsules compiled by Bobby Fernandez. Coaches are responsible for providing preview information.