Jennifer Celis and Natalie Anderson are going to be a tough act to follow.
While they may be most recognized for their athletic achievements, the two seniors are entrenched in Hotchkiss High School.
Celis is student body president and Anderson is vice president. They are involved in National Honor Society and FBLA.
Celis is quick to point out that Anderson started a school chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving.
The duo, both runners for the cross country and track teams, ran their last cross country race as Hotchkiss Bulldogs on Oct. 26, leading the girls' team to its second consecutive state 2A title.
It was the seventh state title for head coach Kelly Cowan, who also led Hotchkiss to five state titles in track.
While the girls' team hasn't won a state track title in the last four years, Anderson and Celis have several regional and state titles between them. Their names are on five school records, and they still have a season of track ahead of them.
"It was definitely bittersweet," said Anderson, who finished second, after the team enjoyed a parade up Bridge Street last Thursday, trophies in tow. "We're going to miss Coach Cowan and we're going to miss our team. It's definitely been a tight-knit group of girls."
Celis noted that while they still have one season of track ahead, the cross country team, which has fewer than 10 members, has something special. "I'm definitely going to miss it," said Celis. "It's crazy to think it's over."
She and Celis, who finished fourth, both were named to the All-State First Team. Both plan to run in college.
"I couldn't ask for a better team to run for my junior and my senior year," Natalie Anderson told the crowd gathered at the K-8 school following the parade. The team is connected through family, school, their faith and more.
Mae Anderson finished in eighth place and was named to the All-State Second Team.
Katy Parsons and Sophia Schelle also ran at state. Four-year team member Nilam Hypio is the team's only other senior.
The Hotchkiss boys' team, led by juniors Andrew Tiedeman's ninth-place finish and Tyrell Clock, who finished 28th, finished ninth. They and state qualifiers Bryce Homme, Zack Allen and Will Drbohlav, are all expected to return next season.
Celis said one of the great things about cross country is the encouragement that runners share with each other. "I think that's the way cross country is," said Celis. "You'll hear someone cheer on another team member, and it's really cool."blog comments powered by Disqus