By Wayne Crick
The Cedaredge High School Bruins’ track team was back on track to have another outstanding season in 2020. Bruins’ head track coach, Kirby Henderson, noted there were over 67 student-athletes signed up to practice. “It’s too early to know exactly which events the athletes will be competing in this season,” noted Henderson in an early preseason interview.
Henderson will be assisted by a more than capable coaching staff, including, John Juemmerlin, Emily Cannell, Dante Markley, Derek Kehmeier, Scott Frost, Cody Kanz and Daniel Martinez, if and when the spring sports season is given the go ahead by administration.
“Our boys won the league championship for the fifth consecutive year while the girls remained competitive in 3A, as well. We had many athletes earn medals at the state meet, and we have high hopes of earning more this season,” reflected Henderson.
Cedaredge’s boys placed at state in three relays and senior Zach McMillan finished fifth in the 400 meter dash. The girls team medaled in two relays at state, while sophomore Megan Jenkins scored in both hurdle competitions, with a second place in the 300 hurdles.
The Bruins return four 2019 state qualifiers, including junior Alex Barron, senior Ryan Imhoff, senior Joshua Jenkins and McMillan. A football injury to senior Kaleb Berardi will sideline him for the 2020 season.
Cedaredge’s 2019 girls who qualified for state in 2019 include Megan Gastineau, junior Aspen Furubotten, junior Baylee Harris, junior Kammie Henderson, sophomore Megan Jenkins, senior Reganne McIntire, junior Kylin Mitchell, sophomore Bailey Nelson and junior Makaylie Reed.
Coach Henderson said his team consists of many veterans and many newcomers this season. “Our coaching staff expects all of them to trust in the process of improvement during each practice and competition.”
One of the strengths of Cedaredge’s track team is that, “we have fun, energetic student-athletes who are willing to work hard and are very coachable,” stated Henderson. “Another strength is our coaching staff is experienced and passionate about helping student-athletes grow as competitors and people. Our program takes pride in working smart while working hard has helped us stay relatively healthy each season. I also believe seniors will do a phenomenal job of leading our team this season.”
Cedaredge was to open its 2020 track season at the March 21 track meet in Delta but will await schedule changes brought about by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) rampage. A state mandated suspension of sporting and academic competitions until April 18 will be re-evaluated at that time.
Henderson’s thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic, and the suspensions, for spring sports and academics, in the school district are the reflections of many. “In regards to the spring sports suspensions, we must remember that the CHSAA has everyone’s best interest at heart. I’m sure everyone involved has gone through the various emotions of anger, frustration, empathy, etc. We must remain positive. I feel terrible for our seniors. We had a great start to another fun, competitive season, and our coaching staff is holding out hope of at least part of the season. Zach McMillan plans on competing for Western Colorado University next year, but knowing Zach, this season won’t slow his preparation.”
In conclusion, Henderson touted the trials and tribulations of a student-athlete. “What the world is contending with parallels what student-athletes deal with during a season … overcoming adversity, dealing with frustration, yet finding a way to persevere in the end. That’s what makes America great.”