Tara the Terrific, and other summer thoughts | PostIndependent.com

Tara the Terrific, and other summer thoughts

Mike Vidakovich
IMAGELOADER

Hailing from the tiny eastern Colorado town of Wiggins, Tara Richardson, now of Glenwood Springs, has made quite a name for herself in local and national distance running circles lately.

Richardson, who works in the cardiology rehabilitation unit at Valley View Hospital, was a member of the cross country and track and field teams at Western State College, as well as running on the cross country team as a graduate transfer at Wake Forest University in 2014. Richardson was a key member of Western State’s 2010 Division II national championship cross country team.

On June 15, at the 10,000 foot altitude of Leadville, Richardson established herself as a formidable force in trail running as well as on the roads. Winning the grueling 26.2-mile Leadville Trail Marathon by a wide margin over her nearest female competitors set Richardson up for future success in some of the best races trail running has to offer.

Richardson has qualified to run in the 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta, Georgia. With the best of the best the United States has to offer in women’s marathon running toeing the line, only the top three finishers will be selected to run in the following summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

It’s apparent that Richardson’s future is a bright one. Her past and present have been pretty darn good, too.

SUMMER OF LOVE

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it basketball’s version of the Woodstock Music Festival. It’s a one-day hoops love-in that takes places on a Saturday at the end of July in Glenwood each summer. The brainchild of Mike Picore has brought together basketball players of all shapes, sizes and generations to test their skills on the legendary courts of Sayre Park, but mostly the Hoop D’ Ville tournament has brought together families of the basketball fraternity to celebrate the game and catch up on the goings on of life for the past 20 years.

There are teams that have spanned the test of time since the tourney’s onset, with players pushing 50 years of age still determined to show what they have got. Or more accurately, what they have lost. And there are the youngsters who seem to never tire. They thrive on a day of basketball in the sun, with the playing and viewing of games a never-ending spectacle.

Many hugs go around and skinned knees are commonplace, but the beauty of what Picore has created means the world to the familiar faces who come to play in and watch the action each year. Wives get sunburned, and kids cheer for their dads, and it’s all thanks to the love of the game that Picore puts on display each year as a tournament director and player.

Thanks Mike. Jimi Hendrix and Woodstock have nothing on you.

WE’RE NO. 2

A couple of weeks ago, my Glenwood High School class of 1979 celebrated our 40-year reunion. At the Glenwood Golf Course get together on Friday and the barbecue on Saturday evening, it was good to see all the old faces. And, including mine, I do mean old.

Several members of my class were a bit unsettled, though, when I broke the news to them that we weren’t after all the best class of all time as GSHS. We had always thought this position was ours without even an argument based on state championships in football and basketball and a state runner-up finish in track and field. The class of ’79 could also boast countless distinguished individuals and their accomplishments. Chris Massaro is the athletic director at Middle Tennessee State University. Ray Browning was a past winner of the Ironman of Canada Triathlon. Scott Bolitho owns and operates the Glenwood Insurance Agency. Kevin Flohr was our City Market manager for many years. Bob Stoddard is a retired engineer who recently developed a cutting edge surgical tool that is now widely used by doctors and hospitals. Kim Richardson was the coach and engineer, as well as the inspiration for several of the state championship cheerleading banners that hang at GSHS. Mark Jones is the Chief of Police in Greeley.

Goodness, if space would allow, I could go on for another page or so about my classmates that were, and always be, part of my very fiber and flesh.

But sadly, the class of ’79 now must take its rightful place as a bridesmaid. Forever banished to runner-up status. So our new chant at the 50-year reunion — if we are still alive — will be, “We’re number 2.”

There will be no invitations to ride in the Strawberry Days Parade of 2020 as honored guests, because the class of 1955 at GSHS has proclaimed themselves best ever. I heard through the grapevine that they were a close-knit group and finished as league co-champions in basketball.

How can you argue with those prestigious accolades?

Even in knowing we had fallen from the pinnacle of GSHS annals, we all still managed to have great fun at the reunion. But many of us left the picnic late on Saturday wondering out loud if maybe we had just accomplished a little more in ’79. Just maybe we could have won out over the 1955ers.

We’ll always wonder.

Mike Vidakovich is a sports stringer for the Post Independent.


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