Another Titanic award |

Another Titanic award

Jon Mitchell
Post Independent Sports Editor
Darcy Copeland /
Darcy Copeland |

Add another accolade to the list of awards for the Coal Ridge High School track and field team.

Meggie and Ben Kirk earned the top honor for coaches on Tuesday, as the pair were named by the Denver Post as the Class 3A Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year.

“Wow,” Meggie said. “That’s such an honor. We didn’t expect that at all.”

Meggie, whose name is on the paperwork which is submitted at track meets, shared the coaching duties with her husband, Ben. The accolade came thanks to the performance of the Coal Ridge boys track team last month at the Class 3A State Championships in Lakewood. The Titans finished second as a team, swept the meet’s relays and earned their first individual state champion in school history.

“We didn’t expect to have the kind of success we had,” Ben said. “We wanted to finish in the top three as a team and for the girls to win the first state title in any event.

“To achieve both of those is huge,” he continued. “We couldn’t have been much happier with how the season turned out.”

Meggie’s role consists of coaching the team’s distance runners and scheduling the team’s meets. Ben’s duties consist of coaching the team’s sprinters. Assistant Lonnie Bowles coaches jumping events, and assistant Brent Smith coaches throwing events. Cheylin McCain is another assistant coach on the team.

The awards announced by the Denver Post were part of the publication’s boys and girls All-Colorado Track and Field teams. Among the other award winners was Tim Daggett of The Classical Academy, who won the award as the 3A Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year after the school’s boys and girls teams won state team titles.

Coal Ridge won state championships in the boys 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400-meter relays. They also got their first individual boys champion when Jorge Hernandez won to 200 meters in 22.18 seconds — a first-place finish by .01 seconds.

Not to be outdone, the Coal Ridge girls finished fifth in the team standings thanks in part to its state championship in the 4×400 relay, which turned out to be the first girls state championship for the Titans.

The most memorable moment for Coal Ridge may have come from junior Andy Bowles, who tore his hamstring while running the finals of the 110 hurdles. He came back for the finals of the 300 hurdles, however, and walked to the finish line while the crowd at Jefferson County Stadium applauded.

“That’s something that people are going to remember forever,” Meggie said. “What he did there, it’s almost like it brought the whole state together.”

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