Demons build track team around core of returners
The Glenwood Springs boys track team has a solid nucleus around which to build, with three of the four state qualifiers back this season for another go around the track.Chris Benson qualified for state in the triple jump last season. The long-legged junior is ideally built for all three jumping events, but head coach Blake Risner would like to see him focus on only two by season’s end.”Chris Benson will have the opportunity to try all three events throughout the season,” Risner said. “But Chris is extremely valuable on relays, and we would hate to lose him there.”Benson was a member of the state qualifying 4×200-meter relay team that took third in regionals and moved on to state last season. Two of his relay teammates are back this season in seniors Joe Schiavone and Dustin Braeger.Individually, Braeger will focus on the 400 and discus. Schiavone will concentrate on the speed events.”We have strength in the jumps with Benson and strength in the sprints,” Risner said. “Joe could turn out to be one of the top sprinters on the Western Slope. We’re looking to fill in with the hurdles, throws and distance.”And, with 22 boys out for the team, Risner is looking forward to figuring out where the fresh faces fit in.”We’re really excited on the boys side with some newcomers and to see what they are capable of doing, namely Jake Greer, Justin Montover and Eric Lundin,” Risner said. “They are still trying to get their feet wet in the sport – all three are brand new – but could definitely make some impacts on relays as they are trying to find their individual events.”Risner also singled out sophomore Ryan Ward as a potential threat for points in the distance events.GirlsThe Glenwood Springs girls track team is forced to focus on individual events this season.”As happy as we are with the turnout for the boys team, we are equally disappointed with on the girls side,” Risner said. “There are only 10 girls running right now and no individual state qualifiers.”The Demons do have relay qualifier Andrea Vincent back and Risner expects her “to develop into a strong sprinter.”Abbey Walters also has state experience, but the senior hasn’t been to the final meet since her freshman year, when she competed in four events.”She’s hoping to get back to being a state qualifier in her senior year,” Risner said. “She’s setting a great example with her practice efforts and training efforts. She’s a really determined young lady, and I think that’s going to pay off on the track this season.”Walters will likely concentrate on the 800 meters, an event she took sixth in at the state meet her freshman year.Sophomore Amanda Alberico missed qualifying for state by one place at last year’s regional tournament and also set a Glenwood Springs High School freshman record in the 3,200. She will join freshman Sharaya Selsor, who could “make an impact by the end of the season,” in the distance events.Other top athletes for Glenwood include Courtney Sutherland, a regional finalist in the 300 hurdles, and fellow hurdler Lyndsey Wesson, a freshman.”It will definitely be a focus on individual events this year,” Risner said. “Even with the low numbers I’m real positive about the kids we have in the program.”Glenwood hosts its annual Demon Invitational April 16 and has also slated a freshman-sophomore meet for April 6.Glenwood hosts its annual Demon Invitational April 16 and has also slated a freshman-sophomore meet for April 6.
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