Glenwood Springers hold community track meet |

Glenwood Springers hold community track meet

Anna Gauldin
Post Independent Intern

Nine-year-old Reid Swanson is “excited and a little nervous” for this evening’s Glenwood Springers community track meet, which will be held at Stubler Memorial Field beginning at 5 p.m.

“I’m going to run the 800 and the 400,” Swanson said. “I would run the 1,500, but I need to rest up for Sunday, because that’s when I’m running it at the Junior Olympics in Denver.”

Swanson is one of roughly 60 local children who participate in the Springers track program, which practices Monday through Thursday from 4-6 p.m. at Glenwood Springs High School. The athletes range from 8 years old to eighth grade, with varying levels of ability.

“We have people who have never run before, and we have some really experienced athletes,” said Christine Smalley, the program’s head coach. “If you want to be really involved you can do that, or you can just come and learn some running basics.”

Tonight’s event is open to the public and will include 12 events, ranging from shot put to the 1,600-meter run. The meet serves as a fundraiser for the program, with proceeds going towards new track equipment, facility rentals and the coaches’ pay, according to Smalley.

“Last year we bought a new banner and a new canopy for meets,” Smalley explained. “We also pay for some of the kids to go to meets, and we have to pay to rent this track facility.”

Smalley, who is also the high school distance coach, is assisted by a number of volunteers, ranging from other high school coaches to current and former Glenwood Springs High athletes.

“I take what I can get, and they come help out when they can,” Smalley said. “Other times, I’m just a jack of all trades and I help out with everything.”

Swanson, whose two younger brothers will also be competing at the meet tonight, is in his second year with the program and said he enjoys Springers because he gets to run a lot and meet new people.

“It would be fun for anybody to do, and I really encourage them to do it,” Swanson said of the Springers meet.

Like Swanson, a number of the Springers athletes compete in Junior Olympics track meets, such as Justin Thompson, 13, who is competing in the pentathlon the JO Multi Championships in the Denver area today, and also plans to participate in the 100- and 200-meter hurdles, triple jump and shot put this weekend.

“We have a lot of young, really talented runners who show a lot of potential,” Smalley said. “It will be neat for the town to keep an eye on them.”

Registration for the track meet begins at 4 p.m. today. Cost is $10 per person to compete, and corporate relays are $50. All ages are welcome to participate.

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