Hotchkiss grad tapped to head Coal Ridge track and field program |

Hotchkiss grad tapped to head Coal Ridge track and field program

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. A former Western Slope runner has returned to the slope, but this time, she’ll be coaching.Meggie Kirk, a Hotchkiss High School graduate, will be the head coach of the Coal Ridge track and field team beginning this spring. Kirk will be replacing Don Beecraft, who moved to Parachute in 2006.After a prep running career that included competing in the 800-meter and 4×800 and 4×400 relay events for Hotchkiss’ track team, Kirk attended and graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.Then, in August, Kirk accepted a job as a kindergarten teacher at Roy Moore Elementary School in Silt.While this will be Kirk’s first coaching job, it’s nothing new to her. Her father, Kelly Cowan, has been the track and field coach at Hotchkiss for 14 years. “Track and running has always been my passion and I’ve been around it my whole life,” Kirk said.Over winter break, Kirk and her father studied training regimes and planned preseason workouts. While Kirk has been learning from Cowan all of her life, she has already been e-mailing him to ask for more advice.”He’s a great resource,” Kirk said of her dad. “He’s probably getting sick of my e-mails.”While the prep outdoor track and field season won’t begin until March, Kirk is already trying to recruit runners and start their training. With Coal Ridge’s track and field squad only entering its second year, Kirk’s goals are centered on helping the program find itself. “Since it is a new school, I just want to start building a quality track program and build that foundation,” Kirk said. “I want to really get to know the athletes and help them reach their full potential.”Kirk will have help laying that foundation from a handful of talented returning athletes, such as 400-meter runners David Anderson, Brady Gasaway and Amber Lyons, as well as long-distance runners DaLin Murphy and Kody Roper. In field events, high jumpers Skyler James and Mary Ellen Lyons and shotputter Jessica Needham should give the Titans a lift.

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