Record day earns Chris Benson weekly honor
Chris Benson is not a rulebreaker. But, his performances on the track shatter a long-standing taboo.
Usually, sophomores on a varsity team’s roster, like Benson, are looked at as bit players rather than star performers.
Benson dismantled that idea after recording three personal bests while competing in four events at the April 3 Eagle Valley Invitational track meet.
“Its kind of cool,” said Benson of his early success. “(Running varsity track) allows me to compete with the best at the varsity level and that will help me in my junior and senior years.”
And as Benson prepares for the future, the present is producing stellar results.
In the field events at Eagle Valley, the Demons’ super sophomore ripped an event-winning best mark of 19 feet, 10 and three-quarter inches in the long jump and took the runner-up spot with a 39′ 5 1/2″ leap in the triple jump.
Switching gears to the running track, Benson posted personal best times in the 200 and 100 meter dashes.
“We took the opportunity at this meet to put people in individual events,” Glenwood coach Blake Risner said after last Saturday’s meet. “It gave us the opportunity to see the potential Chris has. I think he scored 26 of the team’s 33 points. That’s a pretty good afternoon for a sophomore.”
Which the staff and coaches at GSHS agree with.
Benson’s efforts earned him the nod as the weekly Glenwood Springs High School athlete of the week.
“The times in the running events surprised me the most, because I’m normally not a sprinter,” he said.
And Benson’s a lot more relaxed on the jump runaway versus the starting blocks.
“I’m more nervous running. he said. When I’m jumping I just concentrate on my form.”
Benson has been involved in track since elementary school.
His older brother Jacob starred in his prep days at GSHS, winning two Class 4A state jumping titles.
After high school Jacob Benson continued his track career at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Currently at junior at CSU, Jacob Benson earned the university’s first outdoor jump title in school history in a 2003 meet by jumping 6′ 9 1/2″.
“He was a big influence on me,” Chris said of his older brother. “I grew up watching him on the track when I was younger.”
This week, Chris Benson and the Demon track teams compete in Saturday’s Palisade Invitational meet at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction.
“I’m hoping to do good,” said Benson at Saturday’s first-state qualifying meet of the 2004 season.
Getting comfortable at Stocker is important to all Western Slope track athletes, considering the West Regional meet will be held at the same venue in mid-May.
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