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Springers at a standstill this summer

Post Independent File Photo/Kelley Cox
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It wasn’t an easy decision, but left without a head coach the Glenwood Springers board of directors has been forced to cancel the 2006 summer track season.”It was just too late in the season to try and get it all together,” said board of directors member Mike Kishimoto. “It was with great pain that we made this decision.”The Springers are a nonprofit organization, involving children ages 8-18 throughout the valley. Blake Risner, who is the head coach of the Glenwood Springs High School track and field team, stepped down from the Springers coaching position in January.”Risner gave us 10 good years, and he needs to move on, and we weren’t able to find anybody that could do it,” Kishimoto said. “We thought about putting together a staff of some college kids and even some high-schoolers who have been in the program, but the board didn’t feel like there was enough commitment. Basically we saw Risner and I back doing it.”During Risner’s tenure, he guided the team to 10 successful seasons, racking up state titles and U.S. Junior Olympic qualifications. The club has qualified one or more athletes to the United States Junior Olympic meet the last nine years, and 12 ex-Springers, who later competed for Risner at the high school level, have gone on to compete at the collegiate level.The 2005 summer season was one of the best in recent history for the Springers as six athletes qualified for the U.S. Junior Olympics. Melissa Buchanan, Meg Waibel, Gretchen Herb and Katrina Selsor raced to a sixth-place finish in the 4X800-meter relay at the competition and chalked up All-American status. Rachel Orosz qualified in the shot put, and Ryan Buchanan earned an invitation in the 800.In lieu of a season this summer, Risner and Kishimoto, who has served as an assistant coach for the Springers in the past, are planning a weeklong track camp in late June. Despite not being able to field a Springers team this summer, Kishimoto was still optimistic about the future of the program.”We plan to put a season together for next year, I just had no idea it would be this hard to find a coach,” Kishimoto said.


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