Bar set high for Pueblo West
Starter’s pistols are in the air and shots have fired to start this Pueblo West track season.
The Cyclones had a great year in 2013. Both the girls and boys sent teams to Jefferson County Stadium for the State track meet.
Now the atmosphere swirling around the Cyclones is an expectation to improve from their great season last year.
The Cyclones sent a pole vaulter (Jacob Torres), distance runner (Corban Pagnotta), mid-distance runner (Jace Montera) and their 4 x 800 relay team to the Class 4A State Championship in Lakewood, Colo.
As a result, Pueblo West finished in a respectable 17th place out of 71 teams at the meet.
Eight-year coach Matthew Sherman believes the team has potential to make it back to that level this season.
The runners returning have tasted what it felt like to run in the last meet of the season and are expected to be important pieces to the Cyclones success.
There is a slew of potential on both sides for the Cyclones girls and boys.
Wyatt Swanson and Zack Retzlaff bolster the distance side of the team and will run the 1600, 3200, 4x800 relay this season Montera, who finished 13th in the mile race his sophomore campaign, returns and will see action this season in the 800, 4x800, 1600.
Kaden Wills will help lead the sprinters as well as Tyler Pitts. Pitts, who replaced Jacob Torres who tied for second place finish at state in the pole vault, tries his talents in the event.
“We have a good group of returning athletes who should do well in the region,” Sherman said.
“We hope to do well at each meet and be one of the best teams in the area.”
The girls are hoping to improve from their efforts in 2013.
The lone runner to place at the state meet, Bailee Jones, returns for her final season and will compete in the 200, 400,800, 1600.
Darby Spence will also participate in the mile race with Jones and the 2-mile event.
Sprinters Haley Ruiz, Ava Barrier and Ali Doyle hope to bolster a 4x400 team, which placed last at the state meet last season.
Jordan Foster and Kelsey Gray headline the hurdle team and hope to add some depth at that race.
While much of the team is young, Sherman understands they have potential to do great things in every race.
There is more than enough talent on the girls side that can propel the girls to where they want to go this year.
“We have a lot of young athletes who are untested and hopefully will step up and fill some spots for us,” Sherman said.
“We hope to do well at each meet and be one of the best teams in the area.
“We have a good group of returning athletes who should do well in the region. We want to get some relays and individuals to the state meet in May.”