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Young Pirates track team getting traction

Most are freshmen, sophomores as athletes take part in invitational


The athletes of the Englewood High School track team were praised by their coaches for the students' performance at an April 7 meet in Aurora.

“We are basically a very young team and we were surprised at how well our kids did against very good competition at the Robert Caviness Invitational,” coach Andy Cornell said. “We had one girl place in the meet and several kids posted personal bests.”

An individual standout for the Pirates was freshman Shy Clanton, who scored points for the Pirates as she cleared the bar at 5-0 in the high jump to finish tied for second in the event. She also ran the 100-yard dash with a time of 13.70.

The points she earned helped the Pirate girls place 14th in team standings among the 20 teams at the meet.

Although no member of the boys team placed, Cornell noted that John Altenhofer placed in the top 10 as he ran a personal best time of 5:09 in the 1,600-meter run and teammate Dustin Trevino came in with a time of 5:19.

“Chance Coupe won his heat in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:10 and Adrian Mancilla had his personal best time in the 800,” Cornell said. “Our boys team captain Dwight Anderson competed in shot and discus. He then ran the 200-meter dash in a time of 24.86. That is an outstanding day's performance in very different events.”

Cornell said the team had a number of seniors graduate last year, and while some varsity athletes returned this season, he said the team is made up primarily of freshmen and sophomores.

He said his sprinters are doing pretty well and the Pirates have strong 4 x 100-meter and 4 x 200-meter relay teams.

Cornell and Ryan Wess are the track coaches. Wess, who coaches the Pirate cross country team, works with the team's distance runners and Cornell works with the sprinters and the field event competitors.

Cornell said that Shy Clanton may be the best freshman athlete he has seen at Englewood in his 15 years of coaching track.

“I played basketball, I wanted to stay in good physical condition so I decided to try out for the track team. I found I liked it because you compete as an individual,” the freshman said. “The running was easy and the coach told me to try the high jump because I am tall. I tried it and found I was pretty good at it.”

She said high jump is fun just to see how high you can go to clear the bar.

“I watched other athletes high jump and saw it was about getting the approach speed right and using the proper technique as you go up to clear the bar. My high jump goal is to clear the bar at 5-4 before the end of the season,” she said. “I also like to run the sprints. I like the 100-meter because you get out and run as fast as you can. I also like it because you are pushing yourself as hard as you can and the race is over quickly.”

Sophomore Pedro Sanchez is one of the Pirate sprinters.

“I started running when I was in the seventh grade,” he said. “I run the 100, the 200 and I run on the relay teams. My favorite race is the 100-meter dash because it is very intense and is a different mindset to push yourself as hard as you can from start to finish.”

He said his personal best time in the 100 is 12:19 and his goal is to cut time so he can run the 100 in under 12 seconds before the end of the season.


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