Veteran boys distance runners to pace Summit High School track and field team |

Veteran boys distance runners to pace Summit High School track and field team

Tigers season begins Thursday in Aurora

The Tigers track and field team practices Wednesday, March 11, at Summit High School in Breckenridge. The team's first meet of the season is Thursday, March 12, in Aurora.
Liz Copan /

BRECKENRIDGE — A few months after a collection of veteran and rookie distance runners led the Summit High School cross-country team to one of its strongest finishes at state in recent memory, many of those same faces figure to pace the Tigers track and field team this spring.

Captained by senior Jeremiah Vaille on the boys side, the Summit track and field squad should be a top contender at most meets throughout the season in distance running events from the 4-x-800 meter relay to the 3,200-, 1,600-, 800- and even the 400-meter races. Though this year’s team is younger, Tigers head coach Kristy McClain said this squad excepts success and is a very determined and dedicated group.

“Hopefully, we’ll see some pretty impressive results both in the individual and on the relay side,” McClain said. “Jeremiah’s back, and Dom Remeikis, Max Bonenberger, Sam Burke and Landon Cunningham were all on the cross-country team. We have several of them, and they are very strong runners, so I think our distance crew is going to be impressive.”

In the shorter distance races, McClain said the Tigers expect to have several seniors, including some of those distance runners, set personal records. She highlighted Vaille’s ability in the 400, saying the senior captain has shorter-track speed to go with his elite endurance.

“I think it’s going to be really fun to see what this group does together,” McClain said. “… With all of those guys together, special things can happen.”

Vaille will be joined as a captain by a pair of seniors on the girls side, including hurdler Anna Confer and versatile athlete Audrey Anderson. McClain said Confer and Anderson are ideal leaders in the sense that they provide feedback and constructive criticism to younger athletes, everything from keeping athletes focused under the Summit tent to helping runners set their feet in the blocks correctly.

Confer is an accomplished hurdler, having raced to impressive finishes last season in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. After an offseason of training, McClain can’t wait to see what Confer can do at the season’s first meet on Thursday at the Rangeview Raider Kickoff in Aurora.

“She’s ready to go,” the coach said. “I’m excited to see her run tomorrow.”

Summit track and field

March 12: Rangeview Raider Kickoff at Aurora Stadium, 1 p.m.
March 20: Rifle Invitational, 9 a.m.
March 27: Runners Roost Invitational, Fort Collins, 11 a.m.
April 4: Mullen Invitational, Denver, 8 a.m.
April 9: Erie Twilight Meet, noon
April 22: Norsemen Invitational, Northglenn, 2:30 p.m.
April 30: Rangeview Twilight Meet at Aurora Stadtium, 2 p.m.
May 8-9: Western Slope League Meet, 9 a.m./8 a.m.
May 15: West Grand Invitational, 10 a.m.
May 15: St. Vrain (upper varsity), Longmont, noon
May 21-23: State meet, JeffCo Stadium, TBA

McClain said the Tigers coaches anticipate an impressive sophomore season by Emily Koetteritz, who excels as a jumper and hurdler.

Anderson provides the Tigers with a strong athlete both in sprints and throwing the shot put and discus. McClain said she expects Anderson to set several personal records this season. Anderson leads a throwing crew for the Tigers that McClain described as “really good.” In the field events, McClain said Gabe Dalrymple is an athlete to watch out for in jumping competitions, though he’s also an adept sprinter. McClain also singled out Tigers rugby and Alpine ski star Bryton Ferrari as one of the team’s best sprinters.

As for teamwide expectations, McClain said Summit would like to play in the top three at the 4A Western Slope League meet, which is scheduled for May 8-9 at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. Beyond the league meet, McClain said the team would like to qualify athletes or relay teams through to the state meet, scheduled for May 21-23 at JeffCo Stadium, in several events.

“It’s something we’ve definitely aimed for — as many as we can,” McClain said. “Certainly, the seniors have worked hard, so it’d be great to see hard work over four years pay off and make a state appearance.”

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