Track and field team ready for weekend regionals |

Track and field team ready for weekend regionals

Summit Daily/Richard Chittick John Koop throws the shot put as Summit High School weight room coach Curtis Davis holds a broomstick to help Koop align his throw.

FARMER’S KORNER – At this point, a dome looks like a mighty fine idea.

With heavy snow pouring down on Farmer’s Korner Wednesday afternoon, the Summit High School track and field team headed indoors for its penultimate practice before the Class 4A regional meet this weekend.

“We really need to get one more practice outdoors,” said head coach Rob Royer.

The meet begins Friday morning at 9 a.m. at Hinkley High School in Aurora. Friday is devoted to preliminary events and two finals – the 3,200-meter relays and the 1,600 for individuals. The rest of the finals are scheduled for Saturday. The regional meet is the final opportunity to qualify for state.

Inside the gym on Wednesday, two orange markers and measuring tape helped mark discus throws from Lindsay Rappleye and Mike Holloway. In the corner behind them, John Koop worked tirelessly on shot put.

Rappleye, a senior, has been building her discus skills since she was a freshman.

After setting a personal best last week at the Class 4A Jeffco League meet at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, she’s poised to break out in her final season.

Her fourth-place throw of 97 feet, 1 inch came at the league meet. If she breaks onto the podium at regionals, her season will continue in the state meet at Jeffco Stadium, May 21-22.

“It was awesome,” Rappleye said as she worked on an abdomen routine before doing a few practice throws on Wednesday. “I thought I was plateauing out.”

As she eyes the possibility of state, however, she also has another lofty goal for herself – the Summit High School record of 99 feet, 6 inches.

Meanwhile, John Koop was squaring up in the corner of the gym behind Rappleye trying to figure out how to get an additional 10 feet out of his shot put.

Using a specially designed indoor shot -basically a rubber-coated sandbag – Koop lined up only to see his throw pull to the left.

Enter coach. Summit’s weight room coach Curtis Davis helped Koop keep his shoulders square by using a broomstick to help line up his shot.

“(Davis) is the whole reason Koop has been able to throw 40 feet,” said Royer, noting that Davis’ primary responsibility is the weight room, but he helps out with the track and field team when he can.

As for the runners, all eyes are on the Anderson sisters, Whitney and Sierra, in the 1,600 and the 3,200.

Whitney, a junior who is already qualified for state in both events, won the 3,200 at the league meet when she posted a blistering 11 minutes, 25.12 seconds.

The time was not only the fastest among the girls, it was also fast enough to rank fifth against the girls 3,200 relays, and was 8.28 seconds faster than her own team’s 3,200 relay.

Sierra has been building since the beginning of the season as well and has a strong chance to qualify in both events after l recent practice runs cleared state-qualifying times.

Madelaine Child finished seventh in the 300 hurdles at the league meet and could breakthrough in regionals as well.

Last week’s league meet proved to be a good indicator of how the team will perform at regionals, as the regional meet features the same schools, with the addition of Hinkley and Mountain Vista.

Royer expects the two schools to add challenges that weren’t seen at the league meet.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed,” he said.

Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at

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