A Quick Overview of TCA T&F 2011

Meredith Sloan came back from last year's state meet with three medals and steps into a big leadership role for TCA this spring. Photo by Alan Versaw.


Disclaimer: I've exposed a lot of teams (some more accurately than others) over the last two months. In the interest of equity, I suppose it's time to look at what TCA brings back this year. I'll keep it short and mostly free of editorializing.


All of TCA's individual state champions--Ben Hinckfoot, Kevin Schwindt, Eric Versaw, Kaitlin Hanenburg, and Emily LaValley graduated. The state champion relay teams were hit nearly as hard. One of four from the girls 4x400 graduated. Two of four from the girls 4x800 graduated. All four of the boys 4x400 are gone. Two of the four from the 4x800 are gone.


There's a lot of rebuilding to do, but there is a lot of raw material left to do it with. Half the game in high school track and field is getting the numbers out to work with. With over 80 athletes (about equally split between boys and girls) out for track and field at TCA, the numbers would indicate that there should be a fair measure of success. Relays will be filled. How good those relays end up being remains to be seen, but there won't be issues of finding bodies to fill relays.


A couple of last year's top athletes are of questionable status pending resolution of various health questions, but here's a quick summary of what things look like in terms of returning athletes that we know will be with us.




With Hanenburg and LaValley gone, we figure to score points in somewhat different combinations than we did last year, but distance should still be a strength for the Titans.


High Jump - State placers Noelle Brown (2nd) and Jessica Klingensmith (5th) are back. Klingensmith also attained semi-legendary status on the team by virtue of getting feet mixed up with the incoming runner, taking a hard fall flat on the track, getting up with baton in hand, and still finishing her leg of the 4x200 with a good enough time to advance to finals. She carried a lot of bandaging over the high jump bar later in the meet.


Long Jump - State qualifier and school record holder Alexa Chacon returns for her sophomore season.


Shot Put - Tita Garcia returns to split time as the soccer keeper one more year and with hopes of improving on her fourth-place finish from last spring.


400 - Nicole Sassaman finished third at state last spring and is looking strong in practice.


800 - Meredith Sloan took 7th last spring. Injuries made it a rough cross country season for Sloan, but hopes are high for this spring.


1600 & 3200  - Shelby Stableford and Brittany Droogsma qualified for state in both events last spring. Both have a solid shot at moving up the ladder in these two events this spring.


100 Hurdles - State placer Alexa Chacon and senior Elena Roy return. Issues of making it out of the region (dominated a little by a great set of hurdlers from Colorado Springs Christian School last spring) won't be a problem this year with the rankings system in place.


300 Hurdles - State placers Elena Roy and Alexa Chacon return to the scene of the crime.


Relays - A lot of key pieces are back and a lot are missing. The number of available athletes leaves a lot of possibilities, but fitting the right pieces together for up to five different relays is always a challenge.


Freshmen Lauren Hamilton and Kathryn Pennington both showed a lot of promise during the cross country season. Time will tell what their best track events are.





A lot of high-level talent walked the across the stage one week after the state meet. Honestly, we hope they left us with more than just memories of great races and great vaulting. We'll see.


Triple Jump - Collin Scheer, fifth at state last spring, had an outstanding freshman season and looks to be one of the better triple jumpers in the classification as a sophomore this spring.


400 - Clark Mourning made it to state as a freshman last spring. In a field riddled by graduation, Mourning figures to be among the better 400 runners this spring.


800 - The state 800 is going to look a lot different this year. Graduation and a big-time 800 meter program moving down to 2A took their tolls. Jake Purvis enters the season pretty high in the 3A rankings, but success in the 800 is about a lot of things that aren't easily measured at the beginning of the season.


1600 - Josh Simkins took second at state last year and should be battling for a state title this spring.


3200 - Something else for Josh Simkins to think about this spring. State qualifier Joshua George also returns.


Relays - Even more so than the girls, the boys lost some key relay legs. There are a lot of younger guys in the program and some will have to step up if the relays are to revisit last year's production (28 points at state).


Freshmen Conner Wilburn and Ben Hook made big splashes in the cross country season and have continued to develop over the winter. It's difficult for freshman boys to make a big impact at the state meet, but you never say never until the story is told.


Like any other program at this time of year, we have a few more out for track and field who are showing a lot of promise. But, also like those other programs, we'll wait and see what happens when the real competition starts taking place. Like each of our teams in recent years, this is proving to be a willing group to work with. And willing = fun.