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Spartans spring into action at Max Marr Invitational

March 15, 2023 | Community News

By Kristi Leonard
The Surveyor

The annual Max Marr Track and Field Invitational was held on Friday, March 10. Twenty-four teams from around the area were evaluating their winter training schedule at the season-opening track meet. For Berthoud High School (BHS), it looked like winter training paid off. The girls team tied with Roosevelt for the win, while the boys team placed fourth behind Roosevelt, Fort Collins and Rocky Mountain High School. BHS Head Coach Blaine Voth was looking forward to the first test for the Spartans.

When official practice started last week, there were close to 75 athletes already on the roster for the BHS team. That’s the largest number to show up for track since before the pandemic. Fourteen seniors will lead this year’s crew with Adam Beard, Caiden Day, Adrianna DeGesualdo, Maddie Kenner, Gracie Flores, Izabelle Froien, Lilly Strait, Bella Miller, Daniel and Jesse Hatton, Wyatt Schmidle, Evan Torres, Kamron Hosier and Taylor Lundgreen guiding their peers.

Both teams are expected to be in the hunt for top awards at the state championships in May. “The girls team is strong,” stated Voth. “They have finished in third place both of the past two years. The goal is to take the next step, to score more points at state in individual events. This year, the girls team has the individual athletes, where if people stay healthy, they could win the state championship.”

Quarter-mile and long jump ace Paige Farnam is back after an injury kept her out all last season. Farnam placed second in both the 200 and 400-meter dashes on Friday. Jaycee Williams has already shown that she is ready to fly with some fast times, winning the 800-meter run by three seconds. Ellie Harper, Sydney Hardy, Brooke Nelsen and Sydney Slauson all got important state experience last year by qualifying for the state meet as freshmen.

On Friday, Nelsen won the 100-meter hurdles with a personal best time of 16.93 seconds. Flores won the shot put and set a personal best in the discus. Flores has state experience in the shot put after finishing twelfth in 2022. Froien won the discus with a 106-foot and 10-inch throw, the best she has ever done.

The BHS boys side is also packed with talent according to Voth. “This is the best boys team since 2018,” he said. One of Voth’s goals for the boys team is to win the Patriot League meet. Jayden Michaelis is the most decorated returning athlete from last year having placed fourth in the 300-meter hurdles as a freshman. Hosier, Braeden Moore and Bowen Kaspebauer return from the state qualifying relay teams. Scott Clark, Tate Bothun and Afton Cooper also have experience in distance events. Bothun and Clark placed second and third in the 3200-meters, both well ahead of the state qualifying times they ran last year.

Several athletes who did not run track last year have signed up and will help the team. Besides the seniors already mentioned, Alex Pygott, Ethan Hoffmeister, Cole Bilek and freshman Jayce Newbill should add valuable points. Quarter-mile specialist Wyatt Barmes will split time between track and baseball this season. Pygott placed seventh in his first 400-meter dash since middle school. Eleven was the lucky number for BHS eleventh grader Trevor Moore, who threw 111 feet, 11 inches in the discus. Michaelis ran close to his best time in the 300-meter hurdles for the win. Hosier ran faster in the 100-meter dash than he ever has to place fourth.

Hosier commented, “I think this will be a good season. We’ve got good players. I’m going to give it my all.” Hosier is hoping for an individual medal and that the sprint relay he anchors will place at state. He may also be competing in the long jump this season.
“We ran a lot of young kids,” explained Voth. “I’m looking forward to this season.”

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