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Publish Date: 4/13/2005

Coaches stress fun during the Skyline quad meet


LONGMONT — Upon boarding the bus Tuesday bound for Skyline High School and its quadrangular track meet, members of the Niwot team got the news.

They, yes they, would get to choose who ran on what relay team. And, naturally, they chose to put a distance runner on the first leg of the 800 relay team, so said freshman Jennifer Hess.

But as Hess and coaches from Niwot and Skyline also said, Tuesday’s goals were not quite win-or-lose oriented.

“I wasn’t looking for a time,” said Hess, a freshman. “I was just trying to have fun.”

“I thought it was a good idea because it’s not a really serious big meet, so it’s kind of fun to experiment.”

Both Niwot and host Skyline rested top athletes and let freshman and sophomores taste regular competition. Spring break, combined with Monday’s snow day, conspired to shelve track-and-field practice for 10 days for both programs.

Hess and several other athletes described their spring breaks as filled with some work, but a lot of rest and relaxation. So neither coach wanted to throw them to the wolves on their first day back.

“I think just because of what happened with yesterday’s snow day and not getting the chance to talk with the kids, I felt it was going to be like pulling teeth to get stuff organized in time,” Niwot coach Lonnie Jones said.

“Plus with not seeing a lot of these kids all last week for spring break, I didn’t feel like we would be in the mind-set that would be super ready to go, so I thought we would just be more relaxed and kind of ease into the week because our main focus is going to be Saturday up on Boulder, where we’ll see if we can get some kids qualified.”

Said Skyline coach Mike Knaus: “We get all of the freshman and sophomores running and give a break to the older kids.”

Skyline’s boys still managed to win the four-team competition, totaling 88.5 points.

Windsor’s girls won by half of a point, edging second-place Niwot 89 to 881/2.

Among the boys winners, Skyline’s Marcus Padilla won the 100 and 200 meters. Skyline’s David Gossett won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

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