Three Spartans best 10 teams at Runner’s Roost

Berthoud’s Kelly Chamberlain soars almost a foot above her personal best in teh pole vault, clearing 10 feet at the Runner’s Roost Invitational in Fort Collins on March 21. Photo courtesy of Lisa Spitz / The Surveyor

Berthoud’s Kelly Chamberlain soars almost a foot above her personal best in the pole vault, clearing 10 feet at the Runner’s Roost Invitational in Fort Collins on March 21.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Spitz / The Surveyor

By Kristi Leonard
The Surveyor

The majority of the Berthoud High School track team did not compete because of a weather-related meet withdrawal on Thursday. However, three girls and one boy were invited to represent Berthoud at the Runner’s Roost track meet on Saturday, March 21.

Ft. Collins High School hosted the meet that was a mixture of schools of all sizes; from 5A Regis Jesuit to 2A Shining Mountain Waldorf High School, bringing some of the top athletes in the state together. Javan Lanier of Regis Jesuit impressed the crowd with his 10.88 seconds win in the 100 meter dash, and Audra Koopman of Ft. Collins led the field with a time of 11.92 seconds for 100 meters. Mia Coats of Mountain Range High School ran 55.83 in the girls 400 meters. Her time would have beaten more than half of the boys at that same distance.

There were 31 girls entered into the pole vault, which meant that after a strong warm-up session, Berthoud’s Josie Spitz and Kelly Chamberlain had to wait a long time before entering the competition. In pole vault, jumpers may pass at the lower heights so as to not tire themselves out. The bar started at 6 feet, so Spitz and Chamberlain waited about an hour before getting the opportunity to jump. However, in the end, Spitz was able to continue her winning streak in the pole vault with a 10-feet, 6-inch vault. Chamberlain set a personal best of 10’0” and placed second. Chamberlain’s jump was a significant improvement over her last year’s best of 9’, 0.25”.

Kiah Leonard placed fourth in the 1600 meters in 5 minutes, 31.05 seconds. Leonard ran from the front for the first lap of the four-lap race before getting overtaken by eventual winner Ginger Hutton of Shining Mountain Waldorf. Leonard held off Kayla Young of Denver North for the next two laps but was passed with 200 meters to go. Young’s teammate Samantha Skeen nipped Leonard at the line, taking away the bronze medal from the BHS senior.

Luke Spitz was hoping to break his personal best time of 4:50 in the 1600 meters. Spitz ran his first lap a little faster than planned and continued to run on pace for next two laps. With 300 meters until the finish line, Spitz looked to be able to make his time goal and catch a group of five runners ahead of him and finish in the top 10. But that fast first lap took its toll and Spitz didn’t have much energy left for the final sprint to the finish. Spitz finished in 14th place with a time of 4:51.

The three girls who represented BHS placed 14th out of 24 teams. Next week this group will attend the Longmont Invitational, which is inviting top athletes from around the area to compete in an elite pole vault and 3200 meter run. These events are more specialized, so it is often hard to find large fields of competitors. Leonard and Luke Spitz will run the 3200 meters. Josie Spitz and Chamberlain will compete in the pole vault.

The remainder of Berthoud’s track team will compete at the University High School meet in Greeley on Saturday.