(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
CHAFFEE -- Last spring the Chaffee boys track team left the Class 1 State Championships with a second place trophy. This spring Chaffee once again heads into the state meet with high expectations, only it is the girls who are in the spotlight.
"This year it is about the girls," said Chaffee senior Anna Ayers. "Last year the main focus and the spotlight was on the guys and this year it's the girls team. We don't want to bring home second, we want to bring home first."
The Class 1 meet begins today at Lincoln University in Jefferson City and will conclude Saturday and Chaffee is setting their sights high.
"We expect to be on the podium like last year when we went up there with the boys, that was our expectation," said Chaffee coach Tyson Moyers. "It worked out for us, of course we fell a little short of the state title, that's what we'd like to have up there this weekend."
For the Lady Devils to get on the podium, they will depend on junior foreign exchange student Luisa Boschan, who will compete in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. Boschan has the top recorded time in Class 1 in the 800 and 1,600 and second-best in the 3,200-meter run.
"She's only been pushed in the two-mile twice so I'm looking forward to that race," Moyers said. "It is the last race she'll have. She's nervous, but I just told her to go up there and enjoy it. She's got the talent and she's worked hard."
Senior Sarah Sigman is also expecting big things in the long jump. Sigman is making her third-straight appearance at state in the long jump and comes in with her best jump at 16-1, tops among all Class 1 competitors this season.
"I know what to do whenever I get up there, I know my routine," said Sigman who admitted being nervous. "I just have to do the same stuff I do every meet. I just think that my jump that is ranked, I've only done it one time. I think of all of the other girls and how many times they've jumped their jump and I just take all of that into consideration."
Sarah's younger sister, Ellie, a freshman, will be competing in the long jump as well as the 200-meter dash where she has among the top times in Class 1. Teammate Cassie Hindman will be competing in the high jump as well.
Chaffee also has some high expectations in their relays, competing in the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800. The 4x800 team of Taylor Kirchdoerfer, Sarah Sigman, Sierra Miller and Boschan is seeded sixth, using sectional times. The 4x400 team of Kirchdoerfer, Ayers, Miller and Ellie Sigman is seeded 12th as is the 4x200 team of Ayers, both Sigmans and Kirchdoerfer.
"Our 4x200 I'm really excited about it," Sarah Sigman said. "All of our girls are going to do great, I have a feeling about it. All of our relays have a chance to place in the top four."
"The last couple times we've ran our relays it has been really bad conditions, really cold and windy," Ayers said. "Now it is going to be almost 90. We are just trying to get up there and break our record again. We've been working really hard, we have quick girls, I think we can do some damage."
One thing is for certain, the girls will have plenty of support from each other. At meets all season long the girls can be seen along the track, cheering on teammates.
"Being close helps a lot," Kirchdoerfer said. "You're a team, you work together and everybody has a major part in this team."
"We're very close," Sarah Sigman said. "It just feels like family. All of our girls like each other. It's just really fun to go to meets together on the bus and stuff."
While the girls are the focus this year, the boys are not to be forgotten as they will be involved in several events as well. Sophomore Jordan Yahn is seeded third in the 800-meter run while the Red Devils will have three relay teams competing as well.
"I knew we had a good chance in the 4x800 coming into this year because our team from last year got 11th and they were all coming back," Moyers said. "We added Andy Terhune which will help us out." The 4x800 team of Terhune, Jason Cicardi, Nathan Cicardi and Yahn is seeded sixth at the state meet.
Moyers said he has been surprised by the improvement of the other two relay teams, the
4x200 (Tyson Estes, Jason Cicardi, Zac Dannenmueller, Yahn) and the 4x400 (Terhune, Jason Cicardi, Dannenmueller, Yahn).
"If you would have told us at the beginning of the year we were going in the 4x200 and 4x400 I would have thought you were crazy," Moyers said. "All year long we've gotten better and we are running better times now in the 4x400 than we did last year and we got second in the state. Our girls have had their ups and downs as far as times are concerned but our boys have steadily improved and that's been fun to watch."
Chaffee isn't the only local school that will be represented at the Class 1 meet as Oran will be sending several athletes as well.
Shane Andersen will be competing in both the discus and shot put on the boys side for Oran while Haley Glastetter will be competing in the 100-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash. Freshman Baily Carlyle will also run in the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.
See the Sunday and Monday editions of the Standard Democrat for results from the meet.