Devils have all the right ingredients | VailDaily.com
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Devils have all the right ingredients

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado
SP EV TR Feature 02 TS 05-07-08
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GYPSUM, Colorado ” Take one part hurdlers, two parts throwers, one part distance runners, don’t forget to sprinkle on those relays, and you’ve got Eagle Valley’s recipe for track and field success.

The portions may change from meet to meet, but the end product has looked and tasted pretty good all season. Both the girls and boys have consistently finished among the top teams at most meets, even when only one or two kids win events.

“I think it’s really cool when we don’t do that well individually and we still do well as a team,” hurdler Eric Kline said.

But because the Devils rely on so many different kids to score points, rarely will the entire team have a bad meet.

“It’s nice to be able to get athletes to score in a bunch of different events,” Eagle Valley coach Jeff Shroll said. “And we have lots of versatile kids. You’ve got middle-distance kids who are good jumpers, and Jamie (Fahrmeyer) who could be the fastest sprinter to two-miler on the team, if I had to put him in those events.”

Like any good dish, however, a team needs a good base, which has been the throwers. On the girls side, Eagle Valley has its trio of point scorers in Jamie Bair, Kacey Bair and Jackie Eberhard.

“Those three ladies are hard workers,” Shroll said. “They do a great job and are focused. Two of them are sisters, but, really, all three are sisters.”

In most meets, all three girls score in both the discus and shot put, while the boys ” Zak Thrall, Pollo Almanza and Pavel Pavlov ” can count on about 20 points a meet.

“We compete against each other,” Eberhard said. “If someone does really well, we’ll say, ‘OK, we have to beat her.'”

While many of the track events are viewer-friendly for those competing, the throwing events don’t always get a ton of eyes.

“They know because our coaches tell (our teammates) at meetings, and some of them come to watch, but everyone has their own events,” Kacey Bair said.

Shroll understands that it can be hard in a sport like track and field for team members to fully support one another.

“Throwers don’t get to see the great relays, and the great relays don’t necessarily get to see the throwers, but its fun … when we are done with the events, all the coaches gather together, and we praise each other for the performances. It’s a great time,” he said.

But before that happens, Shroll likes to make sure there is a team sendoff on the final event of the meet, the 1,600-meter relay.

“We are the only school that does the four-by-four wave,” he said. “They line up on turn four, and they have done it every meet for the past four or five years. No matter what place we get, they are doing it.”

In the past, Eagle Valley has had some no-fail 40-point athletes ” those who won four events, the maximum athletes are allowed to enter in a meet. While there have been some kids who have pulled in close to that this season, the Devils are diligent in finding points in every nook and cranny.

When every single relay team ” from the boys 400 to the girls 3,200 ” places, the points start to add up.

And much like the throwers, the hurdlers, jumpers and sprinters place several kids. Kline, Trevor Grayson and Ethan Smith can go 3-4-5 in the hurdles, while Ashley Rohweder, Angela Phillips and Katie Brandes will do the same for the girls. Then, while Rohweder and Sierra Pickslay-Zamora will score while Phillips, Brandes and Sasha Pickslay-Zamora will do the same in the jumps. And Phillips can add some in the pole vault, an event in which most schools don’t compete. Meanwhile, the Trujillo brothers ” Uv and Joe ” can, and do, run just about any relay known to man.

“I think the diversity is really cool,” Kline said.

Earlier this season, Fahrmeyer, who has broken the school record in the 1,600 almost every meet, put down some great times in the 200 and 100.

“It was crazy ” he was our fastest guy,” Kline said.

At this weekend’s regional meet in Grand Junction, there are several events that the Devils could win, such as the girls 400 relay (Emily Kingston, Shaylynn Nielson, Sierra Pickslay-Zamora and Rohweder), the girls 300 hurdles (Rohweder), the boys 1,600 relay (Trujillo brothers, Mikey Warfield and Griffin Turnipseed), but one event is a lock.

“We’ll do the wave,” Shroll said. “The four-by-four wave is on its way.”

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 970-748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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