Focus on field: Hancock, Reid and Nixon all chasing school records
Battle Mountain Husky Invitational set for Tuesday
If you’re planning on attending the Battle Mountain Husky Invitational on Tuesday, just remember it’s a track AND field meet. One suggestion: Make sure to spend time at the jumps and throws, where you’ll witness some of the best local field athletes in recent memory. You might even see a longstanding school record fall.
Last season, Augustine Hancock broke Morgan Spanel’s 25-year-old discus school record by over 12 feet en route to a second place finish at the state meet. The senior’s encore has been pretty nice, too. She launched the implement 127 feet, 10 inches at the Broomfield Shootout in March, winning one of the state’s largest meets packed with 5A schools. She also tossed the shot put 35-9 1/4 inches to place sixth that day, but has since posted a 36-1. The school record from 1994 is 38-6.
“It’s been going well,” Hancock said of her training. “I’m constantly practicing and if I’m not I’m in the weight room.”
Technique has been the primary impetus for her progression.
“Going quicker when I’m throwing discus or lifting my elbow when I’m throwing shot. Just little things like that I’ve been working on and they’ve been really helping,” said the senior who had marks of 102-11 and 29-1 1/2 in the discus and shot put, respectively, as a sophomore. The multi-sport athlete also credits her basketball career for coordinating her impressive athletic gifts.
“Being a post and being down low, using my legs to try and get those rebounds, helps a lot when I’m trying to rotate in disc,” she said.
The future Colorado Mesa University athlete — she plans on studying criminal justice — came into the year hoping to improve her finish at state and continue to push her record out of reach.
“I didn’t really set a specific number, just because I didn’t want to jinx it,” she joked. “But I definitely went into the season thinking that I’m going to go higher and then once I hit a really high number I’m going to just keep going and going.”
In terms of her legacy, Hancock couldn’t decide whether a state title or a school record held more weight. “They both matter, but I would say just having fun,” she said of what really counts to her.
“Senior year, you might as well give it your all and have fun.”
Her message to those coming up is “to just keep trying your hardest, even if something does set you back.”
“Things are going to get challenging and you are going to have setbacks, but the harder you work, the higher you put yourself,” she said. Fortunately for the Battle Mountain program, the Hancock name will be on the roster for three more seasons. Augustine’s younger sister, Kiki, is one of the state’s best freshmen sprinters, with a 13.15-second personal best to her name.
“Which is very impressive as a freshman,” Augustine said of her little sister. “And she’s just continuing to improve and I love to see her grow.”
Both are thankful for the one season spent together.
“What she does and how she helps people — I look up to that a lot,” Kiki said. “And she does kind of help me sometime,” she continued with a smirk. The young sprinter, who has the third best shot put seed going into Tuesday as well, had kind words in summarizing what makes her older sister great.
“(Augustine) is very hard working and very determined,” she said.
“She will not go home with her head down. She’ll always find positive in something. And she’s always trying to figure out what she can do better.”
On the boys’ side, triple jumper Rashawn Reid has been breaking records, too. At Broomfield, he broke a 28-year-old school record in the triple jump, flying 43′ 1″ in his first career competition in the event. Huskies fans are accustomed to the senior’s above-the-rim highlights in basketball, and now it’s being translated to the track.
“I feel more explosive when I’m jumping and I have more coordination, too,” Reid stated of the sport cross-over.
Perhaps the only concern with the prodigious jumper is the high risk of injury inherent to the three-jump event.
“I’ve been doing some lower body stuff and strengthening my knees,” Reid said. He is planning on attending Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska, next year to study business and technology and focus on the long jump, where he hopes to break his current personal best of 20-8.
“If I can break that, I’ll definitely feel more successful at the end of the season,” he said. To do so, Reid has been focused on process more than product.
“Don’t be afraid to fail and try to have fun with it,” he said of his approach. “Don’t really be too focused on just getting to your goal but try to make improvements to get to it.”
While Reid is just nine inches off of the 11-year-old Husky long jump record, the chance to compete is about more than just chasing marks. Satisfaction after a hard day’s work is what keeps him coming back for every practice.
“At the end of the day, when I’m in shape, I always feel good about myself and it just makes me feel better about my day,” he said.
As Reid tries to cover ground horizontally, T.J. Nixon will be hoping to fly high. At the Rifle opener on March 18, Nixon soared over the 6-5 mark, a foot higher than his best freshman season jump. Battle Mountain’s school record in the event (6-7) was set in 1975.
Others to watch
- Battle Mountain junior Terrance Reid is the top seed in the boys’ 100-meter dash (11.54).
- Dominykas Remeikis, one of the best distance runners in the area, is entered into the 800-meter run, where he will face off against Steamboat’s Bowden Tumminello and Sullivan Middaugh, who will be testing his speed in defending his home track. This meet will also be the first time for Eagle Valley’s Jake Drever, who showed incredible fitness with the 3200/1600-meter double at his home meet, to square off against his region rivals.
- The girl’s 1600-meter should be a fun race to watch, as Summit’s Ella Hagen (5:05.63) is chased by Battle Mountain’s Lindsey Kiehl (5:15.38). If Devils senior Sam Blair, who has a personal best of 4:58, winds up entering in the event — watch out.
- The pole vault should be an interesting dual as Eagle Valley’s Ian Pennington goes up against Battle Mountain’s Patrick Friery. At Eagle Valley on April 9, Pennington came out on top, but both athletes have close season bests (12-5 for Pennington and 12-0 for Friery). On the girls’ side, Eagle Valley’s Kenzie Cowper enters the meet coming off of a win (9-0) at the Glenwood Springs Invitational on April 16. Cowper and Pennington have swept the last two pole vault competitions and would no doubt love to continue the streak on their rivals’ track.
Where: Battle Mountain High School
When: April 26; events start at noon
Battle Mountain High School
Caprock Academy High School
Eagle Valley High School
Gilpin County High School
Heritage Christian Academy
Rifle High School
Soroco High School
Steamboat Springs High School
Summit High School
West Grand High School