Landauer, Sanders get Senior Awards
BEAVER CREEK “One mastered the art of an 800-meter run and the other mastered the art of the pitch.
Travis Landauer, part of Battle Mountain’s 3,200 relay team which finished second at state, and Kelsey Sanders, whose prolific goal scoring helped the girls’ soccer team to its best season ever, picked up Battle Mountain’s Senior Awards during Wednesday’s Awards Night at the Vilar Center at Beaver Creek.
While both are multi-sport athletes, Landauer and Sanders were presented with their awards by coaches Rob Parish (track and field) and David Cope (soccer).
Even though Cope, her coach of three years, was announcing the winner of the girls’ award, Sanders did not expect that she was going to be the recipient.
“I didn’t know,” said Sanders who leaves Battle Mountain as the school’s all-time leading goal scorer. “We have athletes from state-championship teams. They’re great athletes out there. To be announced is definitely a privilege.”
Landauer was stunned as well.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “I was just kind of enjoying the moment. I’ve been trying to take it al in, enjoying the last few days of high school. This is just icing on the cake, awesome.”
A guard on the basketball team and also a sprinter in track when soccer allowed, Sanders rewrote the record book on the pitch. Last year as a junior, she scored 30 goals, breaking the old single-season mark held by Christina Aiello, Class of 2001.
In April against Moffat County, Sanders eclipsed Aiello’s all-time mark of 57 and finished her career with 69.
“If a freshman started her career on varsity and never missed a game and scored one goal per game during her entire career, she’d still be 10 short of Kels’ record,” Huskies coach David Cope said, putting into perspective what Sanders accomplished during her three years of varsity play.
Sanders’ mark, like Aiello’s before her, is very legitimate in the sense that Cope will pull his players off the field after they complete a hat trick. In Battle Mountain soccer, a player doesn’t run up six or seven goals on a weak opponent.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a teammate like Julia Burnett. Sanders and Burnett are tight off the field and it translated come game time.
“I think Kels will be one of the ones who helped start establish a winning tradition,” Cope said. “She was the first goal scorers we had to really make a statement in the playoffs and the first one to set teams on their heels a little bit. I think she’ll always be linked with Jules. I think it’s really fitting that they both ended up with 23 goals (this season).
“It’s just one of those dynamic pairings. I don’t think I’ll be able to think of one without the other.”
Ironically, as Cope finished saying those words, he had a call on the other line.
“My phone just buzzed ” Jules is calling me,” Cope said.
Landauer’s home away from home was Phelan Field. During the fall, he played Huskies football on the grass infield. Come spring, he was a part of Battle Mountain’s 3,200-relay squad.
While the 400 or the mile relay is usually the headlining relay team, the 3,200 is the race in Eagle-Vail. Landauer started out as the “new guy” as this squad rose to prominence and was a veteran of the quartet by the time it finished second at state earlier this month.
“He’s the heart and soul of that team,” Parish said. “He means everything to that group. He’s also been a fantastic leader all season for our entire track team.”
Landauer was a superb talent, but was hobbled by a left-hip injury his junior year. That injury forced him out of the 2006 state meet, a bitter disappointment. Landauer rehabbed his injury vigorously over the summer and returned to help the football team to its best season since 2000 and the 3,200 to its best finish in school history.
“He’s incredible physically tough and mentally tough, even more the latter,” Parish said. “The mental toughness he showed in the training to get back was incredible. You just don’t run fast because you’re talented. He had to put in the training in hours and hours over the years. It’s even more of a testament to him.”
Football coach Pat Engle also appreciated Landauer’s multiple talents.
“My guess is that if Travis had wanted to run cross country, he would have accentuated the cross country team,” Engle said. “I’m also guessing too from his sister’s ability (goalie Kori Landauer) on the soccer field that I also stole a kid from Dave Cope as well.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.