SAN LUIS VALLEY— Students from Del Norte and Creede worked endless hours, night and day to prepare for their state champion track meet in Denver last weekend and it paid off. Several students from both schools reached new heights, coming in at the top of the charts after a long training season with the help of schools across the Valley. Pole vault track coach Steve Stevens recounts how hard the students worked to achieve their goals and how proud he is of every one of the students that participated in this year’s competition.
According to Stevens, this year’s state champion, Creede junior Regnor VonDedenroth didn’t make it to state last year, which was a disappointment. VonDedenroth did not let the failure take him down as he worked longer and harder to achieve his goal which brought him to first place in this year’s state track meet in Denver. “He worked so hard to reach his height and overcoming his fear. I am really proud of his hard work and dedication,” said Stevens.
Stevens continued to explain that his team of pole vaulters from Creede and Del Norte did not have the required facilities to train for their competitions and through his continued efforts, Stevens was able to work with surrounding schools like Monte Vista High School and Adams State University to get the students the equipment necessary to complete their training. “I had to beg and borrow to get the right pole for Regnor. Even after borrowing from Center High School, we had to find a pole that was appropriate for Regnor’s height and weight,” explained Stevens.
“I am so proud of all the students this year and look forward to working with all of the ones who choose to come back for next year. It’s been a pleasure working with all of them,” said Stevens. VonDedenroth won first in the pole vault competition last Saturday in Denver with his teammate Maxine Salazar (Del Norte High School senior) coming in sixth. “The pole vault community in the Valley is like a tight-knit family. These students make friends with other teams at state and everyone is there for one another,” he said.
Stevens explained the depth of devotion the students have to have in order to succeed in the pole vault category. “You have to have some serious upper body strength and be very fast to succeed at a pole vault. Not to mention, these students have to overcome their fear of being upside down when they go over the pole and that is not easy for anyone to do.”
Stevens is preparing for the next year, hoping to see more students from across the Valley. “I really want to get more kids interested in the event and make the Valley a force to be reckoned with,” said Stevens. He continued saying that thanks to the help of other Valley schools, he hopes to continue the partnerships well into the future and begin a summer program to help prepare interested pole vaulters for the next season. “It is a lot of late nights and training. We couldn’t have done it without the support of all the parents,” finished Stevens.
Congratulations to all students who participated!