|Posted April 15, 2008|
ThunderWolves track signs four standouts
BY JEFF LETOFSKY, PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Chad Perry has a big chore ahead. He needs to find bodies to fill out a roster for the newly-formed women's track and field program at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
Women's track and field, football and wrestling have been added at the university and will begin intercollegiate competition in the fall of 2008.
Perry made the first step this past week by securing commitments from four high school hopefuls. They are Pueblo West seniors Lori McGrath and Michelle Herrera, Pomona's Tara Marie Lindsey-Chavez and Evergreen's Stephanie Dufford.
"These four girls will provide a great foundation for our track program as we get it off the ground," Perry said. "I have no doubt that they will reach their full potential at CSU-Pueblo."
McGrath, who specializes in jumps and runs relays, is excited about the opportunity.
"I was recruited by a couple of small colleges in Kansas but I didn't want to go to school outside Colorado," McGrath said. "I was hoping to run track or play volleyball in college, but I didn't make the volleyball team, so it was track.
"I'm really excited to be part of the first track team at CSU-Pueblo. Another nice thing is that Michelle (Herrera) also is going to be on the team."
McGrath qualified for state in the high jump as a sophomore and in the 4x100 relay as a freshman. She runs on Pueblo West's 4x100 and 4x200 relays this year.
"Coach didn't say what events I'd be running, but he said the heptathlon might be something I would be doing," said McGrath, who plans to major in biology at CSU-Pueblo with an emphasis on nutrition.
Herrera has been the Cyclones' key runner in middle distances.
"I wasn't recruited by anybody, but my sister ran cross country out there (CSU-Pueblo) so I started talking to them last fall and they were interested," Herrera said. "They said I'll run cross country and be a 400 to 800 runner in track. I'm really excited about being part of the first track team. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Herrera competed at state the past three years in cross country. She was part of Pueblo West's 4x800 relay team that qualified for state last year. She plans to major in environmental studies and astronomy at CSU-Pueblo.
Lindsey-Chavez will be a double threat as she'll also run cross country, a program Perry also heads. She's a distance specialist and has been one of the top runner for Pomona the past few seasons.
Dufford, another middle distance runner and a thrower, was an all-Jefferson County League selection at Evergreen in the 800 medley relay and 400 meters. She also qualified for state in the 400 in 2007, finishing in the top 15 in the state.
Perry said he has a couple more dozen recruits on the line.
"I've talked to a bunch more kids," Perry said. "The university would like to have 20-25 girls in the program this first year. It was a goal set up for me when I first came in. I'd like to have all our recruits signed by the summer."
Perry knows there will be growing pains as the program gets off the ground.
"Anybody we put on the track I expect to go out and compete," he said. "We're not looking to win a national championship off the bat. We'll try and get better every year and finish high in the conference. We might not have a full team but we'll be competitive.
"It's going to take time to get what I need. We need to be able to have some kids walk on to fill out a team."
Perry is hoping to be able to host at least three meets next spring, including an invitational.