Fourteen Boulder area High School preps training with the Ric Rojas Running group traveled to Pocatello, ID to compete at the prestigious Simplot Games held February 18-20, 2016 at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena. This high school track meet attracts top nationwide talent and is considered to be the Olympics for High School track and field athletes. This is the 20th year that Rojas has taken his teams to the Games.
“Simplot provides experience at a level similar to a state championship”, Head Coach Ric Rojas explains. “The kids understand how to prepare for and compete in multiple events over the span of 3 days. Many of them would only have one competitive season with their respective schools since no schools in the BVSD provide structured winter/summer training/competitive programs. I often have kids record huge personal bests that create confidence and momentum for their spring track seasons and gain exposure among college coaches.”
Some of the highlights from this year’s games were:
The Girls 4 x 800m Relay took the Silver Medal. (Emily Gallegos-Wheat Ridge, Senior; Tatjana Kunz-Fairview, Senior; Olivia Rogers-Centaurus, Senior; and Hannah Freeman-Fairview, Junior.
Hannah Freeman, Junior, ran her 800m PR: 2:16, finishing 5th in the finals.
Other athletes that also made the finals on Saturday were Emily Gallegos (800m), Alex Weseman (400m) and the Girls 4 x 400m (Marlena Preigh-Fairview-Freshman; Kyra Barnes-Fairview- Freshman; Tatjana Kunz-Fairview, Kennedy Kenton-Fairview-Sophomore)
Full results – 2016 Results
Also on the last day of the games, team photographer Dave Albo was able to put down the lens to compete in the coaches 200m. Dave ran over 1-second faster this year as a 59-year-old, breaking the 29-second barrier to win the Silver medal.
Rojas’ program includes pre-school kids from all over the area, Freshman through Seniors, and starts with a winter training/competitive focal point, a comprehensive structured training program/professional coaching, coaching at local track meets, professional Power/Olympic Lifting instruction, and a warm indoor training environment at Balch Fieldhouse. In turn it gives sprinters, jumpers, and middle distance runners a chance to compete/record Personal Best FAT (Fully Automatic Timing) marks that can be evaluated by college coaches just the same as their outdoor official times.
Ric adds, “It is logistically very easy (3-4 days a week), very affordable, and very effective in producing PR’s for college-bound athletes. Every high school track athletes who is considering competing at the NCAA – level should seriously consider this program!”
Photos of Ric Rojas Running team at the 2016 Simplot Games