As the school year winds to a close, many of our spring sports are wrapping up. The 2022 Denver Christian Thunder track and field season came to a close this past weekend. Even with the snow and one-day delay in schedule, it was an amazing conclusion to an enjoyable and successful season.
Track & Field Team Leadership
The team has been led by seniors Jackson Beringer and Sophie Bull, Sam Lamsma, and Pryce Ferrin. (Pryce joins us from Front Range Christian School). Our track team made huge steps forward this season. We qualified more athletes to compete at the state track meet than in past seasons. We also reached lofty goals at the Mile High league track meet at the end of the regular season.
Our team captains for the season were Kaden Fuller (jr), Paisley Lions (fr), and Jackson Berninger (sr). These three student-athletes have the grit, the spiritual maturity and zeal, and the work ethic to lead this team to new heights. They did a fantastic job. Lyons and Fuller were members of the state-qualifying 2021 cross-country team. They continued their athletic growth in the “winter track” program/season and were able to quickly hit stride for the spring season. They brought energy and love for track & field each day to practice and impacted their teammates so positively. Berninger was a new addition to the team this season. He quickly became a “track junkie” with his passion for the sport and lofty speed talents. These captains created a team culture and chemistry that filled each day with laughs, competitive workouts, and a deep love and care for one another.
The Mile High Track & Field Meet
At that Mile High league meet, our boys and girls teams had set goals of scoring 74 and 52 points, respectively. These goals were set over and above the “expected” results based upon season personal records and expected performances from the other competing schools. Led by some top-tier finishes, the girls’ team concluded the meet with a whopping 62.5 points. (That is only a few points behind the teams who placed 1st and 2nd and the state meet later in the month.) The boys also had a fantastic day, scoring 75 points. Both themes placed 4th, which is a huge accomplishment on a field of teams loaded with quality.
Competing at State
Our athletes competed beautifully at the state meet. Our boys placed 12th in the 4x800m relay. They placed 3rd overall in the 4x400m relay, improving their season-best time by seven seconds. The girls placed 14th overall in the 4x400m relay. There were fantastic individual successes as well, such as Micah Holt placing 12th overall in the 800m run, Pryce Ferrin placing 4th in the 300m hurdles, and Jackson Beringer placing 9th overall in the 400m dash. After winning the league championship at the Mile High League competition, Sophie Bull placed 4th in the 1200m dash, and Brynn Goldfain placed 7th overall in the 300m hurdles. There are more fantastic performances than we can do justice to within a blog!
Memories from the 2021-22 Track & Field Season
We asked some athletes and coach Butte about special moments from the season. Their responses show the energy and humility of this team. Logan Fish (Junior) remembers one of the first times she ran in the 100-meter hurdles. After a promising start, she hit one of the hurdles and went flying to the ground. “I did a crazy ninja roll and then stood back up. It was scary but it was also hilarious. The whole team laughed at me but at the same time cheered me on and that’s when I fell in love with hurdling and my team.”
Others commented on little moments like huddling under blankets on cold, windy meets, and enjoying each other’s company. Drew VanWoerkom (Junior) commented, “The team has been absolutely wonderful. I met a lot of people I can now call friends. Last year I hung around with my brother all the time, but without him around this year I was worried. However, between the relay teams, there are a lot more people I feel like I can call my brothers.”
It’s wonderful to see our team grow with each passing season. Going into the Mile High Meet, Sam Lamsma (Senior) had the goal of reaching 110’ in discus because Isaac Jonker (DC Class of 2019) has that record of 110’ 10” at the Mile High League. (Sam and Isaac are friends and will be competing together again at Calvin University this fall!) Coach Butte says, “When it was time to throw for the finals, the rest of the DC track team came over to the area to cheer him on. They were loud and needed to be hushed when he was actually throwing. He threw 110’ 3” – Oh we were so excited and he was thrilled to match Isaac. His second throw was even better – the disc sailed to 113’6”! The whole team went wild!”
“I simply ask these kids to give their best, faithful, gutsy effort athletically, to give their love and delight for each other generously, and to be grateful and fall in love with the sport– and this year’s team seemed to do these things very well!Coach Doug Butte
Excitement for the Future
As this season wraps up, Coach Butte has nothing but energy and excitement for how this team is growing and loving the sport while also loving each other. As a “young” team with over 50% of the athletes being 9th or 10th graders, look for this team to continue to make huge strides forward in the years to come.
Along those lines and in summarizing the season, Coach Butte says, “I simply ask these kids to give their best, faithful, gutsy effort athletically, to give their love and delight for each other generously, and to be grateful and fall in love with the sport– and this year’s team seemed to do these things very well! I am grateful to have two assistant coaches, Bret Lamsma and Kayla Paris, who have also bought into what we are doing and give these student-athletes a great experience and point them to Christ and to excellence at each and every turn. So, we are very, very excited for the future.”
We are so blessed by the coaching staff and amazing track team. After a much-deserved break this summer, we anticipate having more stories from their 2022-23 season! We also wish our seniors the best of luck as they head off to college this fall!