Courtesy of Julisa Ruiz-Vega

Senior Sports Recognition: Track and Field

Due to the cancellation of spring sports, seniors who participate in boy’s and women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, women’s golf, track and field, baseball, and women’s tennis are missing out on their Senior Night. During Senior Night, players, coaches, and parents come together to celebrate the accomplishments of those who, in some cases, have played on that team for the past four years. The Skier Scribbler, in collaboration with the spring sports coaches, is highlighting the seniors from each team in order to give them the proper recognition for their hard work and dedication over the years.

Track and field coach Kiffor Berg reached out to share his memories of the class of 2020. “While I am incredibly saddened to miss this opportunity to work with each of these seniors this spring, I am also incredibly grateful that I have had the opportunity to spend time with and get to know each of them,” Berg wrote, speaking of seniors Greta Hansen, Julisa Ruiz-Vega, and Paige Quist. Below are Berg’s memories with each individual athlete.

Paige Quist: Throughout her four years as a track and field athlete at Aspen High School, Paige Quist has been completely dedicated and extremely driven. Always looking to improve the dynamics of the team as well as fine-tune her craft. As we began her senior season, Paige was honored by being selected as a team captain by her fellow teammates and coaches. Moving forward, Paige was excited to build on the shot put success she found last year placing 2nd in the Western Slope League Meet and 4th at the State meet.

Her position coach, Jay Shulz, truly cherished working with her over the years. He shared, “Paige has overcome many challenges in her life to achieve great success in the [throwing] ring. She has also recognized a need for student leadership and has worked hard to fill that need. I am immensely proud of Paige and consider it a real honor to have had the opportunity to work with her throughout her track and field career to achieve her goals.”

Greta Hansen: The best way to describe Greta Hanson is to quote her new track and field distance coach Amy Rollins who said, “The first day I met Greta, I was immediately struck by her bright smile and bubbly personality.” Greta has a wonderfully warm and inviting demeanor, making her a natural leader. Not only does Greta often offer a listening ear, but she also leads by example by working hard and accepting each challenge with a positive attitude. Her teammates and coaches recognize all these attributes as well electing her to be a team captain heading into her senior season. Greta and the rest of us were all very excited for her senior track and field season, as she had made great improvements and was coming off a successful cross country season in the fall.

Julisa Ruiz Vega: Julisa joined AHS track and field last year as a junior and immediately showed potential for great things. Her hard work and dedication would bring that potential to fruition in a season that culminated in multiple podium finishes at the Western Slope League meet and the State meet. She finished 6th in the state in the 100-meter dash, and her team was 4th in the state in the 800-meter sprint medley.

Julisa has a soft and calm demeanor, paired with a quick smile and kind words, she makes strong connections with her teammates. Julisa leads by example, always willing to push herself and others to put in maximum effort and step up to the next challenge without hesitation. Heading into her senior season, she was honored by being selected as a team captain by her teammates and coaches.

Track and field senior athletes are saddened by the loss of their final season, but proud to have been a part of the Track and field program. Below are some of their favorite memories from their time on the team.
Julisa Ruiz-Vega:
Being part of the track team was one of the best decisions I made throughout my time at Aspen High School. It taught me a lot of life lessons, and it was, more than anything, a family. First off, I would like to thank James Alderidge for all the early morning workouts we had and for always believing in me and pushing me to get better as an athlete and human being. I would also like to thank Kiffor and Jay for being great coaches and helping us get better. Finally, I would like to thank my family for always being my number one supporters that would travel to all the meets and cheer me on. My favorite memory was when we were at states, and Zhu and I decided to notch our eyebrow so that we could “intimidate our opponents. I plan to attend the University of Northern Colorado in the fall and major in Nursing. I might also be part of their track team.

Greta Hansen:
I want to thank my coaches for putting in all the hard work to coach us every year. During this challenging time, they are still finding ways for us to stay connected as a track team and giving us suggestions for workouts to keep active. We are still able to connect as a team in this very individualized sport. My favorite memories from track are the meets. It is a time when we can cheer on everyone, even when they are doing their individualized events. It is wonderful to see everyone on the team cheering on the sidelines as you push your hardest. I am going to miss this team next year, as I love getting to push myself to my best alongside my teammates. Next year I will be attending Western Washington University and will be continuing to run as a part of the club.

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