Chaffee seniors stay busy with track, baseball

Friday, May 22, 2009
Collin Dannenmueller will compete in the 400 meters and the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays at the state meet.

CHAFFEE -- Trenton Horman's phone sometimes rings at about 6:20 a.m. on days when he has to attend track and field practice before school.

"I don't function very well in the morning," Horman joked. "I usually get a wake-up call 10 minutes before I'm supposed to be there every morning from coach [Tyson] Moyers."

Horman, along with his teammate Collin Dannenmueller, have been two of the best athletes on the Chaffee track and field team this year. Horman will be competing at the Class 1 state meet in the 110-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump and 1,600 relay. Dannenmueller also will be competing in four events -- the open 400 and the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays.

To do as well as they have in their events this spring, both seniors have had to improvise with their practice schedules. Both play baseball in addition to running track, so they typically are unable to practice with the track team after school. They are forced to find other times during the day to practice, such as before school, during physical education blocks during school or even before and during school on some days.

"Sometimes I'll have to work on two different things that day, and I'll get one done in the morning and one during the day," Dannenmueller said. "Sometimes I go in the evening."

Chaffee's Trenton Horman will compete in the high jump, long jump, 110 hurdles and 1,600 relay at the Class 1 track and field championships that begin today in Jefferson City, Mo. (Kit Doyle)

The state meet for both Class 1 and Class 2 takes place today and Saturday in Jefferson City. Chaffee, Scott City, Saxony Lutheran, Kelly. Oran and Scott Country Central will be sending athletes to compete.

Chaffee track coach and athletic director Terry Glenzy said while some coaches at other schools might dispute over sharing athletes during the same sports season, it's never been an issue at Chaffee for as long as he has been at the school.

"A lot schools, they feel like it's a fight for the kids," Glenzy said. "We [Glenzy and baseball coach Brian Horrell] have always been able to work it out. ... I think is some respects we get them in shape for baseball. We're not fighting over our kids. He realizes that he needs them, we need them. And we're going to work together."

Besides Horman and Dannenmueller, both Hunter Thomason and Jason Cicardi also play baseball and run track. Thomason is a member of the 400 and 800 relay teams, while Cicardi is a member of the 3,200 relay team. All four athletes will be competing at the state meet.

A difficult feat

"I couldn't understand anyone who [does both sports]." said Chaffee track team member Jordan Yahn, who started out playing both sports until an injury prevented him from continuing with baseball. "They have to be an amazing athlete. I really respect that type of person. But I just couldn't do it."

Dannenmueller said the track coaches sometimes give him workouts to complete on his own because of the time constraints caused by playing two sports.

"[Moyers] just gives me my workout and tells me I better do it because I'm only going to hurt myself if I don't do it," Dannenmueller said.

Horman said even when he practices before school he also typically practices during his physical education block. When the dual-sport athletes do practice track before school, they are scheduled to begin at 6:30 a.m. Most practices last until about 7:45 a.m. to give the athletes enough time to shower before school starts at 8:05 a.m., Glenzy said.

"Every day it's during school, and some mornings we go before school," Dannenmueller said.

Horman and Dannenmueller have been doing this each spring since they were freshmen.

A group effort

Glenzy said he sometimes requires other members of the relay teams, those who don't play baseball, to practice handoffs with the dual-sport athletes in the morning.

"Several times this year we've brought both our girls and boys track teams in at 6:30 in the morning," Glenzy said. "They'll be there. We'll get 99.9 [percent] of them there. ... If we have a junior high meet on a Tuesday afternoon, then we'll bring them all in that morning. And then there's other times we'll bring them all in in the morning -- that way we can give them all the rest of the day off and then come back the next afternoon, so actually they've got 36 hours [to rest]."

Both Dannenmueller and Horman have worked hard during practice times and have had successful years.

Dannenmueller broke the school record in the 400 by running the distance in 50.97 seconds at the Chaffee Invitational on April 30.

Dannenmueller has the top time in Class 1 this year after knocking off about three seconds since last year, Glenzy said.

Dannenmueller failed to qualify for the state meet in 2008, after Chaffee was bumped up to Class 2. Dannenmueller placed sixth at last year's district meet.

"I should've gone last year," he said. "I pulled my groin right before districts. I did run, but I just couldn't run my best."

Meanwhile, Horman earned all-state in the high jump after tying for fifth place with a leap of 6 feet, 1 inch at the Class 2 meet last year.

"I've never been to state and had to do four events, so it's going to be a little different," Horman said. "It should be fun though."

Horman's goal is to place in the top two in the high jump, although he said he obviously would love to win the event.

"I've got another guy right with me, so I'll have to work for it," Horman said.

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