When the athletes take to the field for the ASAA high school track and field zone meet next week, one of the dominate school colours will be the deep red and white of the Cochrane High School.
The Cobras sent 100 athletes to the Rocky View Sports Divisional finals, May 15, and not only did they once again claim the divisional banner, they earned the opportunity to send a huge continguency of about 60 athletes to the zone finals, May 23.
Esther Sieben, longtime head coach of the school's track and field team, said the team returned with numerous first and second place finishes and its those athletes who advance to the zones. They also cleaned up in points, taking a combined male and female score of 755.50 points. Closest to them in the standings was George McDougall High School with 300 combined points.
Sieben says the kids were ready for the divisionals and preparation is the key for the Cobras' continued success in track and field.
"Preparation goes a long way and we've probably been training since the beginning of March," she says.
Cochrane High is known as a track and field school and just shy of 20 per cent of the student population participates in at least one of the disciplines. The end result has been a string of 3A provincial banners and she estimates they have won 16 in the last 18 years. That's without counting the number of divisional and zone banners that grace the school's gymnasium walls.
"It's been a long haul but a really good one.because the kids show up in grade 9 knowing that Cochrane High School is a track school and we run a really good track program."
"We're in all of the discilpines and that diversity of training helps kids get excited about track and field and in knowing that there's got to be an event they're good at."
While training officially starts in the spring, some of their athletes train year-round with sports performances classes and weight lifting. A few are also in clubs and compete in their respective disciplines year-round.
"There's a really culture to be better and become technically sound in their events."
Sieben appreciates the school's team of coaches and those who help with administrative duties.
"It's a real community effort when it comes to track and field."
Last year, the Cobras had over 32 athletes advance to the provincials and just how many will land there this year will be known next week.