State track and field championships may have become the norm at The Classical Academy under Tim Daggett’s guidance, but it’s not the sole indicator of a successful season, as the Titans were reminded in 2019.
For the first time since 2015 a team title will not find a home on the north side of the Springs, but Daggett was clear there was no crushing disappointment.
“The only goal every year is to walk off the track knowing we did our best,” he said.
His projections going into the meet had Lutheran winning the 3A girls title by about 15 points. After the weekend wrapped up Lutheran did end the Titans’ run of three straight state titles, but it was only by a 109-106 margin.
“On paper we shouldn’t have won,” Daggett said. “To make it as close as we did was awesome.”
The TCA boys, who won five titles between 2009 and 2014, placed sixth, helping Daggett earn Gazette Preps Track and Field Coach of the Year.
Daggett credited the program’s consistent contention to a couple of things: a culture of success that has young athletes excited to join the program and willing to participate in just about any event that will help the team, in addition to a balanced and experienced group of assistants.
“I think one of the big things we do … they feel a part of it and accepted pretty quickly,” Daggett said.
The team titles were swept by Lutheran, something the Titans have done five times since 2009, but TCA still had individual champions to celebrate. Senior Kaylee Thompson won the 1,600 and 3,200 with Katie Flaherty, another senior, placing second and fourth.
“They just had unbelievable years,” Daggett said.
“We don’t get that close if those two don’t have the state meet that they had.”
Hope for continued success can be found in juniors Kristina Willis, who won the pole vault, and Mason Norman, who took third in the 1,600 and second in the 3,200 on the boys’ side.
It was a bit more of an unusual year for the Titans because they didn’t score in the individual 400 or 800 races, Daggett said, but he was clear there was still plenty of success to be found.
“We do not have to win for it to feel like a great year,” the TCA coach said.