2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Sand Creek, Vista Ridge team up to make annual event happen

Published: April 4, 2014, 10:56 pm, by Scott Kaniewski

OK, so probably not the best way to spend a last day of spring break. Especially for Falcon School District 49 rivals Sand Creek and Vista Ridge.

With shovels in hands, track and field athletes from both schools worked through the morning and early afternoon, playing the part of grounds crew. By 2 p.m., the stadium at Vista Ridge and adjacent area for field events had been transformed from snow-covered tundra to the venue for the annual Sand Creek Scorpion Invitational.

The Vista Ridge track was covered with snow Friday morning from Thursday's storm. Volunteers and athletes from both Vista Ridge and Sand Creek helped clear the snow in time for Friday afternoon's Scorpion Invitational. Photo courtesy Jay Peltier.

The Vista Ridge track was covered with snow Friday morning from Thursday’s storm. Volunteers and athletes from both Vista Ridge and Sand Creek helped clear the snow in time for Friday afternoon’s Scorpion Invitational. Photo courtesy Jay Peltier.

Early Thursday morning, a strong spring winter storm quickly dumped as many as eight inches on parts of eastern Colorado Springs, including at Vista Ridge High School, off the corner of Dublin and Black Forest roads.

“Want to see a picture?” Vista Ridge coach Jay Peltier said. “It was absolutely nuts.”

Peltier swiped through pictures on his smartphone and arrived at a shot taken around midday Thursday.

“You couldn’t see the stands,” Peltier said. “I didn’t know if we’d be able to have this meet.”

There was only one way it could happen. Show up early.

“I got here at 7 a.m., and we called everyone we could to bring their shovels, from Sand Creek and Vista Ridge,” Sand Creek coach Bobby Tillman said. “We got the (football) field cleared, or else there would have been nowhere to warm up. It was a great effort by both teams. But man, that snow was heavy.”

- Kevin Carmody