Cross country: Holy Family’s Chavez sisters setting rapid pace

Cross country: Holy Family’s Chavez sisters setting rapid pace

 

BROOMFIELD — Some kids are blessed with more athletic ability than others.

Holy Family’s Lindsey and Katie Chavez are a prime example of that and it often times begs the question, “Where do you get your athletic ability?”

It’s a silly question that sometimes results in the most heartwarming of answers.

“They definitely get it from their dad, he passed away from leukemia 14 years ago, but they definitely have his genes,” the girls’ mom, Cindy Chavez, said. “He is definitely in our lives daily and we constantly talk about dad being on their shoulders and an inspiration and what a great legend.

“He was an incredible person.”

Mike Chavez was a graduate of running-rich Lake County High School in Leadville and was an athlete back in his day. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree, and while the Chavez girls — including Megan, who graduated two years ago — have made their names on the basketball court, cross country and running in general may be their first love.

Lindsey, a senior, and Katie, a sophomore, are the cornerstones of the defending Class 3A champion Tigers team that has even bigger goals for the upcoming season that begins on Friday afternoon back at the state venue in Colorado Springs (the Norris-Penrose Events Center) for the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede.

To say that Holy Family was ultimately the best place for the Chavez sisters would be a mild understatement. Cindy Chavez will be forever grateful for the love and support she and her girls received from the school at Day 1.

“They have embraced us and they have helped my kids grow,” she said. “They have helped my kids to experience things that as a single mom, I would have never been able to put in my kids’ path.”

Said Holy Family coach Dave Good of his two captains: “They are really amazing kids, besides being talented athletes. Their drive and their dedication is second to none and they are exemplary leaders when it comes to getting ready for a workout.”

One year ago, Lindsey placed 19th and Katie was 23rd for the Tigers, who edged Frontier Academy by a mere point for the team title. The Tigers will have to be at their best in October when the state’s best harriers return to the Springs, knowing that not only Frontier Academy, but also Salida and Colorado Academy are nipping at their heels.

Lindsey and Katie have each targeted top-five finishes at state. Working together and with an uber-talented team, it is not out of the realm of possibility that those high expectations can come to fruition.

“We have the experience under our belts, so I think we can exceed everyone’s expectations and even our own,” said Katie, who has a personal best time of 19 minutes, 15 seconds she wants to best. “Winning state definitely gives you the confidence, even if you are not participating in another sport. Winning the state title last year helped us in our lives. We became more confident and felt stronger, like we could do anything.”

That cause and effect moved directly into the basketball season, where the Tigers won their fifth state title in six years for coach Ron Rossi.

It’s as if winning quells all sibling rivalries. In fact, much like Megan Chavez did for both of her younger siblings, Lindsey keeps a close eye on Katie and never is amazed by what her little sister accomplishes.

“We’ve all grown so close together and that is how we were raised,” Lindsey said. “We are more supportive of each other, regardless of whether Katie beats me in a race, I know that she is constantly there to push myself harder.

“It’s that unspoken connection of her supporting me and encouraging me.”

Both the girls get that from their father Mike on a daily basis.

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