Willis: Chipotle trip had added significance for Centaurus track team

Centaurus track
Courtesy photo
Several members of the Centaurus track team eat outside a Boulder-based Chipotle on April 12. Half the proceeds helped benefit Colie’s Closet, a suicide prevention group.

Who doesn’t like Chipotle?

That’s how Centaurus senior track and field athlete Dee Dee Strohl sees it. So it wasn’t a tough sell to convince the Warriors to go the fresh-mex restaurant after competing on April 12.

But this was no run-of-the-mill trip.

A busload of about 40 Warriors piled into the Chipotle on 29th Street in Boulder, and 50 percent of the proceeds went to Colie’s Closet — a suicide prevention group within the Boulder Valley School District that Strohl has been involved with for about two years.

“They were all for it,” said Strohl, also a soccer player for the Warriors in the spring. “They know I’m in Colie’s Closet and they know how important it is. A lot of them have seen presentations, so they know and support the cause.”

The cause hits closer to home for Centaurus, which lost a junior male student to suicide in February. A handful of track athletes had been close with him, and the distance team regularly runs past the spot where he took his life. The Warriors also recently lost an alum to suicide.

Strohl joined Colie’s Closet partly because she suffers from periodic bouts of depression, and was delighted to see her peers stick up for something that can be a touchy, often avoided topic in high school halls.

“That’s kind of the hard part about being in Colie’s Closet,” Strohl said. “You deal all these presentations and I don’t know how many people actually care or have their lives changed by that. I hope that things get through to them and I hope that people take what we’re saying seriously, because it is a problem.”

On the day of the Chipotle trip, Centaurus had a split squad, with some athletes attending the Mullen Invite and others heading to Berthoud. At Mullen, Maggie Moline set a school record with a 5:21 in the 1,600. On the boys side, Kenny Sweetnam finished first in his heat in the triple jump and Grant Dunbar excelled in the throwing events.

Multiple Warriors personal records were achieved at both sites, much to the delight of coaches Devin Rourke and Robin Lynch. But the biggest difference Centaurus made might have been after the race.

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