Track and field: Centaurus’ Brooke Calvo continues family legacy with signing to Memphis

Centaurus’s Brooke Calvo, right, signed to run track and cross country at the University of Memphis next season, but for now she is focused on keeping the Warriors in state contention in distance events including the 3,200 relay.

The writing was on the wall that Centaurus senior Brooke Calvo would continue her athletic career at the NCAA level.

The Calvo family is one linked to greatness for the Warriors in Lafayette. Andy Calvo, the cousin of Brooke’s father, was an all-state football player for the school back in 1972-73 and was also an all-state long jumper in 1973. More family members would be named all-conference and/or all-state during their high school careers, with the most recent being Linsi Calvo, a cousin of Brooke’s who was a captain for the girls basketball team just three years ago.

“All of my family has gone through Centaurus and has been really strong athletes for them,” Brooke Calvo said. “To continue the legacy of great athletics and academics is really a unique opportunity for me.”

Brooke is now the latest to follow in the family’s footsteps as she signed to run cross country and track at the University of Memphis. She signed the paperwork a few weeks ago and the school held a signing ceremony for her on April 16, along with Helen Gover, who signed to play basketball at Fort Lewis.

What makes the journey unique for Brooke is the path that landed her at Memphis and the weighing of the decision to compete and continue her family’s legacy.

When it came to finding a school, having a chance to go out on her own was something Calvo was interested in. She wanted to go to a school that offered an engineering program because that is the field she is looking to get into. With such a rigorous academic program, balancing the academics while competing at the Division I level was something she weighed carefully.

As her senior year went on, it became clear that running was in her DNA, and it was something she could not hang up just yet.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted the commitment of running, but as the season went on I realized that running was such a big part of my life that I really did want to continue,” Calvo said. “Memphis was the right spot for that.”

Running became more critical to Calvo this year as she was limited during the school year due to nagging injuries that hampered her during the cross country season.

“It’s been a little frustrating,” Calvo said. “I’ve had some hip issues and strength issues that have been holding me back a little bit.”

Despite the injury concerns, Calvo managed to secure a top-25 finish in the regional meet and Centaurus qualified as a team to run at the state meet. After the cross country season, she worked on getting back to full strength, but the long process has dragged into the track season and forced her to compete before she is at full strength. She felt she was at 85 percent going into the Boulder County Track Championships last weekend.

As she is getting closer to 100 percent, Calvo is helping the distance runners for Centaurus. The 3,200 relay team is one that hopes to qualify for state and got a lift from Calvo last weekend in the second leg. Joined by Grace Armstrong, Audrey O’Malley and Maggie McClesky, the four finished with a time of 10:07.12. They would finish third in the meet and ran their best time of the season.

“This is the first time we have put our fastest 4×800 group together,” Armstrong said. “Everyone is feeling really good. It was exciting to put all of our accomplishments together at once.”

And it’s that relay team that is pushing Calvo this spring.

“I want to get a little faster in the 800, get under 2:35 and help my teammates get to state in the 4×800,” Calvo said. “That would be awesome.”

Centaurus is looking to put together its best run in the 3,200 relay in the final few weeks of the regular season to secure a bid to the state meet. It won’t be until then that Calvo will shift her attention to her collegiate future, but it is one she is excited to take part in next fall.

“I really liked that it was something different from Colorado,” Calvo said of Memphis. “I wanted to experience something new, so I went down on a visit in November. It was a really nice atmosphere. I met some of the girls on the team and they were nice. I just liked the atmosphere.”