Over its long history, Woodland Park High School has produced many fine athletes, including two who will long be remembered for their track-and-field exploits: Emily Arseneau and Skye Ciccarelli.

At this year’s Class 3A state meet at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, Emily captured second place in the shot put and fourth in the discus. Skye won the high jump championship for the second consecutive year.

“Nobody works harder than Emily,” Woodland Park throws coach Brett Nelson told me. “She works year-round. Doesn’t matter what the weather is like. She’s here early and stays late. Whatever it takes.”

Emily will compete for Concordia University in Irvine, Calif., on a track scholarship. She plans to add hammer and weight throw to her arsenal.

On Friday, the pair graduated with their classmates in a stirring ceremony at the Pikes Peak Center. I still can’t believe their four years of high school have come and gone.

“Neither can I,” Skye told me. “High school was a lot of fun.”

Emily and Skye were multi-sport athletes who made their teams better.

Emily played varsity volleyball her sophomore and junior years. At 6-foot-1, she was a formidable force as a middle blocker. Three times as a junior, she had six kills in a match.

Skye was a star on the basketball court. A starter from Day 1 of his freshman year, he scored what is believed to be a school-record 38 points in his third game. He ended with a school-record 1,566 points in 92 career games.

As a sportswriter, I enjoy covering games and writing features on high school kids as much as when I started my career in 1987. I remember the first time I interviewed Skye during his freshman year. He had arrived from Japan only a few months earlier and spoke little English.

Basketball was Skye’s main sport and he was an immediate impact player. The first time we spoke, Panthers’ coach John Paul Geniesse acted as Skye’s interpreter. Today, Skye speaks and writes English well.

Over the years, Skye jumped into cross-country and track. A three-time state qualifier in high jump, he will continue his career at UCCS.

“I’m really excited to be able to watch Skye at the next level,” Woodland Park track coach Sara Martinez told me. “It will be nice for me to take some of our athletes from the high school down to a college meet and let them see what it’s all about.

“Skye is where he is today because he is hard working and dedicated in and off season.”

Skye and Emily won’t be the last Woodland Park track-and-field stars. There are several athletes returning who could move to the top of the podium. But that bar has been set high.

Danny Summers has covered sports at all levels in the Pikes Peak region since 2001. Send your story ideas and feedback to danny.summers@pikespeaknewspapers.com.

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