Seventeen provincial banners in 21 years of competition.

The number speaks volumes about how dominant the Cochrane High track and field team has been since the turn of the century.

"I think that is a pretty big accomplishment in itself to be so successful over the span of two decades," says head coach Esther Sieben. "I'm very proud of the Cochrane community, and of these student athletes."

She says it speaks to the total buy-in of the team.

"They come out and train in the mornings or train after school. They're very perseverant, they're very disciplined as well because they also have grade 12 exams, or they're grade 11 chores and grade 10 work."

The Cobras sent a team of 35 athletes to provincials and returned with 14 medals to finish on top of the 48 3A schools competing. Before that, they won the Rocky View School divisional banner and the ASAA South Central Zone banner. Five of the team members were unified and para-athletes.

Junior athlete Kaylee Torrie won the very first gold medal of the provincial meet in the 3,000m and followed it up with a silver in the 1,500m, with personal bests in both events.

Raimo Sollitt struck gold in the junior boys 3,000m and bronze in the 1,500m, also both personal bests.

Grace Beach won silver in the senior girls 3,000m and a bronze in the 1,500m. She also won gold as a member of the 4x400m relay team, which included Elise Hagen, Csenia Irvin, and Toryn Besanko.

Besides winning gold in the relay, Hagen won bronze in the intermediate 100m, and bronze in the 200m. She also won silver in the intermediate 4x100 with teammates Toryn Besanko, Emma Dick, and Ashlyn Rost.

Senior girls athlete Hannah Hurtubise came home with four medals to wrap up her high school track career. She won gold in the 200m, silver in the 4x100n relay, bronze in long jump and silver in the 4x100. The 4x100 team was a south-central zone team, including Alex Eremenko from Springbank, Taryn Sieben, and Avery Shafer of Cochrane High.

Track is an individual sport regarding times and distances, but Sieben says it takes a team effort to get over the line. That included their bus driver.

"Don was amazing," says Sieben. "Of course, we made sure that he gave him a provincial winning T-shirt because I told him, you know, there's no role too small on a team. Everyone contributes and everybody has a very important role.

"You can't be a successful team unless you incorporate everyone into your team's philosophy and your team phenomenon. You can't get there just with the athletes, you need the community supporting you and backing you up. You know what they say, 'It takes the community' and that is so true."

Besides filling a coach bus, the team had many family members and friends join them in Edmonton at Foote Field. With so of the Cobras proudly displaying their signature 'C' jersey while climbing the podium, many of the Cobra fans were left fielding questions about where they were from.

"We're putting Cochrane on the map for track and field, for sure, because once they see the 'C' and then we let them know it stands for community character and commitment., they're like, oh Cochrane."

She sends out a huge thank you to all the coaches and support staff at the high school, the families of the athletes for their support, and Tim Beach, of Charlesglen Toyota, for donating a bucket hat to all the athletes. Last year, he surprised the team with backpacks.