Boys, girls track prepare for indoors

The 2023 indoor track season is looking to be even better than the last with new adjustments in coaching, attendance, commitment, practice times, mindsets, and more room for any and all who want to join. There are a variety of events for a variety of people, including shot put, sprints, distance, and many forms of jumps.

The 2023 track season is coming with some new changes on the girls team. The girls team has gained two new coaches: throws coach, Reggie McClure II, and sprints, long, and triple jumps coach, Martin Mena.

“We have two new coaches. One comes from Grayslake Central, Reggie McClure. He’s a throws coach. Really excited to have him because he has 19 years of experience. We also have Martin Mena, who is our sprints, long, and triple jumps coach. We’re excited because he’s been a collegiate coach, and he’s also coached at the sprint level for high school,” said girls head track and field coach Elaina Armata.

Along with new coaches, both the girls and boys track and field teams are looking forward to executing new goals. On the girls side, their top three goals are making the top three at conference, improving, and pr’ing (increasing personal records). On the boys side, their goals consist of growing the program, seeing individual growth, getting better scores for conferences, and more state qualifiers. Along with new coaches and set goals, attendance is being looked into this year to evaluate who really wants to be a star athlete. Unexcused absences will be taken into account when making lineups for meets. With that, head coaches are looking for athletes who have determined mindsets and are ready to learn and do more.

“[We are looking for] hunger, a desire to want to come out, work and get better at their respective events, better themselves for their other sports, and try to instill that mindset in themselves at a young age so they can take those lessons that they learn here and apply them to college and work down the line,” said boys head track and field coach Tyler Woolard.

“[We are looking for] resilience, a drive to want to be competitive and can overcome when there is a failure. Looking for someone who wants to be coached and are ready to learn,” Armata said.

In track and field, there are 18 events, and there’s an event for everyone. Students just have to be willing to go out and find what they are good at. This can happen any time. It’s never too late to join track and field. Just contact one of the head coaches, Coach Elaina Armarta for the girls team and Coach Tyler Woolard for the boys team. There are 18 events in the indoor season, and they are categorized into single runs, relays, distance, throws, vertical jumps, horizontal jumps, and hurdles. Relays consist of four runners who take turns running by passing a baton. Distances consist of 4×200 meters and 4×400 meters for the indoor season. Single runs are one person running by themselves in their own lane, usually consisting of 55M, 60m, 200m, 800m, 1600m, and 3200m. Don’t like running? Shotput is throwing a 16lb ball for boys and 8.8lb for girls, as far as one can.

“ I do throwing. It’s really fun. I like it because it relieves my stress throughout the day, so anything that makes me upset or sad just makes me put all that energy into my throwing,” said junior shot put thrower Sanaa Jones.

“[I think field events are better.] There is a thing that we do. We all clap at once to hype each other up,” said senior shot put thrower Nathan Alfaro.

Vertical jumps consist of long jumps and triple jumps into a sand pit. Long jump is running and then jumping, while triple is taking three big jumps before the final jump. High jump consists of jumping off of one leg over a heightened bar, while pole jump is using a pole to jump with to get over a heightened bar. If someone can jump and run at a good pace, hurdles consist of both. Distances vary between 55m and 60m in the indoor season.

Students in their off-season should look to track as it may help increase skill for other sports, besides the athletic part of the sport. Track and field is a great community for students to interact with each other and have fun. As well as being a fun sport, it has a supportive environment.

“It’s a fun sport to be part of. It also makes you better at all your other sports. It makes you more explosive at the hoop. It makes you faster on the football field, and so on,” Woolard said.

“The fact that it’s inside and it’s not cold like the whole first half of the outdoor season is really really cold and being indoors is nice. Everyone’s pretty close together, the community seems closer in the indoor season,” said boys sprinter senior Zach Weitgenant.