East Lake’s upcoming 2019 track season

What are our prospects this year for the track season?

East+Lake+poses+for+a+picture+after+another+successful+meet.
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East Lake’s upcoming 2019 track season

East Lake poses for a picture after another successful meet.

East Lake poses for a picture after another successful meet.

East Lake poses for a picture after another successful meet.

East Lake poses for a picture after another successful meet.

Mario Shontz, Staff Writer

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As soon as winter break is over, East Lake track is going to be revving up, and official practices will start.  Even now, a little less than a month before conditioning starts on January 8th, many track runners have started preparing for the season. As a track runner myself, I have started doing some easy long runs just to start getting into shape. Judging from the fall Cross Country season, as well as last year’s track season, this is going to be a great year.

Coach Taylor, who is the track team’s head coach, is not foreign to the feeling of winning. Indeed, he is known for his extreme competitiveness, and this rubs off on to us runners and those on the field, pushing us to do our best in both the actual races and in practices. Knowing that we follow directly in the footsteps of some of the best runners and teams East Lake has ever had, there is a lot of school dignity at stake. While in the end it is a sport and it is not the end of the world if we don’t win every meet, it is important for those on the team to give it their all as if everything really was at stake, as convincing yourself it doesn’t really matter before a race is a recipe for disappointing results and times.

The track team consists of many smaller groups, as the whole collective team is too large and diverse for one coach to handle. Thus, while Coach Taylor is the head coach, he mostly specializes in coaching the sprinting team and the distance team along with the help of Coach Smith, the head coach of the Cross Country team.  Coach Taylor’s dad also helps with coaching the sprint team and is also a coach for many of the field events. Mr. Maisner coaches shot put, and sometimes parents will help coach with pole vault. Despite all these coaches, track is largely a self-driven sport. As with any sport, if you don’t put in the work and effort into training, you’re never going to be as good as you want to be. Even those naturally talented at their event still must work to be among the best. With track, this is true even more so because it is easy to run everything at half effort and never improve. It is up to you as the runner to push yourself, to run at a pace that is uncomfortable. No one on the sidelines is really going to know if you’re running at the speed you’re supposed to be unless you’re one of the top runners on the team and have a coach making sure you’re doing every workout right all the time. Even then, long runs are entirely self-driven. Coaches do not run with you or check on you during your long runs to make sure you are running them correctly. It could be very easy to just walk a short distance and say you went on a long run. But no one who has done that has ever become a track star, and that surely won’t set you apart from the rest of the pack.

As I mentioned earlier, this track team is following in the footsteps of some extremely talented and skilled runners.  One of the first that comes to mind is James Hasell, who was good at practically any running event he attempted.  His 800-meter time at one point was the third best in the country.  Another great runner was Josh Bowers, who ran a 10.8 second 100 meter, one of the best in the state. Though those are the first that come to mind, there are many other runners that made it to states in the last few years, and we even had one girl, Kaitlyn Kirby, who became an All-American.

Though we lost many incredibly runners last year, we have had many runners show some promise this year, especially Michael Welbourne and Parker Valby during the Cross Country season. All in all, things are looking very promising for this coming year and I along with many others am very excited for what this season has in store.

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