Making Strides

Mikayla Havison, Copy Editor

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“Runners take your mark!”
The runners line up on the start line, beginning to focus on what is ahead: the finish line.
“Get set!”
With focused minds, the girls get into their running stances, preparing for the run ahead and concentrating on the track.
The starting gun cracks and the girls are off, running with every bit of energy they have.
The girl’s track team is notorious for their challenging practices that often pay off with huge success. Under the coaching of Sara Wyss, history teacher, and Anne Tiernon, gym teacher, the team saw an immense amount of success last season.
“We were sectional champs and we took kids to the state meet in six events,” Tiernon said. “We also were regional runner ups.”
Though the team is proud of their success last year, they are only hoping to get better. The girls’ team has been rigorously practicing, hoping to improve their times.
“We want to have better performances (this season),” Tiernon said. “Track is a very measurable sport with times and distances.”
In order to increase the effectivity of practices, the team splits up into a long distance and a sprint running group, to create specialized workouts for each running event.
“I am long distance so that means we usually have lunges and then we do a warm up for up to 15 minutes on an 8:30 mile pace,” Saige Norris (12), varsity two mile runner said. “(Next), we do our workout and if it’s a hard day, we do intervals. If it’s an easy day, we just get mileage. Then we come back to school and do planks, push ups and abs.”
Though both practices are intense, the shorter distance runners have a much different workout than the long distance runners.
“Usually with the long sprint girls, we start at a three lap tempo at six minute mile pace,” Claire Smith (12), varsity short distance runner, said. “(Then), depending on the day, we either do a longer workout, such as a ladder workout, or Tiernon will have us do three 500 (meter runs) or five 300 (meter runs). We also usually do a couple 200s or 100s.”
Though the team’s 65 runners all put in work at practice, practice is not the only factor that has contributed to the group’s success.
“It doesn’t just take being fast (to be a good runner); you also have to be fit,” Smith said. “Technique is also a big thing that I don’t think a lot of people pay attention to. When you are in shape and you know the technique, it is easier to run faster.”
On top of being physically fit, the girls also have to keep a certain attitude and sense of team spirit, in order to get results.
“You have to have the mindset that pain is just discomfort and its temporary,” Norris said. “You (also) have to be a big team player because everyone is going thought the same thing.”
Even through exhaustion, the girls must keep pushing through the pain.
“Sometimes it does get hard to snap out of being tired, but you need to be mentally tough and get through it,” Smith said.
Despite the painful practices and excruciating events, the girls are drawn to the sport.
“The team aspect (is great),” Norris said, “Getting together with this crazy bunch of girls everyday is pretty fun.”
Tiernon believes that the team aspect of the sport has also made the girls better runners.
“(Running) is not always easy,” Tiernon said. “(The girls) push each other and they want to make each other better.”
The team’s next home meet is on April 12, starting at 5:30 and the girls would love to see some students cheering them on.
“People don’t really think track is intense, but longer events can get super competitive,” Smith said.
In total, it takes a lot to become a talented runner, but the girls’ track team seems to be on the right track to success.
“We are an experienced team,” Tiernon said. “Hopefully that experience will helps us with (reaching) overall higher goals and higher expectations.”

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