Girls track team sets, meets high goals

by Zoey Starks/ Staff writer

Photo Caption: Kenzie Polster, 12, performs the high jump. 

The GC girls track team is ready for their season.  Coach Reuben McCracken talked about how he thinks the season is going to go.  He said, “I am thinking based on who we have competing this year, we will have a good year. The meets we want to do well in are the county and conference meets and we should have an improved place over what we did last year.

McCracken also discussed what he thinks his team needs to work on the most this season, and he says,  “One thing I would like them to work on is doing the little things correctly. Every little thing we can do right, that is a little bit we are going to get better. It all adds up in the end.”

McCracken commented on what he is looking forward to in the season, and he said, “I am looking forward to us being better than we were last year. Several of the girls have some high goals and I am excited to see them accomplish their goals.”

Audrey Brinkruff, 10,  is one of those girls. “The one thing I want to work on the most for the season is increasing speed. I need to be able to run at a faster pace for the shorter races,” she said. “By the end of the season,  I want to have broken both the 1 mile and 2 mile records.”

On March 2, Brinkruff ran the fastest 3200 meter (2 mile) time in school history with an 11:49.03. It is an indoor record and is faster than the outdoor record by almost 10 seconds.

Brinkruff then broke the GC 1600 meter run, the mile, with a time of 5:22 on April 9.

Hannah Burkhart, 12, talked about her goals as well. “I would like to work on bettering my distances in discus this year in preparation for county, conference, and the state events such as sectionals, regionals, and, hopefully, state,” she said. “By the end of the season, my only goal is to make it to the state meet and compete there.”

McCracken talked about their team’s biggest competition. “In both county and conference, our biggest competition will be New Pal and Mt. Vernon. New Pal is a great team and we will challenge them in spots. I think we are more on a level with Mt. Vernon and it will be very competitive between us and them for second place in county and conference,” he said.

McCracken also commented on the challenges they will face during the season. “We will travel to a few meets where will be competing with some of the top teams in the state. We have to take the right approach into those meets that we can compete with them and it will make us better doing so,” he said.

Burkhart commented on the team’s attitude going into the meets. “I am looking forward to the atmosphere meet day brings to the team; it’s very energetic and the anticipation of results is contagious. I believe that the team just simply needs to work on the cocky vs. confidence debate. We can’t walk into a meet cocky or else we will fail; we must just be confident in our abilities, not obnoxious about our successes.

Brinkruff  shared what she was looking forward to this season. “I’m looking forward to warmer weather without rain or wind. One thing I think our team needs to work on is learning how to pace ourselves and finding the extent to which we can push ourselves,” she said.

McCracken talked about his coaching style. “I try to keep my coaching style relaxed. I don’t want to be the type of coach that has to scream and cuss at the kids to get them to respond. I’m not perfect. I do get upset and yell. But in my mind I know that is not the most effective way to coach. My goal is for them to trust in what I am saying and respect me enough that they just do it.”

He continued, “The girls usually have a good mental focus. So long as they keep in their mind that they can’t be happy with what place they get, but continue to get better each time they compete.”