by Mariam Elassal/Staff Writer
With track season starting, the boys and girls teams have been training determinedly. Cooper Hanson, 11, stated that the most important part of off-season training is about showing up and training. Getting in shape is most important, as these athletes do nothing but vigorous running and activities. Mr. Reuben McCracken, coach of the girls team, agreed with that statement as well, training is most important.
A typical practice with the track team begins with a one mile warm up run. Following the warm up, the teams take part in stretching along with other warm up exercises. A common workout that takes place is to run 200m repeats at 800m race pace. Before practice ends, Cooper Hanson likes to run a “Shakeout” run, which typically lasts about 4 to 5 miles, followed by stretching and icing as needed.
Jacob Hansen, 12, is looking to get records this season. Hansen says that drinking water, getting sleep and resting appropriately, as well as living in a constant state of mind is how he prepares for the season. Hansen stated that his strength is keeping everyone on the team happy and together. He said his weakness would be sprinting, as Hansen is a long distance runner. Hansen, an aspiring athlete, wants to pursue his dream of breaking the school record, going to state and taking as many people to regionals as he can.
Obviously, strengthening and training is very important, but team bonding and relationships are just as crucial. Jacob Hansen likes his team a lot. They have a close relationship. “I like everyone and hopefully everyone likes me. I think we are all friends,” said Hansen.
“I like how everyone cheers people on while they are running their events. The team is all pretty close. We are real friendly to one another and want the best for each other,” Zachariah Archibald, 11, stated.
“The track team is always one of the largest, if not the largest, team in the school. I feel like we do a great job with bonding amongst ourselves with the limited time we are given with each other,” said Cooper Hanson.
Meet days can be difficult and require a lot of mental as well as physical preparation. “On meet days, I always get up early and listen to music to relax myself. On the bus ride to the meet, I also listen to music. During a race, you have to be focused to maintain a good running form,” Hanson said.
“I mostly visualize my race and how I will respond to different scenarios that could happen in the race,” Archibald stated.
Coach McCracken stated that he has the team do a lot of drills. The sprinters and distance runners have their individual workouts that they do. “I’m not a big screamer or yeller. I don’t feel like I have to motivate people. They should be motivated if they want to. I try to make sure the team knows that I know what I’m doing so they trust in what I tell them to do.”