One team, five diverse groups
While many different school teams have different sections the indoor track and field team is in a league of its own because of the amount of sections they have. Head coach Mike Kiernan said there are five different groups on the team.
“We have distance, sprints and hurdles, jumps, which is the triple and long jump, pole vault, and throws, but only the shot-put in the winter season,” Kiernan said.
The five groups all have different practices, but some are similar in technique.
“The workouts are different, because different events demand different things from the body,” Kiernan said. “Distance might be more aerobic based, while sprints and jumps are much more explosive in nature,”
Sophomore sprinter, Andrew Ridenour said his group runs, and those runs vary from practice to practice.
“In our usual workouts we will run anywhere from eight 200 [meters] to 20 meters,” Ridenour said.
Cameron Keith, junior and long distance runner, said the long distance runners will run a couple of miles each day.
“We run probably like four miles a day; after stretches, coach Lewis will come and tell us what to run,” Keith said.
Assistant coach Matt Lewis said the differences in events also have to do with physical attributes.
“It is based on body type, people with fast twitch muscles can run as sprinters or throwers, while people with slow twitch muscles are better suited to run distance,” Lewis said.
He also said the type of event the athlete runs can be based on previous athletic experience.
“The difference in event also goes back to different sports they have played,” Lewis said.
One thing the coaches have been impressed with is the level of commitment from the runners.
“Kids are here [at winter track and field] want to be here,” Lewis said. “It has winter in the title, so they have to battle the elements, and they know what they are getting into facing the elements.”
Kiernan said even though other teams assign captains he does not so the athletes can prove themselves.
“I am a firm believer in captains showing themselves to be leaders, so I don’t assign one or two per group because that’s assuming we have many leaders in group,” Kiernan said.” Sometimes we will have just one, and sometimes we will have three or four.”