2017-2018 Winter sports previews: Track and Field

2017-2018 Winter sports previews: Track and Field

Reina Makimura

 
The 2017-18 winter track team consists of nearly 140 students who can be found after school running in nearly any weather, proving their dedication to the team. However, with the recent snow, they often run inside. They face a challenging season ahead of them, but have strong players in each event.
 
Track is a very individual sport, and each runner has their own goals. Being in such an individual sport allows students to truly shine.  
 
“You can’t hide in a crowd,” coach Jeffrey Koegel, said. “Your performance stands out.”
 
All of the students are coming from various levels of experience and skill. This, combined with the larger than average team, means that the coaches must work hard to balance the needs of varsity athletes and newer members.
 
Unlike other sports teams, new members often enter with little to no experience, allowing the coaches to have the opportunity to help the athletes develop from a clean slate.
 
“Seeing them develop, that’s one of the most rewarding parts of the job,” Koegel said. “Even if a kid never gets to a championship level…they can improve so much from freshman year to senior year.”
 
Each student is coached to push themselves and compete well. Koegel explained that he wants each student to come to practice determined and ready to improve. Even during competitions, he wants each student to be incentivized by competition.
 
“If someone jumps ahead of them or throws farther than them, they’ll get fired up and come back and say I’m going to get them back,” Koegel said.
 
Some players to watch this season include senior Maddy Bord, who was the Union County champion last year, junior Brandon Garcia, junior Ben Fleisher, and senior Justin Sanders.
 
Many other new and old players alike show a lot of potential for the upcoming season. Even though the team will face some challenges, they are prepared to be successful this winter. The first meet was on Monday, Dec. 18.