The first track meet of the spring was March 28 for both track team squads. The girls ran at Chariton and the boys team ran at the PC Invitational. Neither of the meets kept track of placing, as they were both early bird practice meets
A record 21 girls and 26 boys are on the squad, which is a significant increase from last year. Head track coach Keith Anderson is uplifted by the solid numbers. “It takes a lot of athletes in order to be truly competitive and we are up on both the girls and the boys side. This will allow athletes to focus more on certain events instead of being thrust into a lot of different events because we need them to be,” he said.
This is the second year that Coach Anderson has taken the job of being co-ed track coach, which brings new joys and a unified vibe to the teams. “What I enjoy the most about coaching both is how we have unified and really become one team. in the past there used to be some division between the two teams but last year and even this year I have seen a lot of unification,” Anderson.
Senior captains Kathryn Van Tuyl and Grant Dunsbergen both feel the need to also have fun in track while it is often taken very seriously. “Especially on days when we have a super intense workout, everyone makes the air a little bit lighter with jokes and laughter, and that is really something special,” said Van Tuyl.
The last season for the seniors allows final goals to be set and a lasting impact on the team to be made. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the team better and running in my last high school season. Also, track is a party,” said Dunsbergen.
As the intense practices pile up the first couple of weeks, track meets will bring new competitiveness and a new time to shine. “I want to get into the competition part of the season and see how each athlete is able to use the instruction that myself and the rest of the coaching staff have been giving. That’s when things start to get fun and the hard work starts to show,” said Anderson.
Runners will start to focus more on their individual events and relay teams. “On relays, everyone gets extra close, and there’s a unique bond in that little team,” said Van Tuyl.