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Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Warhawk track team eager to get season under way

March 21, 2007

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The West Warhawks started track practice last week in preparation for their first meet on March 27.

About 160 students are participating in track this season, and even though they have only been practicing for a few days, Warhawks head coach Stan Frantz already likes what he has seen.

"They look good so far," he said.

Last Thursday, the Warhawks conducted a short practice as they were eager to begin spring break. The Warhawks ran warm-up laps, stretched, ran 100-yard sprints and learned the proper way to come out of the starting blocks at the beginning of each race.

West track coach Amy Yates said the most effective way for runners to have good starts was to have a good stance and setup. She explained that runners should first put their thumbs near the line - and at the same time - keeping their hands behind the starting line when they first get down into their stance.

Runners should then put their strong leg forward and keep a good arc on their backside. And when the race begins, runners should drive off that strong leg.

Yates said she was pleased with this year's turnout and hopes all the participants, especially the newcomers, will use this season as a learning experience.

"It's just a year to expose them to track," she said. "Get them interested, get them excited because a lot of them have never even been involved in organized sports."

A pair of eighth-graders, Paige Rothwell and Jazlyn Fleming, are newcomers to the team this year. And both have different reasons they wanted to take part in Warhawk track.

Rothwell said she went out for track because she needed to get in shape, and Fleming said she wanted to beat her time of 13 minutes, 59 seconds in the 100-meter dash.

"Track's not a whole sport. It's very individual," Yates said.

Freshman runner Kennedy Nye competed for West last year and placed in every meet. Nye participated in the one-mile run, the 800-meter run and long jump.

Nye said his goals for this season are the exact same as last season.

"To place in every meet again," he said.

Frantz said this year's toughest competition should come at the end of April when the Warhawks compete in the Bulldog Relays.

"We're always looking to win the city and the Bulldog Relays," Frantz said. "South won the Bulldog Relays last year on the boys' side. So we're looking forward to competing for that this year."

West will compete in nine meets this season, and Frantz said that while his group does have lofty team goals, he hopes that each participant will make strides toward improving their own individual performance.

"Track is one of those things they got their personal records and they're also competing against themselves trying to get better times, better throws," he said. "So even if they don't finish first, the goal is to keep improving throughout the season."

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