Track Makes Strides At State With Young Team
March 5, 2019
On Feb. 2, the indoor track team traveled to the Birmingham CrossPlex to compete in the indoor state tournament. Nine athletes qualified, including two seniors, five juniors, one sophomore and one freshman.
Several athletes set personal records, but no individual performance was worthy of recognition at the state level. While the results failed to match the success of some previous years due to tough competition for varsity opponents and the exclusion of key runners, expectations for the squad have been different. Coach Cedric Austin describes this season as a “rebuilding year,” where the team shifted focus to ensure success in the future.
“We have a bunch of young, up-and-coming talent,” Austin said. “We’re just really trying to prepare for outdoor at this point. This year, with us having so many young kids, we focused on the basics for track and field, but I think as the season progresses into outdoor, we will probably find more success.”
Austin is also hopeful about the upcoming outdoor season because meets are more local and the number of events are higher. In preparation for outdoor, Austin believes peer to peer learning is the most effective route to learning, so he has stressed its importance to the older team members.
“The goal for this year is just laying the foundation for what we expect as a coaching staff and program,” Austin said. “We also really wanted to give some of the upperclassmen the opportunity to become leaders.
One of those upperclassmen is senior Adam Thomas, who traveled to Birmingham earlier this month. He thinks the process of mentoring the younger runners has come naturally, but still makes conscious effort to supply his teammates with knowledge that will come in handy in later times.
“I felt like I had to show leadership for the team and be an example to show how putting in effort goes into your results,” Thomas said. “They are still going to be here after I leave, so I have to make sure they have the right mentality.”