There may not have been a meet this week for the Summit Tiger track team, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t hard at work.
“We had a really good, solid week,” head coach Kristy McClain said of the team’s off-week practices. “It’s always good to have the weekends off. You can work a lot harder, have a lot more intensity, than you can during a week when you have a meet.”
The week of practice also took the team in a new direction with a swimming pool training session at Summit High School.
“This is the first time we’ve given it a try,” McClain said. “I think they really liked it.”
While it wasn’t an entirely new experience for Summit senior Liam Meirow, who has trained independently in a pool before, being with the whole team was a refreshing change of pace.
“The change of atmosphere was pretty exciting for the whole team,” he said. “It was definitely new for a lot of kids. It’s definitely a lot different from what people expected.”
During the pool session the team worked on sprinting drills in the water.
McClain told the Daily she’d heard the idea from other coaches and decided to incorporate it into this week’s schedule. Meirow said the team may look to continue pool sessions in the future.
As for the Tigers’ season on the track, with just two meets behind them a number of runners have the team looking ahead to a strong season and potential state appearances.
“The entire team is looking strong,” McClain said. “They’re showing a lot of dedication in practice.”
Meirow, and sophomores McKenna Ramsay and Ruthie Boyd have been leading the way so far.
Returning to the team this year after competing independently last season, Meirow — the current 4A state cross-country champ — has already added two more school records to his growing list of accolades with recent first-place finishes in the 1,600- and 800-meter runs. He ran the 1,600 in 4 minutes 32.29 seconds and the 800 in 1:56.84.
Both records were set with what Meirow described as a minor knee injury. He said he is almost back to 100 percent, and even has his sights set on the state record for the 1600. He already owns the school record in the 3,200, which he set his sophomore year.
Ramsay is looking to build on an impressive freshman effort that included school records in the 200, 400 and 800. She’s already earned one first-place finish in the 400 at Rifle earlier this month.
“Just like last year, she’s amazing to watch run,” McClain said. “She is really driven to do her best.”
Ramsay claimed seventh at state in the 400 as a freshman.
Fellow sophomore and multi-sport athlete Ruthie Boyd has also come out of the gates strong with a handful of third-place finishes in the 400 and 1,600 so far this season.
McClain credited Boyd’s dedication to training and competing on both the cross-country and Nordic teams along with track.
“Her training and her dedication and her focus, whatever sport she’s doing, she’s very focused.”
McClain expects the trio to be among leading contenders on the team to go to state.
Additionally, she said: “Hopefully we’ll have a few surprises we weren’t expecting.”
The team will be challenged this week as they head to Fort Collins for the Poudre High School Invitational Friday, April 4. The meet will include a number of 5A schools from the Front Range.
“Our two biggest meets are coming up,” Meirow said. “They’re races some of the biggest teams in Colorado go to.”
McClain said the opportunity to race against the Front Range will give the team a good chance to see how they stack up.
“It’ll be good for kids like McKenna to see some of that other competition and start looking ahead to the state meet,” she said. “We intentionally wanted to get down to some of the Front Range schools. Five-A schools traditionally have faster runners.”
Following the Fort Collins meet, the team will travel to Eagle Valley for a second meet on Saturday, April 5.