Season Preview: Summit track and field
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
FARMER’S KORNER – This spring, head coach Kristy McClain has a challenge that she’s never experienced in her seven years with the Summit High track and field team. With 63 kids on the roster, McClain said she’ll have a hard time picking between athletes for each event.
“With a big team it’s going to be something different that we haven’t had to deal with in the past,” she said. “Some kids might have to stay home, some kids are going to have to compete for spots in the meets.”
Not that it’s a bad thing, though.
“I don’t mind that problem at all,” McClain added.
The Tigers have their first full meet today at the Liberty Invitational. (They had a small-roster Jeffco League event on Tuesday as well.) And McClain feels her team is geared up for what should be a big season.
“I think we have some really strong athletes this year and could be breaking school records and hopefully having some competitive relay teams,” the coach said.
McClain said the Tigers will be more of a sprinting team this spring, in contrast to years of being a dominant force in distance running.
Although, one of the team’s top returning athletes, junior Cali Greksa, will be looking for a repeat League title in the 2-mile run.
Senior Nick Adolph will be another one of the Tigers’ top returners. Adolph will likely run both the 400- and 800-meters as well as compete in the triple jump.
Adolph feels his team is looking strong so far this season, partly because the Tigers have had some fairly descent training weather – at least, for Summit County.
“The first couple days were pretty rough and a little cold, but it hasn’t been too excruciatingly painful,” he said. “A lot of times we’ll run out there and you get a deep inhale, it kind of burns. Overall, it hasn’t been too bad, though.”
In a sport where training can get grueling, if not monotonous, some nice weather certainly helps morale. McClain said that her team’s attitude thus far has been “great,” and she feels that will help them push through the long haul of the season.
“We have a lot of excitement on the team,” she said. “In the past we’ve always had fun groups, but these kids are so positive and have had a lot of fun. People are really excited about running in track.”
Senior Diego Andraca, who, like Adolph, will be a fixture in both the 400 and 800, also feels his team’s attitude and chemistry will be a positive factor this season.
“We’re pretty cool,” he said. “Were young, we have a lot of freshmen, so in a couple years, they’ll be good.”
For now, though, the Tigers are focused on this season.
McClain said sophomore Ridge Strickler should have a big season running the 100 and 200, as well as Oliver Biggin. Junior Hannah Price is an athlete to watch in the high jump, and assistant coach Doug Blake likes what he’s seen so far from throwers Alex Sleep, Justin Osborn and Alex Fitch.
Really, McClain can’t help but be pleased with the state of her team.
“We certainly now have the depth to fare well against some of the bigger (Jeffco) schools,” she said. “It’s exciting. This is a bigger team than we’ve ever had. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores, more than in year’s past. So we can just build on that.”
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