Racing for perfection

Kristen Smith

     When track season began in February, the team looked forward to improving on last season’s accomplishments. While the team lacked experience last year, it has new goals and is hard at work this year.  Determination has been a key focal point for this year, and has helped the young team drive towards success.

     “Last year we were a young team and didn’t have enough guys who could run on varsity so our varsity team did not have the best season,” Zach Santiago, senior, said. “We still had a few guys though, especially those on the Cross Country team who had some success.”

     While the team struggled last year, the focus is not about how they performed, it’s about how they are going to perform this year. The boys have begun to rally together and are already seeing some success.  The team ran in the Hutto Invitational on March 6 and came in first at the meet. Some of the team’s runners enjoyed individual successes as well. Jay McIllece, Cameron Shoppach and Herbert Gutierrez won first place in their individual runs. Not only did the boys win the meet, at the end of it they became the first ranked team in the nation in the 4×6 200 meter relay.

     “When it comes to distance we’ve already raced a lot of the top guys at district and regionals,” Cameron Shoppach, senior, said. “The track team as a whole has a good fighting chance at district.”

     Even though the team is young, it has put in extra work to get to the next level as a team. As much as track might seem to be an individual sport, members realize they are also a team and are striving to work together as one, scheduling extra practices to help all members get stronger. The team has come together and accepted its new members.

     “It’s a different group of girls, but [this season] is better in some respects,” Suzy Dailey, sophomore, said. “The incoming class of freshman girls are really sweet.”

     The team members and coaches have also made chemistry an important factor in the team’s dynamic, building team bonds and friendships. By working together, the team is attempting to make individual weakness less of a factor.

     “Our team and coaches have really great chemistry, and everyone is willing to do whatever we have to do to make the team better as a whole, and to make everyone better,” Santiago said.

     Coming into the season, the team faced some hefty competition from schools across the district. Members assessed their competition and came up with strategies to finish on top.

     “This year, Georgetown is really tough. They have some really great runners, [and] a really good team, and they are in our district. They’re a tough challenge,” Santiago said.

     Even though some runners only participate in track, the sport is appealing to athletes from other sports and activities too. This year, the team has runners who participate in football, cross country, band and basketball. Track takes a lot of focus and dedication and is a form of off-season training for these other students.

     “I like track because it’s an easy way to work out, and it tests your strengths and weaknesses. It makes you try new ways to keep yourself in shape,” Alexandra Hansen, sophomore, said.

     Timberwolf Track is doing a great job with the team they have, and if they keep working together and focus on the future, they’re bound to accomplish their goals.