Track & Field - Shared Goals and Successes

with guest blogger, athletic trainer Alicia Doran

While Coach Orndorff is busy with post-season softball, athletic trainer Alicia Doran has stepped in this week to share her insights on the 2017 Track & Field team. She recently had the chance to chat with Coach Jim Connor and Coach Bam Ewings and hear more about the program:

TWTW: As track tends to be a "no cut" sport, what are some guidelines for participation?

"We do not require a certain level of performance to be on the team. But we do want the athletes on the team to come to practice every day and, unless they are injured, to complete the workout. It doesn't matter to us if a runner doesn't have a lot of natural speed; we are happy if the runner is working hard and completing the workout. We find that many times athletes are not very successful when they start working with the team, but they get much better if they come to practice and do the workouts. Track is a sport in which it often takes athletes months or years to reach their full potential. We want to work with each athlete to help them improve; when they improve, our team improves."

TWTW: Many people think track is just an individual sport, but a lot of success has to do with winning as a team. Could you explain how individual races are important for the team's sake?

"Track is a sport involving shared struggles and shared goals. For example, a nucleus of shot putters can train together every day and help each other improve. Working together as a group is far more effective than working separately as individuals. Once athletes are used to working together, they support each other, they cheer for each other, and they help each other improve. This is what makes our team strong."

TWTW: How is this season going compared to previous track seasons? Are we improving as a whole?

"Our season has been relatively successful so far. We have had several excellent performances by athletes such as Cheyenne Plummer, Isabell Baltimore, Serena Davis, and Max Greczyn. On the other hand, in certain events we don't have any athletes. We have no boy high jumpers, and only one girl shot putter/discuss thrower. We do not have the depth in certain events that we have had in some prior years. Despite having events where we don't score many points, we have been successful as a team. We were the best team of the 20+ teams at the Potomac School Invitational. The boys team won both of our quad meets. The girls team won the Arlington County Championships, and the boys/girls teams combined score was 38 points ahead of the second place team at this meet. In summary, we have had a good year, and we look forward to concluding the year with success in the Catholic State Championships and the WCAC Championships."

TWTW: Tell us about some of your top performers -- in distance, sprinters, and field (what year are they and what makes them special).

"Senior Cheyenne Plummer has been dominant in the 100, 200, and on the 4x100 relay. She won all of these events at the Arlington County Championships. Senior Isabell Baltimore, the DJO school record holder in the 400 (58:20), has already run a 59 second 400 this year, and has several more opportunities to better her times in the 400 and 800. Junior Serena Davis has performed well in the long jump and the triple jump. Sprinters Devin Morrow (sophomore), To'ren Pride (senior - pictured above), and Avery Everhart (senior) have shown a lot of speed in the 100 and 200. Avery has run a 52 second 400. Senior Ethan Torres (pictured left) has run very well in the 110 hurdles, and has greatly improved in the 400 (he ran under 52 seconds on the 4 x 400 relay at the quad meet at John Paul the Great). The girls 4 x 100 relay (Cheyenne Plummer, Brianna Somers, Caroline Sullivan, and Isabell Baltimore) has been dominant every time they have raced. In the distance races, newcomer Max Greczyn ran a 4:33.84 1600 at the West Springfield meet, an exceptional time for a runner in his first year of competition. Matt Tillson has shown great improvement in the 800."

TWTW: Are there any athletes that are new to track that you are pleasantly surprised with?

"Max Greczyn (pictured #6 right) has performed very well in the 1600 and 800. He showed his versatility on April 28 when, in his first 5K race ever, he was the overall winner in the O'Connell 5K. Freshman girls Kendall McBride and Gianna Mitchell have had very strong performances in the 1600, the 800, and the 400."

TWTW: What are your goals as you prepare for the post-season?

"At the beginning of the year, our goals were to do well in the three championship meets-- the Arlington County Championships, the Catholic State Championships, and the WCAC. We have been pointing toward these goals all season. As addressed above, we won the girls meet and the overall team meet at the Arlington County Championships. The Catholic State Championships are at O'Connell on May 13, and the WCACs are at Good Counsel on May 19-20. We are looking forward to strong performances in those meets."

This is Alicia Doran, and this is The Week That Was.