Five track meets canceled because of snow

Weather limits practice space, time


Breanna Thompson

Sophomore Hilda Habia lunges at the beginning of practice April 13. Athletes warm up inside due to the weather.

Yonit Krebs

Junior girls’ track captain Anna Jennissen said the cold weather and snow impacts track’s ability to practice outside and canceled five of their meets.

“Since there really hasn’t been a spring, and it’s really cold out, we haven’t been able to go out on the track at all,” Jennissen said.

According to head coach Richard Keith, athletes practiced outdoors for the first time in the entire season April 12.

“Well officially as of (April 12) we were a full month into the season, and (April 12) was the first day on the track so that pretty much sums it up,” Keith said.

Keith said his worries earlier in the season about the transition from practicing inside to practicing outside are only magnified by track’s need to continue practicing indoors.

“The surface in here is not conducive to the kind of pounding the kids have to take in order to try and get themselves in shape,” Keith said. “Cardio is tough in a limited space like this, so when we do get out, we put a lot of work on them.”

Jennissen said the weather affects track disciplines differently, impacting sprint runners more than distance runners.

“(The snow) doesn’t really affect (distance runners) because they have slow twitch muscles, so if they run in the cold, they are not at risk for hurting themselves, so they have been able to run outside and do their normal workout whereas sprinters have been stuck in the gym,” Jennissen said.

According to Jennissen, track coaches have been creative in finding ways to improve their skills despite practicing indoors.

“I think the coaches are trying to figure out different workouts so we don’t hurt or so we don’t get shin splints, which is really common to get on the gym floor, so they have been trying to figure out ways to work on core,” Jennissen said. “We have been focusing a lot on strategies on different races, just anything so we can still improve in track, but it’s just hard because we can’t work on that much running. It’s definitely set us back for sprints.”

Keith said the weather has also pushed other spring sports inside, cutting down practice time.

“It’s tough balancing. I mean, you only get an hour because baseball is rolling in around 4:30, right after, so it’s not ideal,” Keith said. “I’ve been doing this for 15-18 years and this is definitely the worst year. Moving into next week, it’ll be the longest duration we’ve had in years when it’s been like this, but with the snowfall, it’s been more moisture related than cold.”

According to Keith, the limited practice space forces track to engage in different kinds of training techniques.

“We do a lot of event-specific work. We’re not putting a lot of load on the kids, we’re still getting a lot of reps, whether its approaches on long jump, approaches on high jump,” Keith said. “We got a few pads in here so the vaulters can get some workout. Of course, they’re not getting as much as they would like because of the problem with space, but we’re trying to do the best we can.”

Jennissen said she and her co-captains try to motivate her teammates to work hard despite the shorter indoor practices.

“(We have) just (been) trying to let people know that you can still improve even though the track season hasn’t really been going how we want it to be going. You can still work hard and do whatever you can to keep improving somehow, and we keep just reminding them of that every day,” Jennissen said.

According to Keith, the team lost five meets due to weather-related issues, including Park’s big home invitation originally scheduled for April 17.