Preseason track meet prepares team for improvement

Track invitational focuses on individual and team results


David Bryant

Junior Anna Keith recovers after jumping over a hurdle and prepares for the next. Park participated in a preseason invitational on March 30 at the University of Minnesota.

David Bryant and Hayley Westwood

Junior Anna Keith said the first track meet of the season on March 30 was not typical because of the lack of teammates.

“It’s really different. It’s more individual. Not a lot of hurdlers came, so it’s a lot of warming up by yourself and being independent,” Keith said.

Boys’ track head coach Kelson Mackenzie said the smaller size of the team was due to the meet taking place during spring break and being optional for the team.

“This meet is more of a bonus. We actually don’t usually do this meet, but we thought we wanted to see some kids get into competition early, given they are around for spring break,” Mackenzie said.

Senior David Benjamin said the team is working to get stronger and more physical while avoiding early season injuries.

“Our team is making sure to eliminate injuries early in the season while also incorporating core strength and endurance,” Benjamin said.

Keith said participating in the first meet of the season can be intimidating, but she tries to focus on her effort not where she places.

“It’s kind of nerve-racking because there is that concern of whether or not I’ll do well and comparing my results to last year, but it’s most important to keep an open mind and go in giving all I can,” Keith said.

Mackenzie said as the new boys’ head coach, he wants to push toward every member showing up to every practice and trying their best in the 2019 season.

“I would like to change the culture of the team, going away from the base of kids showing up biweekly,” Mackenzie said. “I just want everyone showing up everyday, having fun, getting tight and working on being a team.”

Keith said her main goal for the season is to keep getting better and place first both personally and as a team.

“Personally, I want to get a better time for each of my events and get first in conference for each events,” Keith said. “As a team, I want to get first in conference because last year we were a few points off from first place, so that would be real nice.”

The first official season track meet of the season takes place 4 p.m. on April 9 at Orono High School.