Sprinting into track season


Photo Courtesy of: Mary Westrich

The girls 4x800m track relay team qualified for regionals last season, and this year has their sights set on state. The relay is made up of Mary Westrich, Kate Steins, Kaitlyn Grover and Isabel Chemal.

Track season has kicked off, and the WHHS track team is ready to take on the season. The meets have begun and WHHS athletes have already been dominating the standings.

They have been doing well in all the events that track has to offer. Contrary to popular belief, track is not all just short sprinting races. There are three main categories people run in: sprinters, mid-distance, and long distance.

The short distance events include the 100m and 400m, along with the 4x100m and 4x200m relay. The mid distance events are the 800m and the longer distances are the 1600m and 3200m.

Runners do not have to specialize in one group. For example SENIOR Nathan Hammond is a mid distance runner but also does some distance events. His best event is the 800m, which he has high goals for this season.

“I want to break the school record in the 800. I think I have a pretty decent chance of breaking it,” Hammond said.

Hammond has been running track since eighth grade, when he was encouraged to join by his science teacher. This was something Hammond had been thinking about since he was a kid.

“When I was a little kid I watched Usian Bolt at the Olympics and I wanted to be like him,” Hammond said.

In order to prepare for the wide range of events runners compete in, the team has different practice days each week. They do longer runs, track sprints, and easy days in order to be prepared.

“Our training depends on the day. We do two or three easy runs which are four to five miles,” Hammond said. “An example of a hard day on the track is a 200,400, and 600 four times or 16x200s.”

A newer member of the team is Kaitlyn Grover, ‘24, who ran cross country in the fall and decided to join track.

“I did cross country and that was a lot of fun and I like doing athletic sports stuff so track was the next thing,” Grover said.

Grover is a member of the girls 4×800 relay, which is one of WHHS best relay teams. Last season they qualified for Regionals, and hope to make it far again this season.

“We hope to, at the very least, make it back to the regional meet and, if not, to make it even further and go to state,” SENIOR Mary Westrich said. “ Another goal would be to try and break the school record from 2010.”

A theme around the track team is a sense of community and friendship, the team has strong chemistry.

“My favorite part about track is the friends I have there who are really fun to hang out with,” Hammond said.

“The team atmosphere [on track] is a lot nicer than other sports I’ve done,” Grover said.