Boys’ track prepares for States

by Jacob Schwartz
At this point in the season, it’s a fight just for runners to stay alive. At each of the last meets, members of undefeated boys’ track needed to qualify for the next meet in order to continue their seasons.
According to coach Jim Blackburn, many track members consider the indoor track season to be divided into two separate seasons.

“There is the dual meet season, which ended a few weeks ago for us, and now we are in the State meet season, where runners have to qualify to keep going. The competition is much better,” he said.

Only a handful of team members qualified to race in the Division I State meet, which is tomorrow.
Sophomore Gabe Montague, one of the few who qualified, has set a goal for himself. “I’ll be happy if I can beat my personal record for the 1000-meter relay, which is 2:36,” he said. However, Montague said that beating this record may not even qualify him for the All-State meet Sunday, Feb. 26.
Blackburn said that in his experience, the added pressure of the State Meet season has had varying effects on runners. “It should make you better, and for some it does; some runners become more driven under the extra pressure. But, for others, it’s too much work to stay consistent, and it can be hard for them to get motivated.”
According to him, if the team continues to race the way it has throughout the season, achieving the win and becoming Division I champions will not be too much of a challenge.

Senior Justin Keefe, a captain with seniors Young Guang, Swardiq Mayanja and Nate Menninger, said that while competition will be at its peak, the Tigers still has a shot at winning the meet tomorrow, as a team, which is another possibility. “To do this, we’d definitely need to break 40 points. Our relays will have to be really strong.”

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