Category Archives: Track

Baddude reflects over favorite stories in 100th column

By J.D. McKay

After about 2.5 years of writing my column I have two left. Today’s column, from May 13, and next Wednesday’s, the day before my last day of school. During my three years in newspaper and 2.5 years writing this column, we have done some impressive things as Highlanders. So, I thought in my 100th column I would look back on my favorite columns and stories I have written for the newspaper.


Boys’ basketball wins sectionals for the first time in 31 years

This one was an easy number 1 for me. This was either my favorite or second favorite memory from my senior year. To me, though, this was an awesome moment in FC history and was awesome to cover. 

As a student, I was celebrating, but as a writer, I immediately was ready to interview guys after the game. And while the players I talked to knew I was interviewing them for the Bagpiper, we were just students at a school that had just won sectionals for the first time in 31 years. Crazy excited and completely themselves. They did not overthink the answer and told me exactly what they were feeling. That produced some great quotes, which made writing the story easy for me. 

Another significant part of this story for me was how quickly I wrote it and got it out. It was the only story I wrote in all three years on the Bagpiper staff that got out the same night as the event happened. It was the first story published about the game by any news source and I was very proud of the work I put into it. 


FC’s best athletes reflect over their success

I got to interview some of the people that are hanging all over the FC athletic wing. That included Pat Graham, Mr. Basketball; Jeffrey Thompson, pro-baseball player and college World Series pitcher; Jill Schuler, an All-American and three sport all-state athlete; and Codie Hamsley, the Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year, as well as six others. It was interesting to put a story to a face on the All-State wall and tell their stories to a lot of students who may never have heard of them. 


Previewing New Albany basketball regular season games

I wrote three of these and I didn’t have one that stuck out, so I just included all of them. I wanted to flex a little but because my scoring predictions for these games were almost always pretty close. And that came from almost no knowledge of the Dogs. I never watched them play before writing the column and only looked at the scores of their previous games. 

Last year, my final score prediction was not very close but the margin of victory was. This year, the final score was 52-48, I predicted 53-51. My favorite game against New Albany was my sophomore year when they had Romeo Langford on their team. I predicted 51-50 and the final score was 49-47. That was an awesome game that played overtime and inspired my fourth favorite column to write. 


FC win against New Albany captured old Indiana basketball emotions

This was a cool column to write because I got to mention Indiana high school basketball history. If you read my columns very consistently you would see that came up in a lot of my basketball columns. But I enjoyed recapping the game and crediting Matt Weimer’s stellar defense on a player who is now in the NBA. I also got to proclaim the game an “Indiana high school basketball classic.” 


Baddude reflects on football career before college

This one I enjoyed writing because it is always kind of fun to reflect on something. But it also reminded me of a lot of good memories I hadn’t thought about in a long time. It was also cool to really look back and see how all the football I played and was around as a little kid to success in my FC career and specifically senior season. 


Honorable Mentions


Baddude prepares to roll on to Wheaton

This was fun to write because I committed in it. I had a place to do a cool commitment instead of the typical Twitter commitment. It was also fun to put out what I got to do as a college student-athlete for a weekend. 


Football coach Brian Glesing steps down

I liked writing this because I have known Glesing for a while. I worked with him a lot as a writer and he was very helpful. I also liked giving him his recognition that I thought he earned and a lot of people ignored because they did not like him.


Sports directly influence higher grades

I never really viewed myself as a dumb jock so I enjoyed arguing that the dumb jock stereotype was false. 


Tiger roars back to the top after Masters Win

I have enjoyed trying to rank sports events for a long time. Here was a column where I finally got to do it so it was fun. Plus, writing about Tiger Woods was cool to do after he finally got back on top.


Louisville should be AAF Expansion City

This was just kind of a fun story to write. I got to use my imagination to make a plan for Louisville. Obviously, the AAF did not work out, though. 


High school basketball is better without a shot clock

I published this after we lost to Jeff on a buzzer beater early in the season. Many students were complaining that high school did not have a shot clock and were worried about Jeff using this again to impact a potential sectional game. It ended up not mattering in sectionals at all.

A Baddude’s Journal senior athlete spotlight: Chloe Loftus

By J.D. McKay

Last season, senior Chloe Loftus and her 4 by 800 meter team finished 10th at the state meet. This year, the team made up of sophomore Jaydon Cirincione, junior Natalie Clare, and Sydney Baxter were aiming to finish top eight and get on the podium. Loftus’ hard work was certainly helping to lead the team to a top eight finish.

“On an average week, I spend about 20 hours running and strength training,” said Loftus. 

On top of the hours she has put in, Loftus has been running for a long time. 

“I started doing track in fifth grade, the first year I could.” 

Along with the 4 by 800, she runs the 800 and 2 mile. 

“My goals for the season were to PR in the 2 mile and individual 800,” said Loftus. “I also wanted to be all-state with my 4 by 800 team.”

Loftus is getting to run at Division 1 Indiana State next year. One reason is her work ethic, but she believes the mental aspect of being a good runner is important, too. 

“I have had successes and get to run at ISU because I stay positive, work hard, and stay committed,” said Loftus.

As a D-1 athlete, she knows she cannot just sit back and get upset by the fact that she is losing a lot of her senior year, and plans to continue training for college. 

“My goals past track season and into the summer are to work hard and prepare for my freshman cross country season at ISU.” 

Even though she is excited about her future as a runner, that does not mean she is just fine with missing her senior season. 

“My favorite part of track is getting to compete and hanging out with my friends,” said Loftus. “So the thing that I am most sad about when it comes to track season is having to miss out on all of the memories that I would have made with my teammates.”

But the best advice ever given to Loftus has helped her push through this tough time and become a talented runner. 

“The best advice someone has ever given me is to set your eye on a goal and never give up until you achieve it,” she said. “Even if it seems impossible.”

A Baddude’s Journal senior athlete spotlight: Talon Hutto

Photo by Grace Allen

Story by J.D. McKay

Last season, boys’ track and field lost sectionals for the first time in nearly two decades. Senior Talon Hutto was planning on avenging that title this year. 

“I’m most disappointed that I won’t be able to win the sectional title that we lost last year,” he said. 

Hutto feels this way because he has been working towards the goal of a sectional championship for several years. 

“I started running when I was in 7th grade,” said Hutto. “We moved to Indiana and I wanted to get involved in something.”

Since Hutto started, he has been working hard to be a talented runner. 

“Hard work is a big factor in how successful I was,” he said. “I probably practice like eight hours a week.” 

After working hard to be successful, team leadership is an obvious next step. 

“I think I would have been a leader on the team this year,” said Hutto. 

Earlier I said Hutto had planned on winning the team sectional championship this year. But he also had important individual goals, too.

“One of my goals was to break the 300-meter hurdles record.” 

Hutto lost his senior year, so he is not ready for his career to be over. 

“I want to run track in college,” he said. “I think it would let me take my athleticism to the next level.”

Hutto has had a lot of success and has the chance to run at the next level because of the best advice he has been given about running. 

He said, “The best advice I’ve gotten about track is showing emotion and running don’t mix.”

A Baddude’s Journal Underrated Athlete Spotlight: Junior Bella Barney

By J.D. McKay

Right now all spring sports are in jeopardy. The coronavirus has shut down sports leagues, but the IHSAA still has not shut them down yet; and like all spring athletes, junior thrower Bella Barney hopes they do not, because she has big goals for the season. 

Since her freshman year, her throws have gotten longer and she has finished deeper in the state tournament each year. Now, she wants to make a splash at regionals and go to state. 

“I want to go to state this year,” said Barney. “I scored last year at regionals but want to get top 3 this year and get my chance at state.”

The work she puts in year round for throwing makes going to state doable, though.

“I work-out and condition hard year round. I probably put in 10 hours a week throwing,” said Barney. 

Throwing has been a big part of her life for several years, leading to her success her first two years in high school as a varsity thrower. 

“I started when I was in seventh grade,” said Barney. “I started because it looked like fun and it was something new to try.”

While it sounds like she has enjoyed throwing, that is not her favorite part of track and throwing. 

“I like getting to workout with friends while we all work toward a common goal,” she said. 

The best advice Barney has ever been given about throwing came from coach Codie Hamsley, and it was short and sweet. 

“He said just throw it hard,” said Barney. “So that’s what I try to do.”

Girls’ Track seeks to continue dominance

Photo by Brooke Miller

Story by Brady Beam

The warm spring weather gives an euphoric effect on the team as they realize that soon the preseason will be over and they will be competing as a team once again. The new members start to discover their niche on the squad with the help of older members pushing them every day.  Sophomore pole vaulter Annalise Zeinemann has prepared for the changes to the lineup by conditioning to become more athletic while also increasing her leadership skills.

“I have been preparing for this upcoming season by pole vaulting over the summer and doing conditioning to get stronger and faster while also trying to be more socially involved with the team,” said Zeinemann.

The team also recognizes that it will be important to make everyone feel included in order for the team to act as a unit.

“Our team will encourage new members and value what they contribute to the team,” said senior long distance runner Carley Conway.

For the older members, the experience of being on the elite teams from the past few years has given them the confidence to help replace the previous waves of past graduates.

“I think we have gained the confidence to smoothly transition from the past seniors because the older you get the stronger and faster you become, so we know what we are capable of, and some of us have also raced with them as freshmen, so they were able to push us,” said junior long distance runner Grace Suer.

The team is looking to keep building off of 10 straight sectional titles, where much of the core group is returning to possibly create one of the better squads in recent history.

“On the distance side there was only one senior who heavily contributed and our team was already young last year so we are all looking to develop and mature as a team to reach our goal as one of the top teams in the state,” said junior long distance runner Sydney Baxter.

To prepare for the toll of the season, many runners are staying conditioned throughout the year by playing other sports or running during the offseason.

“Our upperclassmen have done a multitude of things to prepare for this season, some of them play other sports so they stay in good shape. I also know that some of the girls have been running during the offseason or they are working extremely hard during practice to get back in shape,” said sophomore sprinter Keegan Kaiser.

It can be a challenge for the runners to stay mentally and physically healthy in a tedious sport such as track and field where you need a strong mind and body, but with the help of the school’s facilities, the team can find relief.

“For me, I like to take an ice bath everyday to heal my muscles after a tough run,” said long distance runner Natalie Claire.

The keys to success for most of the runners are preparing properly and keeping a positive mindset. Preparing for a race, according to the runners, can consist of eating healthy, staying in shape, and visualizing their upcoming races.

Conway said, “My key to having a successful season is being with my teammates and having a good time, while staying physically and mentally healthy.” 

Having successful seasons leads to many memorable moments. This year’s squad looks to continue the memories from the past few seasons, while also creating new ones.

“The most memorable moment of last season was everyone standing around after the conference waiting for the announcement, and when they announced we won, we shouted and cheered and took a picture with an official; we want to make it to that point again, ” said Zeinemann.

With the continued work ethic and confidence displayed from the girls, the team looks to put up one of the best performances in school history.