Tag Archives: Track

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.

 

Proposal could allow track athletes chance to advance into state tournament

Photo By Sophia Perigo

Story By J.D. McKay

As this track season has gone by, I have been grinding every day. The hard work has shown. This year, I have increased my personal record (PR), and have been very close to breaking it several times. I won the Corydon Stargazer Invite where I PRed. But I was always just waiting for the inevitable. Waiting for my competition season to end and the start of my practice to be an alternate season to begin.

I am happy to say that senior Cam Sturgeon will be all-state and could win state, and senior Austin Gootee is finally hitting the throws he should be and has a shot to get to state as well. But I am kind of frustrated.

In Indiana, track sectionals allows for two athletes in each event. That basically makes it sound like the little schools have a chance against the big schools. In track, the top eight score in each event. First place gets 10, second 8, third 6, fourth 5, until eighth gets 1 point. In practice they really do not have a chance but in theory they do. This gives the appearance of even competition because if each school has the same number of athletes entered, anyone could win. But, the school with the biggest athlete pool always wins. The top four from each sectional advance to regionals.

So now that the rules have been explained, I will explain my problem. I am the third discus thrower on my team, so I cannot throw in sectionals. However, I am the also the third best thrower in our sectional. Meaning that we could get first, second, and third in discus at sectional and send three throwers to regionals. I even have a low chance of going to state. However, I will not get that chance.

Here are a couple of solutions to my problem. First, set a cut off mark for all events. If the athlete hits that mark at any meet, he or she is in sectionals. If a school only has one athlete at that mark then they can have a second athlete in that event. That would allow for all qualified athletes to get their chance to advance into the state tournament. However, that solution would make it less even between big and small schools. To even out the competition, only allow two athletes to score from each school in each event. Basically, if I got third behind Sturgeon and Gootee, I would still go to regionals, but I would not score points for the team.

Track is both an individual and team sport. So changing the rules should not make the team part uneven. However, since it is also an individual sport, all athletes that are qualified to compete in the biggest meets of the year should get the chance. I believe my suggestion could allow for both.

 

Athletes power through busy schedules

By J.D. McKay

On each Friday night this upcoming fall, I will be taking the field ready to play against whomever the opponent may be. That will probably be the only time many of my readers will ever see me performing. Some may see me on a Tuesday night or Saturday morning in the spring throwing the 1.6 kilogram discus. But the number who see me do that is far lower. However, these two events and daily practice is probably all that they think goes into my sport. That is not true, and I will try to walk through the schedule many athletes, including myself, have to deal with.

School starts ridiculously early, earlier than the typical 9-5 job, at 7:40 a.m. That means that to be on time we need to wake up by at least 7 a.m., probably earlier. Some athletes, like senior thrower Austin Gootee, live in places like Lanesville. These athletes have to wake up earlier to account for the long drive. Some of us also have to get up before school for workouts. Strength coach Donnie Gumble runs a weight lifting team that practices before school, and the swim team often has practices starting at 6 a.m.

After getting to school, we go through almost a seven-hour school day. That includes activities that can wear us out. Some of these activities including tests, presentations, and weight lifting class. If I just finished a very tough school day, going to practice can be a drag.

After a seven-hour school day, I have practice. That can last until nearly 7 p.m. in the beginning of football season. However, typically practices end around 6 p.m. or a little before. This makes players tired after a long school day.

When we finally get home, typically around 6:15 p.m., some things still need to happen. Dinner needs to be eaten to stay at the top of our game. Showers need to be taken, so our mothers do not kill us. Let us just say after all this it is 7 p.m. on a typical night. Then comes homework. It could take four-plus hours for some of the tougher schedules, but in general it is probably closer to two hours. That means after everything for school is done, it is 9 p.m. If you add some extra studying in, that time becomes 9:30.

After this, if I was very responsible, I would brush my teeth and go to bed. But, I am in high school and social media, Netflix, and Clash of Clans are all appealing after going pretty hard for 14 hours. If I account for a very conservative 30 minutes for other entertainment, I am in bed by 10 p.m. Which is pretty good, giving me eight hours of sleep if I am up by 6 the next day. However, if I am feeling particularly irresponsible, or procrastinate a project, it is closer to 10:30 or 11 p.m. Seven hours of sleep may sound like a decent amount, but sleep is one of the most important parts of athletics. It lets those muscles really rest after a long day of workouts, school, and practice.

This is does not improve much on the weekends. Often, Saturday mornings are meet days or early practice days. Sundays are our only days off, and often I and the other athletes who want to be successful go out and find time to practice or workout. Even out of season this schedule is hectic with workouts getting in the way.

Athletes are not the only people at FC to have crazy schedules. Students who take all AP classes or IB classes have a crazy hard schedule that gives a lot of work. We may not even have the hardest schedule as theater puts in crazy hours, including Sundays, to practice. Next time you see any other athlete or me performing, know that it was not just a two-hour practice and seven hour school day that got us to that point. It took a lot of hard work and mental toughness that allowed FC athletes to perform at a high level.