Girls’ track expects another successful, competitive year
It is a sunny May day, and the girls’ 4×400 meter relay team has just clinched the fourth place state title. The quartet of Renata Wingert ‘19, Lizzie Scotty ‘19, Sonia Slusarczyk ‘18, and Tara Schwarz ‘18, glow with their medals on the podium and beam seeing LT parents celebrating their victory.
“The track team shaped my experience at LT,” Wingert said. “It formed me into a better, more disciplined person, and I know a lot more people because of it.”
Following a strong end to last year’s season, the girls’ track and field team is approaching its upcoming season with optimism. The team’s goal is to win conference, and improve their state finish, head coach Gregory Frandsen said.
“Our conference is always one of the top conferences in that state,” Frandsen said. “Other teams know that they have to respond to try to keep up with our team.”
The team began its season on Jan. 14. An estimated 200 girls are on the team, making it the largest team for girls at LT, Frandsen said. Indoor season begins in early February, and the season lasts until the May, ending at the state meet. Each event hosts different amounts of team members, and this group sticks together throughout the season, Frandsen said.
“The team is a second family to me,” Francesca Mitchell ‘20 said. “We all show that we care about everyone on our team.”
The team also consists of six returning All-American athletes, Frandsen said. All-American status is achieved at the IHSA state meet depending on how members of the team finish in their events.
“We’re excited for the season,” Frandsen said. “We have a lot of good girls coming back, and I know they are excited for the season. We’re excited to see what we what we can do,”
Overall, the sport boasts 16 different events for girls to participate in, ranging from sprints to shot put. Track is unlike most sports, as it only involves the strength and endurance of the human body, Frandsen said.
“It’s the only really pure sport there is,” Frandsen said. “Everything else uses balls or bats, but [track] is you against somebody, running, jumping, or throwing. It’s as about as pure as a sport as you can get.”
The team’s first meet is Feb. 9 against Marist, Lake Park and Lake Zurich at the SC Fieldhouse.
Boys’ team sees potential across runners, hopes to qualify athletes for state meet
The boys track team is looking to send as many runners as possible to the state final meet, following a sectional title and state champion last season, varsity coach Mike Danner said.
“We want to be competitive at conference, win the sectional title, and qualify as many [runners] as possible for state,” he said.
Boys’ track is a limited sport, but typically is one of the largest teams at LT. The upperclassmen are looking to assist and motivate the younger members of the team, Robby Cicciarelli ‘19 said.
“I want to help the younger kids out and have them fall in love with the season like I did,” Cicciarelli said.
The runners have prepared for the season by going to winter running throughout December and early January, Danner said. The distance group trains everyday, and the sprinters meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday for intramural running. The runners coming from the cross country season took a short break between seasons, but have been preparing for Track by building back up their training, Jack Ehlert ‘20 said.
“I took a month off after XC because of an ankle injury,” Ehlert said. “Now I’m back and conditioning for the indoor season.”
While the track season is the longest high school sports season, many runners are already looking towards end of the year goals, Ehlert said.
“A lot of our guys on this team have the potential to run in the state series,” Ehlert said. “We are a team with a lot of energy and potential, so I think some other guys could have some big seasons.”
The 2018 boys track team came out of the season with a sectional win. The team sent 20 runners to state, and Danny Kilea ‘18 was the state champion in the 3200m run. This year’s team is looking to improve upon last year’s conference finish, in order to battle for the conference title, Cicciarelli said.
“It’s a continuous battle each year,” Danner said.
Track is a more individual sport, since runners qualify for state individually based upon their sectional performances, Ehlert said.
“I’m definitely just looking forward to coming back completely fit and hopefully doing some big things in track,” Ehlert said.
The boys’ first meet in on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Proviso West at 9 a.m.