Boys track and field prepares for season meets


Runners compete in the first meet of the season o Feb. 21 (Sorice/LION).

Robert Sullivan, reporter

With a grueling four month season just underway, LT boys varsity track and field coach Mike Danner prepares the athletes’ bodies with early phases of conditioning, he said.

“We haven’t begun any event-specific training with distance runners or sprinters,” Danner said. “We are easing still into the season at this point.”

Last year, LT had 25 state qualifiers and six all-state athletes: a 1600-meter runner, four 4×800 meter relay runners, a 300-meter hurdler and one 110-meter hurdler. As a team, they won their section with a score of 168. This year’s team will look to continue their previous success.

“We’ve been sectional champions almost every year,” Danner said. “So our top goal is definitely to defend that title.”

With many talented seniors gone from last year’s class, the track and field team will turn to new names for individual and team accolades.

“Guys like Sean McDermott ‘19 and Drew Dilcher ‘19, who placed sixth in state for the 1600-meter run, will be missed,” 800-meter runner Michael McDermott ‘20 said. “But we also have a lot of people who have worked really hard the past few years and are ready to go.”

Not only did the team lose the graduating seniors, but pole vault coach Ronnie Szudarski left the coaching staff to pursue a career in radio. His vacancy was filled by Danner.

“[Coach Szudarski] was a funny guy and connected well with all of the pole vaulters,” pole vaulter Josh Vavra ‘20 said. “But I know all of us will be able to step it up and work hard.”

In their first meet, on Feb. 15, LT placed third overall at the Proviso West “Valentine Relay” Invite. They participated in three different events: 4×200 meter relay, 4×800 meter relay and a 4×400 meter relay. In the first event, they placed fourth, and in the next two events they placed third.

With possibly 21 more meets to go, boys track and field will have plenty of time to build on their early success and continue to develop into a team.

“Track is like family,” state runner Joe Abrahamson ‘20. “First day, just walking in, the coaches really let me know what the expectation was. Throughout the season, people really push you to the max while still really caring for you which is special. I’m really excited to see what we can accomplish this year.”

The boys next meet is tomorrow, Feb. 29, at Proviso West High School. It will begin at 9 a.m.