Girls track, field returns for 2023 season

Athletes train in preparation for upcoming meets, create connections


Athletes prepare to pole vault in the SC fieldhouse during track and field practice on Jan. 21 (Huffman/LION)

Mckinley Huffman, Reporter

The girls track and field team began training on Jan. 17 after some of the athletes completed a successful cross country season in the fall, placing seventh as a team at State. Many distance athletes also participated in an optional Winter Running Club, helping them to further prepare for the upcoming season. 

The track team had many achievements last spring, such as five student-athletes receiving All-State honors, head coach Greg Frandsen said. The upcoming season is expected to progress as it has in the past, with little change. Though many new freshmen runners have joined the team, a strong group of returning upperclassmen runners and leaders will provide support and act as role models, keeping this close-knit team together. 

“We competed really hard [last season], and I’m proud of that,” Frandsen said. “We’re always in contention as one of the better teams in the conference, but just the fact that we compete as hard as we do, year in and year out, never fails to amaze me.”

Track and field includes practices six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Over the course of the season, varsity team members run in 18 meets, while other runners can participate in 11. Students are separated into groups based on how they want to spend their time in track and field: sprinting, field events, hurdling, or distance running. Each group has their own leaders, and subgroups based on ability. Though these groups generally practice separately, members still maintain a sense of team unity at meets, and at the beginning of each practice.  

“If I had to describe this sport in one word, I would say ‘consistent,’” distance runner Shannon Cranny ‘24 said. “In running, it’s very important to stay consistent with your training in order to not fall behind and be able to keep up with the paces we run at practice. Consistency is a super important quality to have in order to be successful and reach your goals in this sport.”

In the upcoming season, this team hopes to continue with their success in general meets, but more importantly, at State, Frandsen said. 

“I think we’ve got a lot of great people who could qualify [for State] this year,” Frandsen said. “I’ve really seen the change in the girls as they progress through the program from freshman to senior year, getting to higher performance levels. They’re always trying to reach their full potential and their work ethic is outstanding.”

While many people may see track and field as an individual sport, the team community is what keeps many athletes engaged and motivated, Cranny said. Teammates help to hold one another accountable for their training, and provide encouragement during the difficult season.

“My main goal this year is to just soak it in,” sprinter Rebecca Phillips ‘23 said. “It will be my last ever high school sports season, and I just want to have as much fun as possible with the team before graduating.”

Girls track and field will have their next meet on Feb. 23 against Oak Park High School and Downers Grove North High School, at the SC fieldhouse.