Men’s track prepping for upcoming season

With the track season about to start on Feb. 20, there has been a lot of hard work already being put in on the track. Many distance athletes have been running since November, and a lot of mid-distance and sprinters have also been starting to prepare for the season. 

So far this pre-season, there have been many athletes in attendance putting in the hard work. Hurdlers have been keeping out of the cold and practicing inside the high school on the top floor two days a week. They use the hallways and set up hurdles, which they are able to practice form and technique with. 

Distance runners meet five days a week, all optional, and there is also an optional Saturday long run as well. Most of these guys coming from cross country are not scared of the cold. They start at 3:30 every day. Some days are nice, easy mileage, and other days they are on the track running the black oval for many laps. 

No matter the weather, Coach Dirk Homewood always makes sure that the track is clear. After a big snowstorm he takes the snowblower out and makes laps around the tracks. He clears at least two lanes, and sometimes even more. It always gives the athletes an opportunity to get better over the winter. 

Sprinters, mid-distance runners and distance runners all had time trials over this past week. The sprinters had 40m sprints from a stand still. Sophomore Mitchell Darst had the fastest time, with a 4.77. Close behind was Trunell, in a 4.78. 

On the mid-distance side, they all competed in a 600 meter time trial. Cayden Schellhorn led the pack finishing his time trial in 1:25. He split 54 seconds through 400 meters. His time converts to a 1:56 in the 800m, which puts him well under the solid 2 minute mark. 

There were a lot of outstanding times, including Nick Clausen, a freshman from Holmes, who ran a 2:05 800 meter equivalent. This puts him as one of the fastest mid distance freshman runners. The school records could be contended for by many athletes, which is shown in the pre-season training and effort that they have been putting in. 

On the distance side of things, seniors Gavin Denholm and Colby Cryer led their time trials as well. Denholm was the only one running the 1,000m time trial, but he finished with a new personal best of 2:41. This time is equivalent to about 4:35 in the mile. This would be a new PR for the senior. Cryer led the group of distance boys in the time trial, as he won it in 4:40. Sophomore Connor Martin had a very good time trial, as he came in at 4:44, which was a big time personal best. 

“The time trials were good. I was happy with my performance, but I still think that there is work that needs to be done, that way I am ready for the long season ahead. I have goals for this year and I want to do everything to try and hit them,” Cryer said.  

“I was  very excited with my time trial result. It was a new PR, and it is very early in the season. I think that I am going to be very ready when the meets roll around. It has been a good pre-season run with the guys, even when it’s super cold outside, and I am ready to keep training,” Denholm added. 

“The time trial was a good opportunity for me to see where I was at. My predicted 800 off my time trial was 2:05, which is the freshman school record, so I know what I should make my goal this year, and I am excited to keep working toward it. It has been a good pre-season so far, and I cannot wait for the meets to come around,” Clausen said. 

All of these athletes have been putting in hard work, because they want to be the best by the time “championship season,” as they call it, comes in. The men’s team kicks off the season on March 13, at the MVC indoor meet invitational. This meet will take place at UNI in the Dome. It is on the indoor 200m track, and will give the athletes a good chance to look for early season PR’s. The outdoor season will kick off on March 30, which will be the athletes first chance at racing on an outdoor 400m track.

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