Girls indoor track expects strong season

Shelby Ketchmark, Staff Writer

The girls indoor track team started their season with satisfaction and eagerness for what the future has in store.

“The girls ran great. A couple girls, they ran almost the exact same time as their P.R. from last year,” Kyle Draghi, assistant coach, said. The girls were up against three other schools during their first meet of the season, held at Lincoln Way Central High School. With triads and invitationals happening every week, the girls have very specific practices based on the event they take part in.

According to Draghi, practices are at least five times a week. The day after a meet, the girls have what they call a “recovery day” where they spend an hour stretching, rolling out muscles, and working with tension bands. Stretching with tension bands allows the athletes to work on strengthening their “attack time” as head coach Tonya Landfair calls it. A faster “attack time” helps the girls quicken their take-off time from the block.

When the girls are not recovering, their days are spent doing rigorous workouts Landfair has created.

“Running fast is one thing, but you have to be able to have speed endurance,” Landfair said. When the “’easy” recovery days are over, intense practices throughout the week allow the girls to hone in on their specific event. Whether it’s hurdles or pole vaulting, Landfair works the girls to perform adequately.

“Over the years of competing and having coaches believe in me and help me achieve my goals, just helped build confidence. That’s the same type of culture I try to cultivate here with this program,” Landfair said. All the girls are in agreement that the family bond and team culture is their biggest strength and accomplishment.

“Everyone is really connected this year, and everyone is really competitive,” junior Reva Ann Rudolph said. The drive and passion that fires up these girls will keep them motivated and focused as they face their greatest disadvantage.

“All the schools we go against have big tracks, can wear spikes and they have all the facilities that we don’t have. So, for us to compete against them, we do good,” Rudolph said. Landfair, who’s been an athlete since high school, understands the challenges they are presented with.

“Those types of programs have much bigger facilities, more resources than we do. For us to come out winning in several events that early in the season is huge,” Landfair said referring to the schools the girls competed against at their first meet.

Aside from these setbacks, the team is excited for their season and the successes to come.

“We have a lot of really talented, girls and I feel like with a lot of practice, we’re going to be really good. We’re just going to build from here,” Ella LaVoie, freshman, said.