Freedom athletes attend indoor track championship held at Edinboro

Jenna Engel, Design Editor

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The same goal is expected whether inside or outside: to run the fastest, throw the farthest and jump the highest. Whether or not there is a roof overhead, Freedom’s track athletes accomplish their goals. On the weekend of Feb. 16, six of Freedom’s finest indoor track and field athletes took to Edinboro for the TSTCA championship meet.

Senior Ethan Paxton, juniors Adam Hessler, Hunter Black, Brandon Majors, Morgan Swab and sophomore Garrett Paxton laced up their track shoes and stretched out their legs in preparation for the championship, hoping to have a shot at qualifying for states.

“[The meet] was successful. No one qualified for states, but everyone was able to improve,” Swab said.

When it comes to distance, an indoor track is typically 200 meters long, whereas an outdoor track is typically 400 meters long. With about half of the distance of a standard outdoor track, the distances for the indoor track events are also cut short. This means that inside, every race is essentially cut in half.

Also, with indoor track, the competition itself is unique in the sense that all divisions compete against each other. For example, an athlete who is from a AA school will compete in the same level playing field as an athlete from a AAA school. In outdoor track, individuals and teams only compete within their divisions.

“Single, double, triple and quad A are all combined into one thing, so you are competing against everyone, not just people in your division,” Majors said.

In terms of results, Swab placed seventh in high jump and 14th in long jump, Hessler placed sixth in the 3000 and the 4×8 team, consisting of Hessler, Black and Garrett and Ethan Paxton, placed 10th. Individually, Ethan Paxton placed 14th in the 400, Garrett Paxton placed 19th in the 800 and Majors placed 22nd in shot put.

“I never really got into a competitive race, and since I was surrounded by a lot of good runners… I knew I’d push myself to do well. I know there are still things I can improve on,” Ethan Paxton said.

Freedom only competes in meets held at Edinboro, even though there are others held at various locations including Hempfield, Spire and Youngstown.

“It’s just what was scheduled for us,” Majors said. “I think it could have maybe been a little different and more beneficial [to attend other meets] because we could have seen more and different competition. It could help us to push ourselves to see where we are at according to other states and areas in the state.”

Even though nobody placed at the championship meet, the athletes remain hopeful for their upcoming outdoor track season, according to Swab.

“Indoor sets me up for outdoor so I am more motivated to compete,” Swab said.

With the outdoor season fast approaching, there is still a lot of training and preparation that needs to happen, even though there’s been self improvement during the indoor season, according to Ethan Paxton.

“Indoor has helped me set up where I am to go in outdoor, it’s showed me that I’m capable of running with some training for about a month and a half, but now since we get into outdoor where training will be for two and a half months, I should be able to push myself even further and do better this season,” Ethan Paxton said.