Improving with one jump, sprint and throw at a time: Track members aim to meet goals for season

Olivia Jansen and Hannah Shumsky

With future invitational dual meets and multi-team meets in sight, Freedom’s track and field members are working towards a spot in playoffs as well as conquering their own personal goals.

“[A goal we set every year is] to try to win section and the second goal would be [to] try and win [and] get a spot in playoffs,” Coach Mr. Ed Shephard said. “If we don’t win all our meets, we will at least try to win enough to get into playoffs and do well at the playoffs.”

In each section, there are seven schools that the boys and girls must compete against, separately.

“If you win all your meets, then you’re section champ; if you only have one loss, then you’re section runner up to the team to beat you,” Shephard said. “And then, the top two teams get into playoffs.”

Team semifinals took place on April 28. At the multi-team event, three or four teams competed  for a championship spot.

“[There are] usually three or four [semifinal competitions], so four teams make it to the championship and somewhere between 12 and 16 qualified for that semi-final round with the chance to advance to the championships,” Shephard said.

In addition to the playoffs goal, team members have also been working at beating their own personal goals. Senior Tina Davis has the goal of beating the 100-meter hurdle school record, which is currently 16.14 seconds. At press time, Davis was still working at beating this record.

“[The coaches] know what my goal is and they are pushing me at practice to work my best and hardest,” Davis said. “They know the workouts that I should be doing to achieve my goal.”

Senior Luke Kiefer has a goal for the season to get over 130 feet in his javelin event.

“My coaches have helped teach me better technique and form to increase how far I throw,” Kiefer said.

“My goal for the year is to qualify for states in the triple jump,” Senior Lane Mankevich said. Through Mr. Ryan Smith’s vigorous workouts and Mr. David Badamo’s ladder workouts, he is working to make his goal.

Sophomore Meghan Kiefer, who has a personal javelin record of 59 feet and two inches, has already passed her goal of 50 feet. However, she is still aiming to improve her personal record before the end of the season.

“I want to reach [60 feet] by the end of the season,” Kiefer said. “I reached [my goal] by practicing my throw and correcting my form as I go. My coaches and team help me improve by critiquing and giving tips on how to throw better.”

Freshman Carson Gilarno, who competes in triple jump, long jump, 100 meter dash and the 4×1 relay, wants to place in all of his events. Without his coaches, he wouldn’t have made the necessary improvements to get closer to his goal.

“My coaches have helped me move my steps and forward and backward [in the events],” Gilarno said.