Tracking indoor

Covering the beginning of the 2018 indoor track season

A small group of dedicated students arrive at FHS before 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings throughout the winter months. They board a bus and drive over two hours to the Mike S. Zafirovski Sports and Recreation Center dome in Edinboro, Pa. From the time the bus leaves the high school until the team returns home, these student athletes participate in the events and cheer on their fellow teammates throughout the long day, lasting over eight hours or the normal school day.

They compete against nearly 50 different schools from Pa, Ohio and W. Va.

These athletes compete in events which include various races, such as relay races, mile races and sprinting races.

There are less throwing events due to the setting being indoors. Shot put is the only throwing event still included in the indoor season. Events such as pole vault, hurdle jumping, triple jump and long jump are events that students are also allowed to partake in. More relay race events are included, such as the the distance medley relay and the 4×200.

The track that the competitors race on is also smaller than regulation, similarly to here at FHS, so they are required to run more laps for each race.

“I’ve done indoor track for two years and I’m excited to improve my times and get in better shape,” senior Jordan Hartle said.

This season’s team is a mix of under and upperclassmen. The team is mostly seniors and juniors because they show more dedication to track, especially with indoor track not being as popular as spring track.

The team is coached by Mr. Ed Shephard, who is also the coach for spring track and cross country here at FHS.

The first two meets, scheduled for Jan. 6 and Jan. 13, were both cancelled due to weather related issues. The first meet was held on Jan. 20.

The students participated in 400 meter, 800 meter and one mile races, as well as the 4×800 relay race and the distance medley relay. Freedom’s team also provided athletes to compete in both men’s and women’s shot put, men’s long jump and men’s triple jump.

Freshmen Jacob Harp and Garrett Paxton, sophomore Alex Kerr and junior Ethan Paxton made up the team for the 4×800 relay.

The distance medley relay team consisted of Garrett Paxton, Ethan Paxton, Harp and sophomore Adam Hessler. In the distance medley relay, the distances each team member runs varies. One will run 800 meters, the next 400 meters, then 1200 meters and the last runner going 1600 meters.

Senior Austin Schroeder placed second in triple jump among his competitors and placed 16th in the long jump event. Hessler placed 11th in the men’s mile race and senior Michael Keith placed 14th in the men’s 60 hurdles event.

This meet and the few to follow will determine who makes it to the qualifying meet, which is to be held on Feb. 17.