Track practicing indoors means sharing space. Photo by Lyric Allen.
By Madisen Smith
Track and field is often thought of as an outdoor sport in spring. However, indoor facilities, like Walz, have provided participants with a winter season. Indoor track has been working hard in the offseason to be successful during this chilly season.
The major difference between indoor and outdoor track is the setting. Indoor track is not affected by the weather; however, less room is available for events. Concorida’s indoor track is 200 meters long, which is standard; however, some universities have smaller tracks. This means that different events are closer to each other, allowing for the Bulldogs to more easily cheer each other on.
Events for indoor track are the same for the outdoor season, consisting of relays, meter dashes, pole jump and more. Some events, though, are different in length. For example, the 100 meter dash is a 60 meter dash on an indoor track.
“No matter how many laps we run around the track or how exhausted we are at the end of every practice, it all comes back to our love for running and supporting each other,” freshman Kylahn Heritage said. “For me, that is worth all the pain and suffering we endure each season and I can’t imagine being without it when I have to train on my own during the summer.”
Indoor track practices every weekday, depending on when they have a meet. When there is a meet on Friday, the team practices from Monday to Wednesday, and then they have a pre-meet on Thursday. If the meet is on Saturday, they will practice from Monday to Thursday with the pre-meet on Friday.
Even in a sport where everybody competes in a different event, team building is still an important aspect of Coach Matt Beisel’s squad. The support is sometimes necessary to push through the final lap.
“I love being part of a team that feels like my family,” Heritage said. “It is amazing to see my best friends excel every day in practice and in competition, having all their hard work pay off, and most of all, just seeing everyone encourage each other along the way. It’s also wonderful having that sense of accomplishment once you cross the finish line and having your teammates rush over to you to congratulate you on your success.”
Track had a pre-season camp for training and getting to know other players, along with a dodgeball tournament and a relay Halloween party.
“We do some team-building with the whole track team in the fall,” senior Adrianna Shaw said. “Within the throws group, though, we all hang out with each other a lot. We study together, we eat meals together, we see a lot of each other.”
Indoor track has been extremely successful so far this semester, with multiple athletes already qualifying for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championships March 5. Sophomore Xavier Ross qualified for the 400 meter dash, senior Allison Brooks qualified for pole vault and Shaw qualified for shot put and weight throw, along with a significant amount of other track athletes.
Brooks has also broken her own record in pole vaulting this season, jumping up to 13 feet, and Shaw broke the school record for weight throw and currently ranks second in the NAIA for throw and shot put.
“I enjoy the sport; I think it’s interesting trying to piece everything together because it is more than just being strong,” Shaw said. “You also have to consider technique, timing, speed and then you have to make it all perfect within a matter of seconds.”
The Bulldogs will continue to compete this season to make it to the NAIA championships.