Arlington Catholic T&F Team Blog #1

It has been two weeks since our spring track season has opened and the wheels are starting to turn! Despite these chilly, wet, and rainy days, all of our athletes, from throwers to distance runners, have been hard at work outside and in the weight room. 

With 46 athletes combined on both the boys’ and girls’ teams, there’s a feeling of excitement in the air as we head into the season with almost all the running and field events filled, a huge change compared to our indoor season and last year. The majority of our athletes are new, whether it’s to the school or the sport, but things are slowly starting to fall into place. 

Without a home track, we’re forced to be creative regarding workouts. In only the first week of practice, we traveled to the Arlington Boys and Girls Club, where our sprinters worked on relay handoffs and hill drills while our throwers threw before going to the weight room to lift, our beloved cross-country course, Menotomy Rocks Park, where all runners participated in time trials, Mystic Lakes provided a long run for the distance runners and sprints for the rest. We jogged over to Bishop Elementary School on the coldest (and windiest) day of the week before doing more drills and block starts for sprinters, and the distance crew did 300 meter and 150m repeats to keep their muscles loose. Finally, Friday, which is typically our hurdle and jump day as we have a chance to get onto a real track for workouts, was the first time being on a track for many. Jumps were taken, throws were thrown, and our runners worked hard. 

A typical Friday: After getting out of school an hour early, we all meet in the cafeteria for a pre-practice meeting that lasts anywhere from 5-30 minutes before we jog over to Arlington High School, who graciously allows us to train on their track. On this particular Friday, the wind chill was numbing and we could only hope for warmer days, but for now, we warmed up excessively to avoid any pulled muscles in the first week of the season. It was as a group that we ran a sufficient half-mile warmup, got into a line, did our dynamic stretches down the field, and continued our warm-up routine, which included leg swings, circle stretches, and two laps of “wendys”. 

After warming up sufficiently, we split into several different groups that day. Our male and female throwers took to the infield and worked on the discus and shot put. Both our 100m hurdlers and our 400m hurdlers went to the straight-away to do drills and walk-overs before the long hurdlers went to do their workout for the day (4x150m with three hurdles), and the sprint hurdlers worked on their steps to the hurdle while getting to know the hurdle again, some after a month break since winter track and some for the first time. It was repeated for everyone else, and everyone’s competitive side came out as teammates paced each other around the track. 

KODAK Digital Still Camera

This Tuesday, April 2, was our first meet, a team favorite, McNiff Relays, which was held at Bishop Fenwick. The relays being competed included the 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x800m, Swedish relay, Sprint Medley Relay, and a coed 4x400m. It also included several individual events like the shot and javelin and 100m/110m hurdles. This was a great way for our new athletes to compete in their first meet in a fun, no-pressure environment, but since our entire league (Catholic Central League) was invited, it was also a chance to give us a feel of a real dual meet, which will be on that following Saturday.

Although the temperature was low, the times we ran were even lower! Most athletes doubled or tripled up in events and this was an opportunity for them to try distances that they wouldn’t regularly be running. We saw sprinters step it up a distance and distance runners did some speed work.  One of our amazing competitors was sophomore Marco Boatwright, a track newbie, who ran the 4×100 and 4×200, during which he caught an opposing team in the final 100m. Another outstanding performer was junior captain Nikki Clarke, who won the open 100h with a huge PR of 18.3, along with a 4-foot PR in the javelin. Sophomore Tyler Zorio had a personal best in the javelin as well, throwing just over 111 feet.  Senior captain Charlie Holman sped away in the sprints and was an essential leg in both the 4x100m and 4x200m as well.

After today, we’re ready to work for the rest of the week before our dual meet on Saturday.

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