Woodgrove Races to Join the Rest in Indoor Track

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Woodgrove Races to Join the Rest in Indoor Track

Senior Michael Garuba races towards the finish line winning the 100 meter dash.

Senior Michael Garuba races towards the finish line winning the 100 meter dash.

Gabe Fulton

Senior Michael Garuba races towards the finish line winning the 100 meter dash.

Gabe Fulton

Gabe Fulton

Senior Michael Garuba races towards the finish line winning the 100 meter dash.

Written by Brittany Nelson and Bridget Vasta

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Indoor Track is being offered for the first time in LCPS history as a winter sport. It will be offered as a Tier Two sport with only Woodgrove, Loudoun Valley, and Rock Ridge High Schools participating this year.

According to Woodgrove track coach Kent Staneart, the coaches sought approval for indoor track because spring track athletes were forced to compete against athletes from around the region who had been training and competing throughout the winter season. Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William Counties have offered indoor track for several years, putting Loudoun’s track athletes at a disadvantage.

Two years ago, Loudoun Valley coaches started a ‘Bridge-Gap’ program where athletes trained throughout the season, but because the program was not officially sanctioned, the athletes were prohibited from competing in VHSL indoor track events.

Even with the down-side of a lack of competition, Valley track athlete Colton Bogucki felt that participating in indoor track aided the Vikings to train as a group during the off-season.

“Indoor track was definitely helpful. We were in good shape to start out the season so we ran well in early meets. Without indoor track, we would have to train over the winter with no races, just workouts. It’s good to have races to look forward to over the winter to keep you focused,” said Bogucki.

The Valley track team concluded their season as third in the state.

Woodgrove’s new indoor track team was not able to start their season when the LCPS winter sports season officially began, because the team was not officially approved by the county until the end of November. Now that the team has been sanctioned, meets and practices will be scheduled. If athletes qualify for state or national meets, there may be an over-lap in time between the indoor track season and the spring track season.

Junior Michelle Meed hopes for a good showing for the newly sanctioned team, and says she is “excited to see the turnout for the new season.”

Indoor events differ from the traditional spring track events. Indoor meets are held on a 200 meter track rather than the usual 400 meter track. Events include 55 m hurdles, 55m, 300m, 500m, 1000m, 1600m, 3200m, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800, long jump, triple jump, high jump, and shot put.

Ironically, all indoor track practices will be held outside at the school track, and some meets will also be held outdoors. Coach Staneart refers to the sport as a “Polar Bear” sport, with practice being held outside despite the cold weather.

As a Tier Two sport, the indoor track team is not fully funded by the county, so athletes have to provide their own transportation to meets. Parents and athletes also have to be more involved in fundraising efforts so the team can obtain equipment and uniforms.

Many track athletes are happy for the opportunity to prepare for the spring season and to experiment with new events.

“I’m excited for Winter Track so we can have better competitions during the spring,” said junior Sean Murphy.

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