MSHS Track Ready to Impress


Becca Heiniger

Jayden Omi (11) is stepping up and taking a leadership position in track and field this year. Omi is placed as one of the top ten track athletes in the state, and this year hopes to break the school records in both the 100m and 200m dash.

Zak Talbot, Reporter

It’s never certain that when the last days of February give way to March whether there will be stereotypical spring-like days or if the worst snow storm of the winter season is yet to come. Though, one thing is for sure: high school spring sports will be in full swing as athletes push through tryouts and attempt to emerge as the next star of their team. Manitou Springs High School Track and Field has been covered with the glory of prior accomplishments and unmatched effort. Though, as the beginning of the season starts up, the achievements are not guaranteed, but the effort is. Athletes who come out for the track team are knowing of the challenges they’ll face for the few upcoming months and are ready to meet them head on with all they can give. The runners, throwers, and jumpers are prepared to push their bodies as far as they can to achieve personal bests and try to win against some of the best opposing athletes in the state.

At Manitou, the track and field coaches expect the upmost effort from all athletes, no matter what their skill sets. The goals of coaches Stryker Lane, Zach Brown, Tyler Jones and Ben Mack are to not only better enhance the athletes in their preferred sport, but teach them discipline so they can succeed inside and out of the classroom. Track practices are from Monday through Friday, and in them they condition in groups. In these sections, athletes work on their form for specific for their events. On top of these vigorous practices, there is also a weight lifting component in which athletes workout according to their respective event’s physical demands. As the use of legs is very important in all events– whether it be sprinting, a two mile run, throwing a discus, or the long jump– all athletes have specific leg workouts to enhance their abilities.

This year, there is plenty of fresh blood as many freshmen and sophomores are taking part in numerous events. Though these underclassmen may be experienced and have marvelous talent, they always need a leader. This comes in handy as the upperclassmen of this year’s track team can provide help as they have experienced competition at some of the highest levels in Colorado, such as the state meet, held at the end of the season. The state meet is a very big goal sought out by all who participate in track and field. It shows that the athletes have done all they needed to in the prior meets to qualify and have dedicated an absurd amount of time to the sport they love. Though, before the state meet, athletes must compete against one another to be placed in their preferred events. This helps brew a competitive spirt among teammates, so they are always trying to be the best as possible. The state track and field meet is a major incentive used by coaches to push the athletes during difficult practices and in trying to prove that with the hard work and perseverance, the athletes can accomplish great feats.

One such achieving athlete is Jayden Omi. The junior competes mainly in the 100 meter dash, where he is ranked top ten in the state. Omi is returning from last season and has bigger goals in mind. “Personally, I’m looking forward to breaking the school records in both the 100m and 200m dash, as well as performing at state again this year and hopefully coming home with a first place metal,” he said.

With many freshmen joining the team, Omi hopes, “to lay a good foundation for them to build off of by setting a good example of work ethic.” Not only is Omi focused on his success and goals, but he is also very dedicated to supporting the younger group of athletes who hope to someday compete at his level. Omi also has began to prepare his body for the upcoming season as he has participated in a full season of indoor track and has began a diet including a heavy dose of fruits and vegetables with a major avoidance of sodas and greasy food.

Along with Omi’s goals, the rest of the team is hopeful in similar ways, as they hope to compete as well as they can in every event possible. They want to send as many people as possible to state, as well as improve their teamwork. It’s often confusing that teamwork would be a large part of track, as it’s mostly an individual sport, but the support from fellow teammates can help those who are struggling in an event or during a tough practice. As a team, they are giving their all to win as many meets as possible and improve their competitiveness, as well as push individual success. This is why coaches, not only track and field but all other sports, push the importance of hard work, perseverance to overcome challenges, and teamwork. These are all quintessential to those who wish to accomplish any feat they want, in athletics or life.

As expected, the Manitou Springs Track and Field team is ready to impress everyone who watches the athletes participate in their events. This season, athletes are preparing their minds and bodies to be capable of competing in everything that’s put in their way. Though there will be rough patches, there will most definitely be strokes of greatness by all participants, thus leaving a gateway open for an incredibly successful and interesting season.