Spring Sports Preview: Track and Field

Zak Talbot, Copy Editor

The contemplation of whether the month of March will come in like a lion and pass like a lamb is never a question in regards to the Manitou Springs High School (MSHS) Track and Field team, simply because the season comes whether March is snow-packed or sunny. And like it always has happened in the past, the Spring of 2020 Track and Field season is here and as anticipated as ever. The high expectations for seniors by their peers, teammates and coaches are not only reflective of their outstanding physical attributes but also their athletic leadership and genuine personalities that will help inspire and guide the younger Manitou Springs athletes.

Coach Anna Mack has been witnessing the rise of seniors as well as the tendencies of underclassmen in order to perfect a positive outlook that she can instill in all of her athletes. As well as being able to teach members of the track team the proper techniques, attitudes, etiquette and more, Mack is expecting to rely on the help of older athletes who have seemingly taken the reigns over their years of experience in order to teach younger athletes the morals of MSHS Track and Field. “Really just expecting that the upperclassmen we have are going to teach the underclassmen the ways of hard work and work ethic. Hopefully, we turn out some good performances,” said Mack in response to her specific expectations throughout the upcoming season.

The idea of a great work ethic is something that has been shown not only by the ambitious coaching staff but is also seen in the experienced athletes. In turn, the hard work put in by all members of the team, athletes and coaches alike expect the work to turn into mental toughness and moral strength which, over time, will be shown in the way of athletic success and personal achievements.

Mack also touched on a collective goal for the entire track and field team, in which they are expected as a group to not just improve individually, saying that “Especially because we have so many new faces, just that there is a general improvement across the board from the start to the end.” That seems to be the proposed theme of the upcoming Track and Field season, where seemingly every single athlete who participates on the team isn’t necessarily the greatest physical athlete but is more focused on becoming mentally tough as well as being a well rounded and open-minded person of great character. This, in turn, will lead to athletes being able to push through times of pain, tiredness, and adversity.

Teagan Nevada, a senior sprinter who usually competes in the 100 and 200-meter dashes as well as relays, touched on how the culture that the coaches are trying to bring has helped her learn to be better in hard situations. “Personally [I want] to eliminate any mental roadblocks towards running. Last year I found that after a certain point of running, I would make excuses up in my head as to how I could get out of this or ask ‘why am I doing this?’ Although I never allowed these thoughts to come to life. I would like to change my mindset towards them and eliminate them completely,” said Nevada on account of her personal goals, which go hand in hand with the overall goals and intentions of her coaches and team.

Not only does the track and field team have clear intentions, but they also show great chemistry with one another as well as their coaches. Nevada also stated her relationship with Coach Mack, saying, “Anna Mack has and always will be an influence in my athletic journey. She is truly a great coach who has motivated and taught me more than I could have ever thought to learn in a season.” This, to many, is the key way of gaining an athletic advantage in any sport, team-oriented or individual. Chemistry between those on the same side will almost always lead to greater amounts of success, and this is shown often and greatly in the Manitou Springs Track and Field program.

On the boys’ side of the sport, the obvious standout leader is Max Cannarella (12). As another sprinter and relay specialist, Cannarella has been in the Track and Field program for as long as he possibly could at Manitou. Competing since sixth grade, Cannarella has been able to develop his talents specifically in a way that pleases himself and his coaches. Cannarella is as team-focused as any, but after his several years of hard work and preparation, he is ready and excited to try to reap the personal benefits of his training.

“My personal goals are to make it to State and to get my name on the record boards at Manitou,” said Cannarella, while also stating, “It would have to be our team camaraderie, and how we build people up and cheer them on for their races,” on account of the team’s ability to come together in order to brew success for one another.

Finally, Cannarella was able to add to the great bond teammates can expect to have with the obviously very instructive and personal coaching staff. “My coaches have never been a constant factor in my success, but each one has had their moments. All in all, my coaches have challenged me to set both reasonable and lofty goals for the season. They have also provided me with pointers as small as how to relax when I run, and combined it has made me a much better runner,” said Canneralla when asked about his coaches have and continue to affect the team.

After it’s all said and done, it’s quite obvious that any person competing on the MSHS Track and Field team, as well as any onlookers and supporters, will not just notice the great drive and athletic talent of the team, but they will also be taken away by the sense of togetherness and mental toughness all members of the team will learn to, and eventually express not just in track, but in their individual paths in life.