With the men’s and women’s indoor track team closing off their strong season of racing, there is much excitement over the endless possibilities for the upcoming outdoor track season. Tryouts were held February 20 through the 22 to establish this year’s outdoor team and for the coaches to evaluate the athlete’s fitness.
Track and field athletes typically enjoy outdoor track over indoor track because there are more races during the season, giving the team more opportunities to prove their abilities through competition. Differing from the few racing opportunities during indoor, outdoor track usually has a race every Wednesday and most Saturdays.
After taking on the state in the NCHSAA 4A state track and field meet last spring, the women’s team finished third overall. Several people earned points — Shellbi Chapman in the 300 meter hurdles, Nevada Mareno in the 2 mile and 800 meters, and the women’s 4×800 meter relay team consisting of Timara Chapman, G’Jasmine Butler, Nevada Mareno, and Taylor Hemming. However, all but Timara and Nevada have graduated from Leesville since.
That doesn’t mean that the overall team is to be counted out in the competition as runners have improved and the team has also acquired new members.
Kaitlyn Stalling, Leesville senior and indoor track team captain, said, “[Some challenges I think the team will face this season are] staying injury free, making sure everyone is showing up and doing their workouts, and team work.”
Unfortunately, the men’s team was unable to carry any members to the state meet last year. But, after a high finish in the cross country state championships– finishing sixth– a strong performance from the men’s 4×800 meter relay team at the indoor track and field championships February 11, and a school record breaking 4×200 meter relay, the team is ready to continue proving what they are capable.
“I don’t think we had any guys qualify for states last year so that’s one goal for the team. [I would like to see the team] win CAP 8 and get to states in the relays,” said Derrick Cameron, Leesville Senior and outdoor track captain.
Many more athletes this season are interested in throwing, pole vaulting, and jumping events than there have been in years past. With the new addition of athletes interested in field events, the team is more well rounded. With such a large team consisting of more than 100 athletes, Leesville is ready to dominate the track on Wednesday, March 1 when the team takes on their first race of the season.