MARION: Marion track aims for state
Track and field is a sport of self-improvement, and for Marion field-event specialist and senior Michaela Regnier, that means getting better throughout the season.
“The goal is always to set a personal record, and get to state,” Regnier said.
Being able to get athletes in peak form early each season is very important, coach Grant Thierolf said.
“You just get your next group of kids ready to go, and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “We’re going to find that next group and get them so they’re as prepared as they can be.”
The Warriors have the advantage of several coaches, which gives each student more attention, Regnier said.
“We get more one-on-one time, so if something needs to be corrected it can be easily corrected,” she said. “A lot of times they’ll videotape our form and something needs to be fixed, they can show us the video.”
In addition to the availability of coaches, they have had the luxury of working with their students as far back as middle school, Thierolf said.
“We see what they can do in their seventh- and eighth-grade years,” he said. “By the time they’re freshmen, we have a pretty good idea of what their abilities are and where they fit.”
One key way for athletes to keep improving throughout their high school careers is to use the weight room, Theirolf said.
“If they get in the weight room and stay conditioned, they will get faster as they go along,” he said. “We’ve had that proven many times by athletes.”
The most dreaded of track workouts is 500-meter sprints, because of the blend of distance and pace of a sprint, mid-distance runner Maria Stuchlik said.
“That’s when we run 350, and then go all-out for another 150,” Stuchlik said. “Mentally, it’s way tougher.”
Breaking through that mental barrier is important because it shows the students are capable of more than they think, Thierolf said.
“Once they know they can get through it psychologically, it makes them that much stonger,” he said.
Mental strength is important because letting up at the end just a little can make the difference in a race, Stuchlik said.
“If you’re ever really close with a person in a race and you finish through when they don’t, you win,” she said.
Last modified March 27, 2019