Track sets eyes high in the sky, looking at state

Micheal Simmons, Sports Editor

The list of challenges for the Manhattan High track team runs long, but competitors seem to be last on that list as MHS starts off the season with a first-place for boys and a second place finish for the girls at the Topeka West Invite.  

The boys had a total of eight first place finishes and the girls had four in the Topeka Invite.

“I feel like we are off to a solid start,” head coach Kory Cool said. “Most athletes have established a starting point, some even atop state/ national leaderboards. We’ve got to keep our focus on state and being the best that we can then.”

Despite the athletes climbing the ladder very quickly, the team is still facing several challenges. The weather has continued to be a problem for them, as practice was consistently frigid and the Lansing Invite was cancelled. Although the team lost some preparation time, they still had to perform at competitions, where there can be a lot of pressure.

“I think the athletes handle these competitions well,” Cool said. “Finding competition for the entire team can be tough. Rarely is one program the best at everything. It is important to know what other people are doing but we can’t get wrapped up in results, just have to do the best we can wherever we are.”

Although it might currently be tough for the team to find competition, it will be a very different story when the athletes go to compete at the state meet. The team has been using meets that lead up to state as preparation despite the weather being a challenge.

“The regular season meets are a big deal and we treat them as such,” junior Clara Mayfield said. “They are important checkpoints along the way and at track meets most people go into all races with a competitive mindset wanting to do their best.”

Due to the lack of Varsity meets, the team is mixing in a few athletes to compete at J.V. meets in order to keep them ready for the state competition.

“The difference in between who walks away from state with a medal is a matter of staying healthy, focused, peaking at the right time and everything falling into place,” Cool said. “Scoring at a state meet is never a given.”