Dashing For the Finish Line

Boys Track

Boys Track

It’s February 21, Tuesday night at Buffalo Grove High School. The varsity track and field team members are warming up, getting ready for their turn to participate in the relays. Coach Kevin Brady, is on the sidelines jokingly yelling at every person complaining, “Shut yo’ face!” The first person is up and taking position. The seated crowd on the spectator side is silence waiting for the bang of the starter pistol And…zoom! All the players are beaten in half a second by Flash!

Just kidding. It will probably be not be as exciting as Flash showing up to compete, but RLHS students sure are excited to see what comes out of the 2017 track season. Many students have been showing up to track conditioning, and many more are planning to join. The season officially started on Jan. 16 and team members and coaches are yearning to see how this season goes.

“I’m excited about the upcoming season,” said coach and math teacher Kevin Brady. “We have most of our athletes that earned points in meets from last year back for this season.” Track and field is a sport that consists of many events. The basics include running, jumping, and throwing. Within the running category, there is sprinting, middle and long distance, hurdles, and relays. For jumping, there is long, high, triple, and pole. For throwing, there is discus, shot put, javelin, and hammer throw. Of course Coach Brady does not have the time to supervise everyone participating in all the different activities. There are different coaches assigned for each activity. Brady is in charge of boys’ jumps and sprints. Coach Derek Laughlin, who teaches English,is in charge of boys’ hurdles, relays, and blocks. Coach Rios, a security person in school, is in charge of assisting coach Brady with sprints. For girls, there is Coach Kristin Lilla, an English teacher at RLHS, who is in charge of jumps and sprints. There is also Coach Rimington assisting the girls with throws, and Coach McCown, who teaches history, assists with girls distance running.

For a sport that requires great physical and mental endurance, people train hard pre-season to have the best results possible during the season. Many students focus on weight lifting, running a certain distance or time, sprints, races, practice throwing or jumping, and circuit training.

This season, the coaches are excited about some promising athletes.The returning players that coaches have high hopes for are Alex Valladares, Alan Espinosa, Jameson Hamlin, Francisco Villanueva, Andre Neal, Andres Ponce, and Demetrio Lopez for sprints. For jumps there is Darrius Calhoun and Tabieas Young. For throws there is Jonathan Sanchez and Brett Kneeland. For distance running there is Sam Ruiz, Daniel Lopez, Marco Hernandez, Moises Acosta, Marco Barcenas, and Nathan Etherington. Since the season just started, it is way too early to have an idea about what the new members will contribute to the team.

“We will rely on a lot of our seniors to lead us and to show the younger athletes the correct way to be successful,” said Brady.

The team did not set up any school records last year, but they do keep track of what they call “Top Five Performances” which is the top five scoring athletes in school history. Last year they set 4 of those performances. Alex Valladares, Francisco Villanueva, Christian Vazquez, and Jameson Hamlin accomplished the 4 x 200 relays. Francisco Villanueva in the 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles. Darrius Calhoun in the high jump.

“They all performed well enough in the season to move into or up in the top five,” said coach Kevin Brady.

The first meet will take place at Buffalo Grove High School. The event will be Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Boys head coach Kevin Brady and assistant coaches Derek Laughlin, Kristin Lilla, and Chelsea Rimington, hope Panther Country will go to support the track and field team. They hope this season to come out victorious.  

“I think we can be more competitive than last year. We hope to qualify a few athletes to the state meet this year,” Brady said.