‘Shovel relay’ helps track team get outside to practice
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The varsity track program from Grayling High School was able to get outside for some of its pre-season workouts, and the Vikings are slated to start their 2018 meet schedule in early April.
The program doesn’t have the large numbers of some other Lake Michigan Conference teams, but it does have some quality athletes. Overall, it’s a young group.
“Numbers are consistent with years past. We have a younger team this year with only a few seniors,” Coach Justin Andre said. “We have a really dedicated group of talented athletes. Although we do not have big team numbers we should be competitive in many individual events.”
“Our conference is a tough conference with many talented runners – Grayling included. We know we do not quite have the numbers to win a team competition, but we should be very competitive in our individual events,” Coach Andre said.
Many of the squad’s athletes played a winter sport, and a few who did not were able to compete in indoor meets during the winter months.
“Most of the athletes were involved with a winter sport, so we are confident that our wrestlers and basketball players and skiers are well conditioned; however, we did have a few kids participating in our Indoor Track Club throughout the winter months and competed in a few indoor meets,” Coach Andre said.
During the first two weeks of official practices the Vikings had a mix of indoor sessions and outdoor work-outs.
“This first week of practice has gone well, although we are mostly indoors at this point, conditioning and weight lifting. We did however have our first outdoor practice on Wednesday when we did our annual shovel relays (clearing the snow off the track),” Coach Andre said. “As always, our main area of focus in the early season is to condition all our athletes and try to identify what events will suit each athlete.”
Goals and expectations for this year’s team?
“Our biggest goal is to consistently improve throughout the season and have athletes peak at the right moment (which we are hoping is at regionals),” Coach Andre said. “My expectations for all our athletes is to keep their commitment to the team, show up, work hard, and in the end, we hope to produce a few state qualifiers.”
One of the Grayling throwers is a returning state qualifier.
“Senior Ellie Carr is a returning two-time state qualifier. We look for her to earn a third trip to the finals. Junior Bri Martin had a great cross country season qualifying for the state finals; she will be eager to earn a spot at this year’s track finals. Sophomore Caden Arredondo is running varsity track for the first time; he also was a cross country state qualifier and is determined to add some depth to our middle distance squad,” Coach Andre said.
The Vikings will compete in a Lake Michigan Conference Jamboree at East Jordan on April 11.