This year at Woodland Park High School is the first year that the school has its own indoor track team. While it hasn’t officially been recognized as an extracurricular, students can participate in practices and meets/competitions with the guidance of head coach Sara Martinez. Most of the team consists of distance runners and jumpers, with a few pole-vaulters and a single, dedicated sprinter. These athletes take their sport and individual events very seriously, and the coaches along with them. On most days, the team (an average of 10 people a day) strengthens in the weight room and the distance runners will usually go for a short run to keep up their stamina and running ability. The team, of course, has its own set of obstacles, the main one being that the track is covered in so much snow that it’s practically a hockey rink. To combat this, the team goes down to the indoor track at UCCS on some days and for a small fee they have access to the state of the art equipment at the facility. Only two athletes have registered with USATF for competitions so far, Nick Nijkamp (jumps) and yours truly (Nicholai Vogel, sprints).
Events in indoor track are a little different from events in the more popular outdoor season. For example, the 100m dash is replaced by the 60m dash in indoor track, and because the average indoor track (200 meters around) is half the size of an outdoor track (400 meters around) the turns are tighter and consequently, the athletes times are slower than what they would be if ran on an outdoor track in the same event. Another difference between the two is that there are completely separate events in indoor track, two of these being the 300 meter and 600 meter races.
Ryan Orth (right) runs the 600 meter and is trying out the 200 meter dash as well for this indoor season. During the outdoor season, he runs the 800 meter and the mile. He got into indoor track through working with Coach Martinez in the preseason and things took off after he received the competition schedule. One of the biggest differences between indoor and outdoor in Ryan’s opinion is the air quality because the difference between ventilation and fresh air can be pretty big. “It’s a great way to stay in shape,” said Ryan when asked why other people should join. To paraphrase, even if they don’t compete in indoor, athletes who run outdoor should still consider joining the training sessions to get an upper hand on the competition and possibly get to State.
Oliver Lampton-Adkins (left) runs the 800 meter, the 4×800 relay and occasionally the 400 meter dash. Oliver chose to run indoor track this year because he only started running track his sophomore year and wants to make up the difference from not training his freshman year. His goal for this season is to break the school record in the 800 meter (1:57.59). Right now Oliver runs a 2:02.86 (which on its own is blazing fast). Oliver believes athletes should join indoor only if they are interested, and that it will help with their outdoor season.