Track teams ready to compete
Erin Kearns, Veritas Staff
The track teams this year are hoping to have a successful season, especially with the large turn-out they had.
Last year both the boys and girls teams finished the season with three wins and five losses.
The coaches this year are Robert Murphy, Randal Grimmett, Mark Killinger, and Patrick Finn.
“I’m really excited about this year’s team. We have almost fifty girls signed up so far, which is a lot more than we’ve ever had before. We also have a good number of returning athletes, so I expect that we will be very competitive in the South Shore League,” says Mr. Grimmett.
Mr. Murphy has similar expectations for this year. “I always have high expectations for our Rockland teams. This year especially, we had over forty students sign up for boys’ track, with a large number being freshmen, and many upperclassmen returning from last year’s team. This is very encouraging.”
Erika Ochenduszko, a returning track runner and one of the team’s top scorers explained, “I think it’s great that there were ninety people that showed up to the track meeting. It’s better to have more numbers because it gives us a better chance of winning the meets.”
She continued, “What I’m worried about is how long the meets are going to have to be because of how many people are doing it.”
With the large turn-out, the coaches’ task in finding the right events for everyone could be a little more difficult.
Mr. Grimmett explained that when judging potential the most important thing he looks for is a good work ethic, explaining, “I’d have to say that the most important characteristic we look for is a willingness to work hard and continually strive to get better.”
He continued, “We all have our individual aptitudes, but what we do with the natural talent we possess depends upon our willingness to work hard. For the athletes who are new to track, I try not to judge their potential and just wait and see how they progress as athletes. One of the best things about coaching track is seeing the athletes get better.”
Mr. Murphy has similar thoughts about an athlete’s potential saying, “Potential to me is based on dedication, desire and hard work.” he explained, “The more effort an athlete exhibits, the greater the potential he or she has to succeed.”
Lily Matson, one of the team’s top scorers and a returning runner says, “Track is a mental sport. You’re constantly fighting the part of yourself that wants to stop, and the biggest challenge is pushing through that, even though it hurts. It takes a lot of mental toughness and discipline, and it’s awesome to see the team push through the tough days together.”
To anyone unsure about coming out for track Mr. Murphy would encourage them to join. Mr. Grimmett adds, “Track is a lot of fun, and there are so many events that almost anyone can find an event that they like.”