Sunday, May 25, 2008

PIAA track thoughts

Spent Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University for the PIAA Track and Field Championship - my 11th consecutive year at the event split between a couple papers - and I came away wondering what's happened to track in Washington and Greene Counties.

Only three athletes won medals. Canon-McMillan seniors Kyle Gibson (Class AAA 3,200 run) and Zane Zebrasky (Javelin) each took 5th place in their respective events and both performed admirably. Also, Bentworth junior Amanda Kennedy (Class AA javelin) won an eighth place medal.

Overall, it's been two consecutive bad years locally at state track. Really bad.

So what's going on? Anyone have any ideas?

I know some teams are struggling with numbers and others had to remove promising athletes from their teams due to various problems. Still, only three medals?

One positive is that many of the local competitors at this year's meet were underclassmen. Maybe the down cycle is coming to an end.


Anonymous said...

One variable that could be affecting track is the difficulty in getting athletes who play other sports to come out. Many football coaches want their kids in the weight room with them year round.
AAU and "open gym" basketball discourages those kids. travel volleyball and the never ending cup soccer schedules also pull kids away. Kids are told that if they don't fully commit to one sport, year-round, they are not going to succeed or get a scholarship. Even band and cheerleading, gymnastics and dance
are asking for year-round commitment from the kids.

mike_kovak said...

Very true Anon.

I find the football thing interesting. Certainly, weightlifting is important for football players but so is speed training. I feel track could be very beneficial for football players serious about playing at the collegiate level.

Anonymous said...

Some reason’s why Washington County doesn’t do well at states

1. No Heart
2. Top athletes miss practice which means they can’t improve at states
3. Lazy
4. Think they are D1 in football or basketball
5. Spring Soccer
6. Lack of Indoor Programs
7. AAU Basketball
8. Lifting Weights for Football
9. Coaches who just want the pay check at the end of the season

Washington County has many standout athletes in other sports but they refuse to run track because they find it a joke or think it’s pointless just to run.

All the track and field coaches in the county need to get together and start a summer track program so they could develop these kids from a young age.

Anonymous said...

CM has a track program open to anyone who wants to attend in the summer.

First rate program that runs through Aug. You may want to check it out

Anonymous said...

As an athlete competing at states for track, I am sad to say I agree with the second to last comment. But why are we only pointing out bad things, instead of the growth of many programs in Washington and Greene Counties. Yes, some have gone downhill; but so many have made amazing accomplishments that are remarkable.
I come from a school without a track. We have a very small track team and struggle to fill events at big meets. Something we have is great coaches who want to see us succeed and excell. We have a community who is excited to watch us and read about us in the papers, and we have a team, no actually we have a family who cheers each other on, gets us pumped up for our events and holds their breathe when its our turn to throw,run,and jump.
I also play and excell in three sports at my school while playing JO Volleyball.
I have had numerous people tell me to focus on one sport and to choose what I want to play in college and work for that. One thing I have learned from my brothers is that you only have so long to compete so pour your heart into everything, and at the end of the day if your not satisfied with the way things turned out..push a little farther the next day.
So yes we had only three people medal at states this year, but a lot of extremely talented athletes went and competed. Some coaches are just about the pay check but a lot of coaches pour their heart and soul into their programs, and a disturbing amount of teenagers are extremely lazy, but a ton of kids are outside right now working hard waiting for their next chance to go to shippensburg and compete.
When I competed this year, I was not satisfied with my performance. My coach pushed me to do the best I could do. Turning around and seeing all my family, friends and my whole track team behind me cheering me on while competing and hugging me after I finished, was enough to make me hungry to do better next year and work harder to be more prepared. I know for a fact a lot of athletes at States from Washington and Greene County feel the same way I felt that day. Hopefully next year has a better turn out for medalist, and hopefully more people stop looking at track as a training sport for other seasons, as I once did, and start realizing how amazing of a sport it truely is.