Practicing everyday since early March, Loy Norrix track and field athletes prepared for the annual Don Lukens Invitational at home on April 24.
Don Lukens was a coach at Loy Norrix for 26 years and started the track program. To honor Coach Lukens and the legacy he left in Loy Norrix, Loy Norrix named the annual track and field invitational after him. After being head track and field coach, he became head cross country coach and then Athletic Director, leaving a large footprint at Loy Norrix. In 1998, Coach Lukens was inducted into Michigan High School Coaches “Hall of Fame.”
This year, the Don Lukens Invitational will be the only home game because Loy Norrix will be going under construction as they replace the bleachers to meet the state and city requirements.
“Hopefully, the bleachers are more comfortable,” said senior Davon Mitchell. “Because with the current bleachers, it’s a pain to just sit down for a long period of time, and they’re ugly.”
Junior Simeon Smith appreciates the advantages of a sport like track. “Track is the only sport that you can flat-out show your speed,” he said.
Another advantage of being in track is health. “We are religious about our food,” said junior Olivia VandePol. “We have to be healthy because we are running off the calories we take–junk food loses the fastest.”
Track and field is a sport where athletes show their strengths and agility individually. It also allows athletes to compare how they improve because it’s an individual sport.
One of the top players for discus throw and shot put, sophomore Joe Hruska, said, “Even though we compete individually, we work and support each other.”
“Words of encouragement and support is very important because it’s a confidence booster,” said senior Anasia Turner.