The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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Finn Bankston, Staff Writer • April 18, 2024

Track and field team loses key athletes but plans to bounce back strong

Senior+Daniel+Ewing+and+sophomore+Jackson+Lam+are+on+the+outsides%2C+who+both+have+to+take+on+big+roles+with+the+loss+of+Sam+Allen%2C+and+Oskar+Wiedenhoft+who+are+both+in+the+middle.
Credit: Sam Bodine
Senior Daniel Ewing and sophomore Jackson Lam are on the outsides, who both have to take on big roles with the loss of Sam Allen, and Oskar Wiedenhoft who are both in the middle.

Track and field is the biggest sport Loy Norrix has to offer with a variety of different events, and has the largest number of participants. From sprinting the 100 meters to throwing the shot put, track has an event for everybody. 

The team has its first competition Mar. 23 and is more than prepared with a successful off-season. Many runners have been training all last year and ran cross country over the fall, giving them a hunger to compete come the first meet.

“For the off-season, I just try to stay consistent and healthy. It’s important to develop a sense of routine and keep good habits. I also try to lift 4-5 times a week to build and maintain upper body strength,” said sophomore Jackson Lam. “I also transitioned to more anaerobic running rather than aerobic, like I would do in cross country.”

The team has lost some big runners that brought them success, including many college commits, like Sam Allen, Trevor Watts, and Ana Dunfee. Distance coach Bradley Schmidt expressed that the future is bright, with many young athletes with an abundance of potential. 

“I’m excited for the upcoming season. Our girl’s team is bringing back almost all of our team, very few senior graduates. We have a good nucleus building over there,” said Schmidt. “With the kids who are coming over the winter, and what I’ve seen in other sports, if we can get them to come to track then we will have a solid group of runners this year.”

With a combination of new talent and veteran runners on the team, it’s a strong bunch. This year, Lam takes on a big role with the loss of Grand Valley State University (GVSU) commit Sam Allen. Allen was one of the best 800 runners in the state, but Lam was right behind. Lam expresses he has been working even harder in the off-season to become the best that he can strive for some substantial goals.

“My main goal for the year is to break the school record in the 1600: it’s 4:15 and my PR [personal record] is 4:25,” said Lam. “I also would like to be a double state qualifier and be all-state in either the 1600 or 800, and to hit the new balance outdoor nationals qualifying time in the 1600.”

However, it’s not only the distance runners with a big season ahead of them: the sprinters do as well.. Junior Ari Johnson ran a 12.2 second 100m at time trials in the 2024 pre-season, but he expresses this isn’t fast enough and that he’s striving for more.

“I ran a quick time in preseason, but I want to compete with the very best this year, I would like to be one of the fastest runners in the area.”

— Ari Johnson

“I ran a quick time in preseason, but I want to compete with the very best this year,” said Johnson. “I would like to be one of the fastest runners in the area.”

Stepping away from track, we also have some solid field athletes, including senior Ethan Hall in the shot put. Hall shares that he will build off his last year’s successes and excel in the upcoming season.

“I’m excited because at practice I’ve already been matching my PRs from last season,” said Hall. “I think I’m going to be throwing a lot further distances this year than I did last year and have lots of improvement.”

Overall, the track and field team took a hit but coaches and players feel confident that they have the correct tools to scavenge up a successful 2024 season. The season commences with a home meet against Gull Lake Ap. 4.

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About the Contributor
Cavan Helms
Cavan Helms, Sports Editor
I'm Cavan Helms, the Sports Editor in Knight Life. I joined because this is a great way to express my creativeness and personality through my writing. In my free time I like working out, and playing sports.

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    JahrayApr 11, 2024 at 3:12 pm

    I like this article
    Good job.

    Reply