By Flora Davis
Exactly one month after Groundhog’s Day, the best holiday of the year, begins the best sports season of the year. Track and Field at Roosevelt officially kicks off on March 2nd, although a few athletes have already begun pre-season training. The women’s team lifts weights on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the long-distance team runs together on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Pre-season weights are a necessity for athletes who don’t want to injure themselves in the coming season, and other conditioning helps keep runners competitive.
This year, the men’s track team lost a few coaches after high jump coach Jim Neff retired, and assistant coach Curtis Easton became unable to coach any more practices. This leaves Howard Collier as head coach of both the men and women’s team, with help from Jeff Fulton, David Graves, Trinna Miranda, and Rick Kenney. When asked if he would find it challenging to coach both teams, Collier responds, “Yes it will be very challenging. However, with the right staff in place, I think it will be a success”.
More changes to the track team will arise as well, now that Roosevelt has switched from KingCo 4A to Metro 3A. Some say that Metro will be too little competition, although this certainly did not prove to be the case in the last cross-country season. Collier comments, “I prefer to stay in KingCo, competition is better I think, meets have less teams in them”. It will be interesting to see if Metro proves to be less competitive than KingCo, and how the track team fares in the new division.
With a new division begins new experiences for competing athletes. On what he’s looking forward to in the coming season, Collier comments that he hopes for both the men and women’s team to “compete at their highest level”. He’s looking for “dedication from all”. Collier has been coach of the women’s track team at Roosevelt for the past two decades, as well being the coach of the men’s cross-country team, so if there’s one thing he knows, it’s dedication to a team he’s supported for years. His final comments on the coming track season are “[I] look forward to a healthy season and a team with heart on both ends”.