“The training we’ve been doing throughout the season has prepared [us] very well for the state meet. Each and every workout we’ve done has been focused on making sure we’re at our best this weekend,” says Devan McClain (‘19), a sprinter on the Oyster River High School Indoor Track and Field team.
This upcoming Sunday, runners from all over the state will gather at the Dartmouth College track in Hanover, NH to compete in the Division II Track and Field State Championships. Athletes have been training all season for this meet, and they will be hoping that their hard work will be shown this Sunday. In order to run in the meet, runners must qualify in either an individual event or be in a relay. For most runners, this meet will be the last of their season.
The ORHS team has trained especially hard for this meet all season, and they are now making their final preparations. “The season has gone well. We’re into the week of States and so we’re mostly working on fine-tuning our relay teams, practicing hand-offs, etc., but most of the hay is in the barn with respect to building fitness,” says Scott McGrath, who coaches the distance runners.
Not only do the coaches think that their athletes are prepared, but the athletes themselves believe that the training they have been doing all season will benefit them this weekend.
Patrick O’Brien (‘17), agrees that the team’s training has prepared them well for this meet. “I’ve finally gotten into a rhythm in my training with no interruptions. I have started to work in some good workouts and am keeping my mileage decently high. I have a lot of faith in the work I’ve put in going into states,” he says.
“That being said I’m not trying to peak at this race. I’m planning on my season continuing well past Sunday with New England’s and Nationals firmly on the radar, so I’m keeping my training strong.”
It is expected that the team’s hard work will be influential in helping them do well. The season started in early December and since then the team has worked on skills that will hopefully prepare them for this meet as well as others. McGrath adds, “It’s difficult to say how they will fare.”
On both the girls’ and boys’ side of the team there are strong runners that are expected to finish among the top. The boys’ side has a strong group of distance runners who will look to score in the 3000m, 1500m and 1000m. The boys also have strong relays that expect to score top 6, with Connor Manning in the sprints and Grant Heine and Si Labelle in the jumps.
On the girls’ distance side, Danielle Slavin is entered in the 1500m and 3000m and they are bringing a 4×800 team. Meanwhile, the 4×200 and 4×400 teams are ranked among the top in the state. Sprinters like Amelia Concannon, McClain and Xiana Twombley (‘18) are expected to do a bulk of the scoring. “I think the girls’ team will have a strong meet this Sunday because we’ve all been focused on rest this last week. Everyone’s bodies are ready to compete, and coming out with fresh legs will hopefully give us a huge advantage over some teams who have been training [harder] all week,” notes McClain. Twombley agrees with McClain, saying, “I think the girls’ team will do very well on Sunday. We have a lot of people who have qualified for their individual events and we have all three relays filled so I think there are a lot of spots where we will get points and I know that we have all worked really hard this season so we all want to do well.”
As their training has prepared them for this Sunday, the team is ready to take on the State Championship. You can come to the Dartmouth track this Sunday to cheer on the track and field team. We wish them good luck as they prepare to run fast and place well!