Track and Field trains through indoor track

The track and field team prepares for their season through indoor competitions

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Nearly every seasonal runner around CHS is most likely aware of the indoor track program and its importance in training and preparing for the regular track season. However, outside of the running community, many are unaware of its presence at CHS. While indoor track isn’t an IHSAA sport, it still provides an avenue of competition for anyone who joins.

Both the men’s and women’s track teams are prepping for the outdoor portion of their season by practicing and competing indoors. While having space to practice new events and prepare for the competition season is somewhat of a luxury, it still presents its challenges.

Track runners sophomore Calvin Bates and senior Rachel Anderson are both aware of how the environment shifts in indoor track.

“The air is really dry, and it’s a whole different atmosphere that you’re trying to get used to, especially for distance runners because you just keep going around and around,” Bates said. “So it’s definitely different in that respect.”

“Indoor track makes you appreciate outdoor track later because you can breathe a lot better outside. It helps you to get prepared beforehand and you also get to see who your competition is,” Anderson said.

Indoor track especially impacts sprinters during training season. Colin Altevogt, assistant men’s track and field coach, explained how distance runners and sprinters train while indoor track is going on.

“The sprinters have to run inside because it’s too cold for sprinting. They could hurt themselves, plus, where are you going to sprint? Its icy, but the distance runners run outside everyday. The sprinters going outside when it’s cold is bad for them, and for distance runners going inside is bad for them,” Altevogt said.

Aside from the physical differences between indoor and outdoor track, indoor is also significantly more mentally based, according to Bates.

“Indoor track is a lot more mental because it’s so many more laps. Indoor track is half the size of an outdoor track, so it’s 200 meters. For a 3200 meter, you’d do eight laps outdoors, indoors you do 16,” Bates said.

This year the interest in indoor track for the men’s track team has been at an all time high according to Altevogt.

“We’re pretty happy with the turnout that we’ve had. This is the most guys we’ve had, and our interest is really high. I think we’re going to have a pretty good season,” Altevogt said. “The last two years we’ve been pretty good. We won state the last two years, and then three years ago we were second, but still pretty close to winning.”

Although the interest in indoor track is growing and higher than it ever has been for the men’s team, the women’s team is still trying to increase the number of participants.

Anderson encourages people to join for the effective competition indoor track provides as well as a method to get ready for the outdoor season.

“The number of girls that participate in indoor track is a number we’re trying to grow. As of right now, it may be only 20-ish to 30. The coaches are trying to encourage more girls to do it this year,” Anderson said. “Overall, I would say that anyone who’s on the track team loves racing, so it’s just another chance to get to race and compete.”