With renewed drive and commitment, Track and Field pushes for continued success

Will Wick, Managing Editor

Coming off an impressive season last year which featured two school records and 16 athletes going to state, Liberty track and field hopes to build on their success through renewed commitment and teamwork.
“Once we finally got there and realized just how bad we wanted to win, it drove us a lot more and pushed us to keep going, keep working harder,” senior sprinter Zeke Owen said. “This year I’m going to work hard the entire season, go to as many practices as I can, and push the limits on my body so I can get better.”
The team has big goals, with several athletes hoping to score school records.
“My goals are to get top three in state in the 4×400 meter relay, win state for the 400 meter, and break the school record for the 400 meter,” Owens said.
Of her goals, senior sprinter Sophie Wartena said, “I am hoping to break the school record for the 100 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles again and hopefully for both of the relays (4×400 and 4×200 meter).”
With the move to the more competitive district 1, Liberty Track and Field is nervous, but optimistic.
“The new district is going to push our athletes to start running faster times, throwing farther, and jumping farther. It’s a great opportunity,” sprint coach Kelsey Foote said.
She is confident that they will have success with the right mentality.
“What’s going to define the season is the attitude of all the athletes and them just wanting to be there, wanting to work hard, and pursuing goals that they set whether it’s just PRing in their race or their event and working hard and trying to make themselves better, or their teammates better.”
Wartena agrees, adding that team spirit is also important.
“How much we want to do well is going to define how well we do,” Wartena said. “We’re all rooting for each other and we’re all excited for each other’s success, which makes it a lot more fun to be on the team.”
The team’s first meet of the season resulted in an incredible 96 PRs.
Brigette Takeuchi beat her old school record, running a new time of 10:59.89 in the 3200 meter. Several athletes are currently leading the state in 2A, including seniors Jake Knoblich and Sam Kelderman in the 1600 meter, senior Dhamanpreet Kaur in the 800 meter, sophomore Alex Hartford and Takeuchi in the 3200 meter, and the boys 4×400 meter relay.