TrackCats ready for a state run

Although it is sometimes thought of as an individual sport rather than a team effort, the Westminster track team’s close bond and team spirit helps carry them to victory. As the 2018 spring athletic season progresses, hopes are high for the TrackCats’ end-of-season outcome at the state meet.

This year, one of the biggest meets in the southeast will be held at the University of Florida. Following last year’s meet at the Florida State Relays, the boys team placed second overall and the girls team placed third at the state meet. Both teams were extremely close to getting the state title, and although it did not happen for them last year, everyone seems to have high hopes for the outcome at state this year. The team is determined to come back this season better than ever before to claim their state title.

“I think both boys and girls are within reach of a state title this year. The two teams are scored separately, but Westminster had the highest cumulative score last year, which I think bodes well for another strong season,” said senior captain Bronte Bacchetta, who is a member of the distance running group.

“There’s so many different events and athletes that it’s really hard to predict so early, but we’ve got some great distance runners, jumpers, and more. As long as everyone is doing their best, we should be in the running for some high placement at the state meet,” said junior Ansley McNeel, who specializes in high jump.

“This year, our relays are better than ever which will help give us a better chance at state,” said senior captain Mason Arbery, who does distance running.

“We are trying to get that state title this year for sure, but we definitely have a lot of close competitors such as Cedar Grove and a few other schools who performed better than us in the state meet last year. At the next meet, we are going to try and see what the competition is, and with hard work and dedication, I think we have a shot at winning” said senior captain Raeba Roy, who specializes in long jump and triple jump.

Although perspectives from the athletes seem positive, the final say of whether the TrackCats have a good chance at the state title lies with head coach Gary Jones.

“I’ve learned to be humble and to not jinx our team, but let’s just say that both teams are very talented and very strong and we should make Westminster very proud this year,” said Jones.

It seems like the TrackCats’ future at state is looking positive, and a lot of this is thanks to the wonderful coaching and strong senior leadership.

“The coaches here at Westminster are great. They want the best for us so when we’re working hard in practice they’re helping us and critiquing us to get us where we need to be,” said senior captain Paris Howland, who participates in the jumping events.

“I’m most excited about continuing to observe the great leadership that our senior class has this year,” said Jones. We have outstanding senior leadership this year. We have the best captains with the best attitudes, dedication and work ethic. The rest of the seniors are also leading the team by example.”

Senior leadership plays a huge part in the success and community of the Westminster track and field team. The seniors are in charge of setting a good example for their fellow teammates, keeping their teammates’ motivation and energy elevated, and helping to lead their specialized event groups.

In general, a strong sense of community plays an enormous role in both the enjoyability and success of the track team. People on the team look forward to attending practice to see their friends and to improve as athletes in the presence of their supportive team members.

“I genuinely love track season. It’s the best because we’re outside in the sun, and the team members are so wholesome. It’s such a great group, that even when we have hard workouts, it’s worth it 100% to be out there with my friends working together on our fitness, trying to do better than we did the day before,” said McNeel about what makes track special for her.

Without this strong, supportive community, the track team would be a much different experience than it is currently.