WCHS track athletes prepare for their spring season

By Alyssa Daniels
Sports Editor

As some sports are coming to an end, the track season is finally beginning and the team and coach Brandon Bangel are preparing for the upcoming season.

The track season officially starts this upcoming Monday, Feb. 11.

Coach Bangel has been coaching track since the spring of 2007. He has been the head boys coach since the spring of 2008 and the head coach of the girls team since 2011.

Every team and coach wants to improve from the last season and set higher goals for the athletes. Bangel hopes to see things change from last season to this season and take the next step to be a championship team.

“I think last season we had a really good start; we had a lot of really young athletes that score a lot of points for us so they were still learning what it was like to be a varsity athlete at the high school level. This year we need to kind of take the next step and become a championship team; last year we competed and the boys were runner up in the conference meet and I’d like to see us take that next step and win some big meets and understand what it takes to win at a higher level within our conference and our county and sectionals,” Bangel said.

All coaches have their own way of coaching a team and Bangel said his style is the same as his parenting by being very encouraging and honest with his athletes.

“My coaching is very similar to my parenting style. I would say I’m very encouraging [and I create a] very positive atmosphere but at the same time when kids don’t do the things they are supposed to do, I will let them know. I am very honest with my athletes, in terms of their abilities and in terms of their work ethic, whether they are doing the things they need to do to achieve the goals they say they want to achieve,” Bangel said.

Bangel is very honest and to the point with his athletes and will be the first to encourage the team and tell them that they need to work on something.

“I’m not going to refrain and tell them that they are doing a great job if they aren’t but at the same time if they do work hard, I am the first one to tell them good job,” Bangel said.

To make varsity on any team you have to work hard and stay dedicated to the sport.

With track, athletes have to work a lot harder since there’s a difference from middle school track to high school track and the athletes soon find that out.

“Kids … find out that to be a varsity level track athlete at a school our size, you’ve got to be pretty good and so the kids come out. Number one that the talent level is really high within our school, our conference and our county. Number two, in order to be in the varsity group, the level of work that it requires is pretty substantial so kids do come out and find out that there’s a large difference between middle school track and high school track. So they find out that you have to work pretty hard to be able to be in our varsity group here,” Bangel said.

Sophomore Isabella Jackson has been on the track team as a runner since middle school.

She decided to join track because she loves running and there are a variety of events for every athlete.

Jackson would like to see more teamwork between the athletes this season.

She also hopes to beat her personal records (PRs) this season.

“[I would like to] get better in my events by learning new things, beat my PRs and break the 100 meter hurdle record,” Jackson said.

Junior Taylor Leytham has been running since fourth grade when there was a running club. Since then, she has been in track for six years. She became interested in track because her mom was a runner.

Leytham hopes to have more athletes advance into regionals this season and improve her own personal records and go to regionals again.

“The team’s overall goal would probably be advancing as many people in regionals as we can and try to win the big meets. My personal goal would be advance to regionals again and beat my PR’s,” Leytham said.

Track isn’t the only sport that Leytham is involved in; she also runs cross country. She explained the difference from track to cross country.

“In cross country, I have to pace myself a lot more than I have to in track so it’s hard to go from pacing myself to going fast without a pace,” Leytham said.

There is a lot of preparation happening for the athletes with working out after school and even going to the University of Indianapolis to practice.

The athletes and the coach have excellent goals for themselves this season. Good luck WCHS track in the upcoming season!

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