The great indoors

Indoor track has been doing well in its preparations for the approaching outdoor season

Lynda Rotundo pushes herself for one more lap at Lakes High School on March 4 for District 117 Winter Grand Prix, one of several indoor meets that the track team participates as the season warms up.

Hunter Blake, Staff Writer

Indoor track season has begun for the 2022-2023 season at MCHS, with runners and coaches preparing for the outdoor season by competing in invitational events held by surrounding schools with indoor facilities.

MCHS competes in a series of indoor track and field events every year to prepare for their outdoor seasons, with events being held in Huntley, Burlington, Crystal Lake Central, and Antioch. This is a time for the coaches to get a feel for how their runners will perform in the future outdoor events, and this year both the coaches and players on the team are optimistic about what this year will bring to the team.

Varsity boys track head coach and physical education teacher Dennis Hutchinson is looking forward to this season and is optimistic of what the team can do, and feels it is important to use the indoor events to start the year as preparation for the outdoor season.

“During our indoor season we are working on building a strong base as we progress through the season,” Hutchinson said. “Our different sprint and jump groups focus on increasing max velocity, while our distance crew builds up mileage which will increase their aerobic threshold.” 

Hutchinson also explained how they are fortunate to be able to use the indoor facilities whenever they can, and how the main focus of the team this year is for the upperclassmen to serve as leaders and help out the younger members of the team.

“We compete at nearby schools that are fortunate enough to have some of the nicest field houses in the state. Places like Huntley, Antioch, and Burlington have first class indoor track facilities,” described Hutchinson. “We utilize both the upper and freshman campus as well to prepare our athletes for the season. We have done a great job utilizing the facilities available to us and appreciate the support from [superintendent] Dr. [Ryan] McTague and [athletic director] Mr. [Joel] Beard. The coaches are also looking forward to the season and have a great group of upper class men to lead the way. We return with a good young crew that will contribute early on.”

It is not just the coaches who are optimistic about the upcoming season, sophomore Jimmy Rades, a runner in the 4×100 and 4×200, is excited about his improvement since the last season and is optimistic on what the season will bring.

“I feel like I’ve done ok so far, and there is still plenty of room for improvement,” explained Rades. “I feel like I need to improve on my stamina the most.”

Rades is also part of the young core of the team that they will need to rely on this season, and has noticed the difficulty of being a younger runner in the events, even though he has ran well in the events so far.

“Trying to compete and race people who are twice the size you are and more physically fit as well as stronger is one of the challenges I have noticed so far this season,” Rades said.

Though the boys season and training is underway, the girls indoor track season has also started as well with indoor events. Senior runner, Lynda Rotundo is one of many excited for the season to officially start, and is noticing the improved team chemistry from last year.

“I feel that the chemistry on the team so far is better than what I expected and really hoped for. I train with Danielle Jensen and I am so lucky to have such an amazing athlete and hard worker to inspire and work with me throughout all the workouts,” explained Rotundo. “The chemistry between the distance girls is unmatched, they are all such hard workers and extremely tough and ready to take any challenge. And in my opinion, the distance girls I know are some of the mentally toughest of all the track girls.”

Rotundo, like some others, are feeling optimistic about this indoor season, and feel this year has changed the view of dedication to the sport.

“Last year I wasn’t able to compete in the indoor track season because of health issues and COVID, it was super hard to enjoy the sport at the beginning of last season I also wasn’t yet doing an event that was suited for me, unlike this season,” described Rotundo. “It has definitely been a full 360 from last season. Overall I feel as though I am no longer messing around with the idea of being good at track and decided to go all in this season.” Rotundo said.

Along with noticing growth from last year, the scores and times are showing the growth for many of the girls and boys track team members. 

“Overall, I have achieved three PRs so far in my recent races, which reflect my growth since last season,’ said Skylar Balzer. “I think the team chemistry has been really good, everyone is so supportive of one another and we have a really positive team environment which I believe is so crucial to our success as a team.” 

As the track team progresses in their indoor season, it has been proving to help both the girls and boys team grow as individuals and score wise. Both teams are feeling confident in themselves to perform well during the outdoor season that is approaching fast.