Even on the best winter days, finding ways for indoor track athletes to train requires some ingenuity.
“We do a lot of training in the hallways,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Krogh. “When we get gym space, we use that. If we can get outside, the kids seem to like that, but we are dealing with temperature restrictions.
“We have to use all the space we can get, and use it to the best of our ability. You really have to be creative.”
Whatever methods Krogh and fellow coach Ron Cameron have used this season seems to have worked. The Tartans won the boys’ team title, and the girls placed second at the recent Independent League Championships at UAlbany. Most of the athletes responsible for that success will compete in the Section II Division III championship meet Saturday back at UAlbany.
“In a way, this can be a tough time, because you don’t necessarily bring everyone on the team,” said Krogh. “We try to give them opportunities in events to see where it best suits the team.”
The Tartans had around 70 athletes committed to the program this winter, a good turnout considering the school offers boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling and skiing during the winter months.
“And you also have kids playing soccer and lacrosse year-round, kids have jobs, so, it was a pretty good turnout,” Krogh said, pointing out that competitions are on weekends. “But the sport is also one where you can find an event for everybody.
“We also have the kids whose primary sport is track, so they’re very committed to the sport. It’s a sport you’ve got to love, to put that much time into it.
“And you’ve also got to consider if someone only does the 55 meters, their day could be only seven seconds. They’ve got to find other things to do the rest of the day, but we have kids doing a lot of homework at some of the meets.”
While their league championship meet saw them competing against similar sized schools, the Tartans often found themselves in the same meet with the biggest schools in Section II.
“We were in meets with Shenendehowa, Colonie, Burnt Hills,” said Krogh of the Tri-County Indoor Track League schedule. “They’d see the names of the kids and the schools, but we’d tell the kids to concentrate on their effort, not be overly concerned with what the kids from the big schools were doing.
“There are standards you want to hit, if you want to get to the states.”
At their league championships, the Tartans got points from a lot of athletes, some placing in multiple events.
The boys’ 4x200 relay team of seniors Martin Dearaway and Kevin Bekkering, 11th-grader Matt Manda and sophomore Peter Marola finished more than four seconds ahead of the second-place team. Manda also won the 600, and teamed with Deraway, Bekkering and 12th-grader Brett Sarnowski to win the 4x400 relay.
Dan Omicinski won the triple jump and took third in the 55, Grant Norton was best in the 1,000 meters and second in the 1,600, Bekkering placed in the top three in the pole vault and Alec Swider took second in the 300 and long jump.
On the girls’ side, Kim Denny was on a winning relay, and placed in the top three in the 1,000 and pole vault, Laura Meada joined Denny as part of the winning 4x800 relay and also took top four finishes in the 600, 55 hurdles and triple jump and Lisa Smith won the 300, was on a winning relay and placed in the 600.
Meade, an eighth-grader, is still trying to find her best events.
“She’s willing to run wherever we put her,” said Krogh. “She’s been very adaptable.”
As have her teammates, as they scrambled to get in workouts after Wednesday’s storm canceled school, with sectionals coming up.
“We always shoot for the top three,” said Krogh of what he’s looking for as the boys chase their third straight sectional title, and the girls seek their first since 2011. “We’d like for as many of them as possible to get a sectional patch. That’s something that they will always have.
“If they all do well, we’ll do well as a team.”