With the majority of the members who went to state last year returning, the Libby High School track and field team is bringing a lot of experience to this season.
“We lost less than a handful,” said Head Coach Jim May.
One goal is to build on that experience with the younger team members, he said.
“The promising thing is, they’re watching the older kids work hard in practice, and they’re buying into it,” he said.
With only a couple months from the first practices to the state championship, the track and field season could offer a short time for improvement, but May said that depends a lot on the event in question.
For some events, such as throwing or high jump, technique can be a more significant factor than distance running, he said. With some of the athletes just starting track for the first time, he sees potential for noticeable improvement by May.
“My assistant coaches do an unbelievable job of breaking things down into small pieces. They’re so patient,” he said. “And if those kids are patient too, they’ll get them to throw and jump and run as far and fast as they can.”
At the same time, May said that they won’t really know how well newer athletes will do until they have had the chance to compete in meets.
“You just have to wait and see,” he said.
A few years ago, the coaches decided to put emphasis on body conditioning, May said. “A little less technique early in the season.”
“It’s just an ongoing, continuing process of getting them to buy in to it, which they are,” he said. “We have kids who worked out in the winter, so they started the season stronger than they ever have.”
He also noted that the returning athletes who have competed at the state track meet are showing their experience in their work ethic.
The Loggers will have their competition at the Eureka Invitational on Saturday, April 7 at 10 a.m.
Their first home meet will be the Libby Invitational on Saturday, April 14 at 11 a.m.