Track and Field teams get new coaches, new approaches

Fairmont Track and Field team members practice pole vaulting and various other sprints during practice on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. (Photo Credit: Lindsay Breslin)

Fairmont Track and Field team members practice pole vaulting and various other sprints during practice on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. (Photo Credit: Lindsay Breslin)

Lots of changes are taking place with Fairmont’s Boys’ and Girls’ Track and Field teams, and many close to the program feel hopeful those changes will result in a good season for the athletes.

The spring sport kicks off with two new head coaches: Stephen McDonald for the boys’ team and Pat McDermott for the girls’ team.

Boys’ Track and Field

The Boys’ Track and Field team had a good season last year, and McDonald hopes some new approaches and faces will help the team to build on that and achieve even greater things.

“This season we have a lot of newcomers from other sports, and I think this will help us set records and create new energy and enthusiasm,” McDonald said.

In addition, the boys have been doing new morning lifts and have a more intense workout regime. “We hope to start a new foundation that we can build on,” said McDonald. “Hopefully, that will result in us being more competitive at GWOC.”

McDonald said some of the returning athletes he thinks will be important to the team’s success are seniors Troy Belshe and Danny Sales and juniors Josh Nickelman and Aaron Sutton.

Sales has a good feeling that his last year on the team will be the best one yet. “I’m really excited about the number of hard-working guys we have coming out this year,” he said.

Girls’ Track and Field

The Girls’ Track and Field team also had a good 2012 season, receiving first-place honors at the District meet. But the girls and their coach are still looking for ways to continue to grow.

The team captains for the season are the only four seniors on the team: Rachel Herman, Justine Miller, Margaret Sarfino and Natalie Uy. McDermott says he’s really excited about coaching this season with the team that’s lined up.

“Although there are fewer athletes this season, everyone is very disciplined and hard-working,” he said. “We have a large and strong sophomore group on the team this year that I’m also eager to work with.”

The girls’ team prepared for the season with Olympic lifts during the winter, and McDermott plans to change their training throughout the season as well.

Herman is glad that spring is finally here so she can participate in the sport she appreciates so much. Herman is determined to break the record in the 200- or 400-yard relay this year, and possibly the 100-yard relay, too.

“I’m really looking forward to the competition. I love the feeling of competing and I want to prove myself this year as a senior,” said Herman. “Also, I love the atmosphere of track meets and meeting people from all over Ohio. It’s really unique because you come across kids from all different sports who are so athletic and talented.”

Uy, one of the star athletes, recently sprained her ankle and will be out for the beginning of the season. Despite the delayed start, McDermott, Herman and Sales agree that Uy is bound to break records in the long jump and high jump this year.

McDermott said he feels good things will come out of the Girls’ Track and Field team this year. “I expect a high-level performance and many record breakings this season,” he said. “My goal is to create more of a total team concept. It may take more than a year, but I’m hoping to still see progress by the end of this season.”

The Boys’ and Girls’ Track and Field teams will have their first meet Saturday, April 6, at 10 a.m. at the Northmont Invitational. The teams’ first home meet is Thursday, May 9, at 5 p.m.