Tuscarora Track Grows Over Three Year History






By Meilan Solly

As a third year school, Tuscarora is home to many clubs, sports, and organizations which are constantly trying to grow and establish their foundations. One such sport is track, which has achieved quite a lot in its three year history. Last year, both the boys and girls 4×800 teams qualified for districts and states, and the girls ended up winning 8th at states. Anna Wasko, a sophomore, was part of the girls 4×800 team along with Natalie Rosas, Jannen Hermann, and Courtney Walker. “Last year we were district champs, so this year we’re going to work from that,” said Wasko. “Now [we’re] trying to get better, and we know we’ll improve.”

The boys 4×800 team, made up of Sam Brazer, Logan Carrington, Sam Rogers, and Logan Feierbach, missed winning all-state honors by 0.5 seconds, but they did win 1st at districts and brought Tuscarora its first district title for track. In addition to the 4×800 teams, state winners at last year’s competition included Madison Wells and Lori Kostka for high jump, Amirah Al-Bayyinah for triple jump, and Takiea Edmonds for the 300m hurdles.

Like most sports, track has evolved since its inception. Rosas, a junior and team captain, says, “[We’ve] definitely bonded. [We’re] working and running together.” Coach Harry, the boys’ assistant coach, who has been with the team since day one, adds,” I’ve seen them blossom into great competitors…[with] confidence and maturity,” while Coach Smyth, the girls’ head coach, says, “[The students] have grown tremendously. They’re much stronger and put together now.”

Making the track team into the group it is today is due to many people’s involvement, including coaches, team captains, and managers. Alex Strathdee, a junior, says the team has great coaching, and Madison Wells, also a junior, agrees. As a matter of fact, Strathdee’s season goal is to “make Coach Harry proud.” Eric Grimm, a senior, is one of the track managers. His duties, as he puts it, are as follows: “If they need something from the gym, I go get it. If they want me to fill up their water bottles, I do it.” Grimm also helps with timing and basically anything the team or coaches need him to do. As for captains, Rosas described her job as giving “lots of encouragement because everyone is nervous,” organizing everyone, and basically acting as a team cheerleader.

While many athletes participate in track because they love running, they also join for the experience. Alex Upp, a freshman, said her first year on the team has been “really fun, like a big family. There’s no pressure; you just do your best and have fun.” Wasko reinforced the idea, saying, “It’s not a team. It’s more of a family,” while Strathdee said, “[Track is] a good outlet. It teaches [you] commitment and how to work hard.”

As of mid-April, the track team has competed in three meets: the Carolyn Legard Relays; the first and only home meet, the Tuscarora Quad Meet; and the Northern Virginia Invitational. Several team members have already qualified for regionals and states, namely Brandon Chirinos (qualified for states in the discus); Madison Wells and Jordan Roach (qualified for regionals in the high jump); and the boys 4×800 team, consisting of John Dooney, Logan Feierbach, Sam Brazer, and Logan Feierbach (qualified for regionals). Also, at the Tuscarora Quad Meet, the Tuscarora boys and girls teams both finished first out of four teams.

Since the season has just started, many runners and coaches have goals, both personal and for the team in general. Breaking PRs, or personal records, is a goal for a lot of students, as is qualifying for and placing in states. Coach Smyth hopes to win districts, have the boys and girls teams place high in regionals, and make a strong showing at states, while Coach Harry wants to qualify as many runners as possible post-season, build on the success of the boys 4×800 who just missed all-state, get great individual performances from top runners, and graduate students with a “good experience so they continue running for the rest of their lives.”