The race is on: offseason track races change the competition

Offseason track brings with it the promise of hard work paying off in winning races and improving times.

“Offseason begins after cross country ends,” said Lexi Bolanos, junior, “We begin preparing for our spring season so we race in some indoor meets and outdoor meets that are local or we just had one in Seattle last Saturday.”

The races run from January to March, with the normal track season starting at the end of March. The offseason is coached by Sean Brosnan, Marty Maciel and Sean Fought.

Since California does not have an official winter track season, the offseason races force the team to travel in order to compete. “So far the guys’ team has only been to three (meets),” Nathaniel Garner, junior, said. “Arcadia offseason, one down in Semi, which was (way) too windy…(and) we went down to one in Washington University in Seattle.”

“The meets we go to are called All Comer meets,” Nicole Burch, senior, said. “They are normal track races except they are (the) indoor series, but it’s outdoor track. The races are different so (the mile) is the 1500 (meters), you’ll run the 600 instead of the 800…so just different races. They have the 400m hurdles instead of the 300m hurdles.”

In addition to the changes in the races, the participants of offseason meets are competing for a different prize than the season races.

“It’s people who want to qualify for the indoor state championship,” said Burch. “Everyone is running fast, there are no slow people in it, it’s all people who take it seriously, because usually people who don’t take track seriously don’t do it.”

Offseason track gives athletes the chance to test their skills against new opponents.

“With the offseason there’s the opportunity to run against people not in your league,” Garner said, “and maybe you can get into some open college races that push you to be faster. It’s also a good way to gauge how fast you are going before the season starts.”

For Bolanos, the offseason and the season races are both enjoyable. “I like both of them,” she said, “because by the time preseason starts for the winter season, I’m excited to race again, but spring season is more of a reward  because you’ve been training for longer and the meets start to count for things. You start going to finals and prelims and CIF, so you have things to work towards.”

The offseason track races let the team see where they are and get ready to compete for the Marmonte League.

“It’s just a good opportunity to start running and get that feeling of racing before the spring season starts,” Bolanos said.

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