Track: New season, New Expectations

Julian Chase Alvarez, Staff Writer

Track Season can be very difficult for new runners, luckily Armuchee has some experienced athletes. With the track team having a successful season last year they have some new expectations to be even better this season in 2023. Coach Traylor, track coach for the boys and throwers, said, “My biggest expectation for my team this year is to see them try their hardest and to try and PR every chance they get. I want to see them give it their all and have a good time running. I feel when people like doing something they will try harder.” Coach Traylor is very confident in his team and their efforts. He has a high level of standard and wants his expectations to be met and exceeded, he knows that his team can do it. Ben Owens, a sophomore and first-time track runner, said, “This is my first year running track and I feel very confident. My coaches have set high expectations for me and my teammates, and I feel like we can come out on top and win state!” The ultimate goal: bring home a state title back to AHS.

This year Armuchee faces a new challenge, having to take down private schools along with the rest of single A. According to the team, Darlington is their biggest competitor. Darlington is a private school in the Rome and Floyd county area and shows lots of talent on their team. Ben Owens said, “Grant Cross is my main competition for track, I run the 1600m and the 800m and he is a fast and mentally tough opponent.” Most runners find competition in other schools, but Armuchee sets a different expectation for competition. Coaches expect every runner to be fighting for their spot on the A team or for individual races. Landon Egland, a senior at Armuchee, said, “My main competition is Matthew Campbell. We have been running together since freshman year. We do every long run, speed workout, and recovery together. It will be a tough competition this year between him and me.”

Every Armuchee runner has this type of pressure and expectation from each other and for themselves. They want to be faster than each other, and they want to win. Freshman Luke Hagrich started his running career this year by running cross country. When asked who his biggest competition was he said, “Sam Lindly…” Sam Lindly is a sophomore at Armuchee High School and is a prominent runner and has proven himself in cross country and is currently doing track with a mile time of 4:56. Luke Hagrich said, “Sam is fast but I think if I just let him lead I can out-kick him.”

The Armuchee track runners have their own expectations for themselves and pride themselves in their sport. Tyler Johnson, a junior at AHS, said, “My expectation for myself is to always push myself no matter what and to never give up.” These runners are very dedicated and it does not go unnoticed. Coach Traylor said, “These are some really committed athletes and I am already proud of them.” There are high expectations for this team but there’s also love, compassion, and a sense of belonging for the Armuchee track team.