Winter Track and Field Districts


As the winter sports season closes, winter track begins the most competitive aspect of the season: district competitions. Runners race in a variety of events, some of which include 100 meter dash, 4×200 meter relay, 500 meter dash, 3200 meter, and many more. Teams from the district that will be competing include Lake Braddock Secondary, Annandale HS, WT Woodson HS, Mount Vernon HS, Robert E. Lee HS, South County Secondary, TC Williams HS, and West Springfield HS.


Kacie O’Boyle, a junior distance runner, is running the 1600 meter, a distance equivalent to a mile. She is a three-season athlete who has been running track since her freshman year. Her experience gave her confidence going into the race on Saturday.


“I am nervous, but we have been training really hard this season and my times are a lot faster than last year,” she said.


Freshman sprinter Trinity Thompson is running in the 4×200 meter and 300 meter dash. This will be Thompson’s first year competing at the district level.


“It is kind of nerve racking, but I have done it a few times so I am pretty used to it by now,” she said.


The training leading up to the race is essential for the runners. They can’t push too hard for fear of injury, but at want to keep loose leading up to the events.


“We are starting to taper, [which means] just taking it easy until our upper muscles recuperate and get ready for a good race. We have also done more speed work [this week],” O’Boyle said.


Pre-race pep and pre-race rituals are different for each runner. Whether it is superstitions or a pre-race snack, the district runners each have a routine of their own, ranging from calming to focus their minds, to pumping themselves up.


“I like to have my morning tea. I always wear my racing socks,” said O’Boyle.


Thompson, however, prepares by increasing the energy around her.


“I just listen to a lot of music and try to get pumped up before my run,” she said.


During districts some runners are looking for personal bests, while others are looking to win it all.


“I want a PR (personal record) so a 5:40 [minutes] or below [for the 1600-meter race],” O’Boyle said.


For Trinity, who is a sprinter, even just one second is a great improvement. It takes a lot of training and hard work for sprinters to take off significant amounts of time.


“I am just trying to take a couple seconds off. My time in the 300m is 46 seconds, so I am trying to get around 44 to 45 seconds right now.”


These athletes all run for many different reasons. Some run for the thrill, some because they love it, and others because they want to win. Whatever the reason, it motivates them to work hard and run their fastest.


“The best part is probably just having your teammates cheer you on,” Thompson said.


There are ups and downs in all sports. There are moments that people dread, and moments that people remember for the rest of their life. O’Boyle, who only has a year and a half left to compete at the high school level, knew how to stay focused and competitive.


“[The best part of running track is] probably the feeling afterwards — the accomplishment that you are done.”