Breaking the Stigma Around Indoor Track at EHHS
In the 2023 season, team members and Coach Dunne hope to change the EHHS track team’s reputation for being too challenging. Many people might think it only includes running, but there are a lot of different events and skills that make up the entire sport. Coach Dunne shared that there is an event for almost anyone, depending on your ability and interests. Some of the events of the track team include long jump, high jump, shot put, 55 meter high hurdles, 55 meter dash, 300 meter dash, 600 meter, 1000 meter, and many more.
EHHS Junior Erica Canfield knew from a young age that she liked running. This inspired her to work and practice hard so that she could eventually join the team and start her running at a competitive level. She says that joining the team has had some very positive impacts on her life. She has made more friends and her speed with running has significantly improved. Erica also acknowledges the oppositions a lot of students might have when they think of indoor track. Erica shared, “Most people think that when you join track all it is is running but it is actually a multi-event sport. You’re not always running. It’s a fun sport. It’s not really competitive with others and it’s a good way to get fit and make new friends.” Heading into the end of the indoor season, Erica discusses what she would like to see from the track team next school year and looks back on some memorable moments during this season so far. She continued, “I would like to see a lot more confidence in other team members, staying on track and focused, coming together as a team, and being there for each other. Every moment we have had in the fitness room as a whole group or separate as runners and throwers was memorable because that’s our bonding time and the only time we get to relax, have fun, and workout at the same time. And my last memorable moment was the first indoor meet of this year and making states for two of my five events.”
Senior captain Jessica Urban realized when she was younger that she loved to run. Her mother’s love for cross country inspired her to look into track. Ultimately, she decided to try out for the track team in 8th grade and has been doing it ever since. She says the competition against her score from the last meet is what challenges and motivates her to do her best and practice. She shared, “Without that competition I wouldn’t be as good at jumping or running like I am today. Without that competition I wouldn’t be where I am right now.” Jessica discusses how she thinks students have the wrong idea of indoor track and explains what they should know about the sport. She says a lot of students think that indoor track events are all made up of running but what they don’t realize is that there are so many other events in the sport. She explains that there is going to be conditioning and some type of running and lifting involved but that’s just the beginning. Jessica Shared, “It’s going to be hard but once you get used to it, get fit, and improve your endurance you are going to get better and start to have so much fun with the sport.” Since she is a senior captain she gives advice to next year’s captains of the team: She wants to “Inspire underclassmen to not give up because when I was a freshman the biggest problem we had were underclassmen quitting because the sport was too challenging or the conditioning was just way too difficult.” Overall the sport was a challenge for Jessica but despite those challenges, she manages to see the big picture and positives of the sport. She shares, “Every sport has some type of conditioning and every sport is going to be hard but for indoor track, you really have to get used to it.” Jessica says she believes that despite the challenges sports may bring, that you should never quit immediately after things get difficult but instead should try to persevere.
Mr. Dunne is the head coach of the indoor and outdoor track team at EHHS. He started coaching track in 1993. He says he has always loved track from a young age. His spark of interest in the sport started when he did track at his high school. Coach Dunne discusses the impact coaching has made on his life and his favorite part about coaching the sport. EHHS Football assistant coach, track coach, and health and P.E. teacher, Mr. Martin Dunne said, “This is my 44th year as a coach. It’s my 44th year of coaching football and it’s my 30th year of coaching track.” He says he always knew teaching and coaching were things he wanted to do growing up. He continued, “I knew when I was in 6th or 7th grade that I wanted to be a teacher, that I wanted to coach, and I loved football and track when I was younger.” He says his favorite part about coaching the sport is watching his athletes make progress and the interaction he gets to have with his athletes during meets and practices. Coach Dunne explains that he knows that he’s helped a lot of kids get to college whether it be with a free education or partially free education through athletic full scholarship, partial scholarship, or financial aid. To be able to help students with those things means a lot to him. When it comes to motivating the players on his team he says that oftentimes he will teach the athletes and then encourage them when they are successful or when he sees improvement. He says, “You need to encourage them every time they are doing something you’ve asked them to do.” Although the coach would love for students to join track on their own, he says oftentimes he will ask students in his classes who he feels would do great on the team if they would like to come out to join. He shares, “I see kids in my classes and kids around school and I mean I coach the football team as well so I see boys and girls in my classes whether it’s health classes or physical ed classes or I see them around school and just you know ask them why don’t you come out for the team either the indoor season or if you are tied up for the winter time come out for the spring season.”
The members of the team and their coach all collectively said they feel others should do indoor track because it’s more than just running. They’ve all expressed that there’s an event for everyone at any level and that with lots of conditioning, hard work, and practice you will get so much better and begin to love the sport.