Each team who was competing, along with the hundreds of fans in the stands, were glad to see the sun shining and feel the warm air at Tuesday night’s IHSAA Girls Track Sectionals. Competitors prepared for the big meet all in their own separate ways: some chatting while huddled around their teammates while others quietly said a prayer hand in hand.
“It’s beautiful out right now and I’m so excited to compete,” Carolyn Delgado, Lake Central High School senior. “I try to motivate myself before big meets like this, get enough sleep, and just think positive thoughts while keeping a good mindset throughout the day.”
Positive thoughts and shouts seemed to be radiating from every angle at Tuesday’s competition, echoing from the stands and teammates from the sidelines as runners circled the track.
“My teammates really help keep me calm and pick me up when I’m down at practice, before events and during,” said Delgado.
High schools across the Region were in attendance including Andrean, Calumet, Crown Point, Griffith, Hanover Central, Hobart, Lake Central, Edison, Lowell, Merrillville, and River Forest.
“Big meets like this take a lot of preparation and volunteers in order to make things run smoothly. Many are alumni who continue to come back and help each year which is great to see,” said Scott Coil, Head Coach of Lowell High School Girls Track.
With big meets such as sectionals comes frantic competitors and nerves. Coaches emphasize the importance of urging their teams to have a level head.
“I try to make sure the team doesn’t freak out too much going into big meets like today. The main thing is to not worry about anyone else’s times and to just run your own race. We’ve made a lot of big improvements this year, and we are looking forward to next year,” said Sean Hillier, Assistant Coach of Griffith High School Girls Track.
At the end of the day, competitors use their teammates to lean on. Although track can be considered a more individual sport, everyone is rooting for one another when it comes down to it.
“It’s always a team effort,” said Hillier. “We have a lot of siblings on the team which is cool to see. We all push each other and hope to continue to improve and build for next year.”