Snow poses no worries for Truckee High track team
The Truckee High track and field squad is healthy with numbers for the 2005 season.
“We’re looking to be a real talented team with a lot of depth,” coach Diana Yale said of her 53-member team. “There’s a lot of student interest.”
The team is also deep with six coaches: Yale, Bob Shaffer, Bob Blount, Bob Snyder, Larry Ochoa and Robbie McClendon.
McClendon, 24, graduated from Truckee High in 1999 before becoming an All-American in track and field and cross country at California State University San Marcos near San Diego. He is currently training for the 2008 Olympic trials in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and the one mile.
McClendon thinks highly of the team.
“Some of the kids have a lot of potential,” he said. “There could be some state champions if they listen up and work hard. They just need to do the little things.”
Among the little things that track teams must do is lots of running ” up to 25-30 miles a week, McClendon said, with an ultimate goal of up to 40-45 miles. The team has been warming up for practice by jogging to the baseball field. Then they pile into the Truckee gym for some exercises led by McClendon, such as hill climbs, lounges, power steps and bounds.
With snow lingering outside, the gym is a handy resource.
“It’s like this every year,” Yale said about the spring snow limiting outside practice. “We have to train in the halls, the gym and along the road. It’s the one challenge we have, but I think it makes them tougher. Plus the high elevation, it gives us an edge.”
Many students who came out for the team are already in good shape because of their participation in a winter sport, such as basketball or cross country skiing. Maisha Goodpaster, who is competing in the Cross Country Junior Olympics all week, and Jamie Maehler, who is fresh from basketball, are examples.
Maehler is new to the sport. The standout receiver who helped lead the Wolverines to a 3A state title last season said he hopes to improve his speed before leaving to play football for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Maehler’s events are the 200-and 400-meter runs and the four-by-200 and four-by-400 relays. He said he prefers the longer races to sprints because it “takes time to get going.”
With the weather warming and snow melting, Yale is encouraged by the way the season is going so far.
“We do have slight disadvantage, but we try to make up for that,” she said. “[The snow] doesn’t slow us down. And if this weather keeps up, it’s looking pretty good.”
The Wolverines’ first meet, the King Gilbert Invitational, is Saturday, March 12 at Granite Bay High.