SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ — Every year, teams lose and gain valuable new players. Considering the size of the team, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School track and field team experiences this on a whole new level.
“We have to see who has potential,” said head coach Jeffrey Koegel. “And then decide where to put them for short term and long term development.”
With the incoming talent and returning veterans, the Raiders rarely lose dual meets. However, with the loss of six of the fastest male sprinters, there are open spaces to be filled.
“During the winter season, we had some boys that started to emerge,” said Koegel. “Now, it’s about getting them in better shape and getting them used to being varsity athletes.”
The field events hold some competitive athletes as well. Koegel has high hopes for the girls hurdles event. According to Koegel, they have shown improvement over the winter season.
Unlike most sports, track and field does not only recognize team accomplishments; individuals also have the opportunity to compete up to the national level based on their personal records.
Junior thrower Maddie Weber is one of those track & field athletes who strives for success.
“I am most excited for hitting new personal records in the javelin, shot put and disc,” said Weber. “I am also excited to help my team advance in meets and score overall points.”
Seniors Summer Robinson and Isaiah Thompson won sectional championships in high jump this past winter. Koegel hopes to see more progression from them this coming season.
The Raiders' key long distance runners this season are Lukas Stein, Mary Catherine Stoval and Annie Pierce.
The Raiders will also participate in the Penn Relays, the biggest track meet in the world, at the end of April.
“The one thing about track that’s different than most other sports is that we use stop watches and tape measures, so you can measure your progress very easily,” said Koegel. “You know what you ran last week, you know what you jumped last week, you know what you threw last week. So, even if you’re not a superstar, you know where you stand.”