Athens runners set school records for hurdles, pole vault, long distance, sprints

Sean Herbst, Sports Copy Editor

The 2018-2019 Athens Drive High School winter track and field season has been full of personal, team and state records. Runners across the board exceeded the past years’ accomplishments and this year’s goals.

Seniors Tyler Nixon, Michael O’Leary and Tashyla White all set school records in three different events. Maddie Davies, freshman also set an Athens Drive record for pole vault. Lastly, Will Burke, junior, ran the best 1000 meter time in school history.

Led by coaches Ross Kennel, science teacher, and Allison Corretore, science teacher, this year’s team has had a record breaking year and multiple scholarships to big name schools. Quality practices have been a key part of this success, as studies have shown that practice can help positively affect almost all athletes.

“Our practices differ depending on which event group you are in. If you’re a thrower, you would probably start in the weight room and then go out and throw either shot put or discus. For sprints, there are acceleration days and resistance training. We also do ladders which would help them get used to the pace that they’re going to be running at. Then, mid-distance is longer runs so they work on conversational a pace that they are going to need to find on their own during competitions,” said Kennel.

O’Leary ran a record-breaking 300 meter at 35.24 seconds. Previously, his personal record was set at 36.74, a 1.50 second difference. Tashyla White set the ADHS record for 55 meter hurdles with a time of 8.44 seconds.

Nixon ran a 1:09.10 500 meter, beating his old record of 1:09.38. Although a mere .28 seconds may not seem like much, this is a significant improvement in terms of track record times.

“It has been really cool working along side and watching my friends break records. It also makes me want to work harder so I can break some as well,” said Cayla Harding, Athens Drive sprinter.

Burke finished his 1000 meter race with a school record time of 2:43.94. Prior to this, Burke’s personal record was 2:43.74, his improvement to being .20 seconds.

Davies was able to become an Athens Drive pole vaulting record holder during the 2018-2019 season. Davis launched herself over an 11 foot 6 inch bar, in turn leaping into the Athens history books.

“This is the most excited I have been going into a season. This is my third year here so when I first came, the seniors and juniors were sophomore and freshman. It’s awesome watching them grow and develop as athletes. Seeing a lot of them get scholarships going to run in college is a really awesome feeling. I’m super excited for what is in store for them,” said Kennel.