Written by Tatsuhito Matsumoto
As the weather got warmer, the Track and Field team began by running the five kilometer run that tests out the newcomers every year. With returning members, new students, and a new theme, “Pride and Performance” the team is now ready for their season.
Since Track and Field is a sport which consists of many different events, there are many coaches involved. This year, four coaches will each be leading different event squads. For the track runners, Mr. Ichikawa the head coach will be leading the short distance (including hurdles) for both the middle and high school and will also coach the long distance for middle school. Mr. Washio is in charge of the high school long distance. For the field players, Mr. Dogra will be directing the shot-put and discus, and Mr. McGuire will manage practice for the high and long jump. The field practice will also be a combination of high and middle school.
Each event squad, has a few differences at practice. For short and long distance, practice will be held from Monday through Thursday starting 3:40 pm and ending around 5:00 pm, the same as last year, but the change is that Friday will be a rest day for the meets on Saturday. Since there is no practice, it will be a day for self preparation or team meetings will be held. For the field athletes, there will now be only three practices a week. It is not yet finalised, but the first meet should take place on Saturday, March 19th. There will be four meets in April, and meets will continue until the second week of May with Far East closing the season. When we can get a reservation, practice will be at Kinuta Park, where the team can practice using starting blocks and perform relays on an actual track. This usually ends around 7:00 pm.
Another new change for this year is that the team will have few meets during the week, and this is due to a major stadium renovations in the Kanto area, in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. This means that students in track and field will be missing less class time to compete.
To answer questions like, “What will practice be like? Or Is there something you would like to improve or changes?” Coach Ichikawa answered, “For short distance, the focus this year is to improve on the endurance and stamina. To do this, the team will be working on strength, which includes more stretching, warm ups and activating the glutes. Another way to improve is by running more repetitions of short distance.” Coach Washio commented, “There will not be any changes, but the practices will be more high quality. Since I am in charge of long distance, I would like the runners to make their target time shorter everyday. When asked, “Is there anything you would like to accomplish as a coach?”, he added, “I hope the runners become faster at the end of season than at the start and that they establish self confidence from the effort they make.” Mr. McGuire, answered, “I don’t think there will be many changes”, but he continued “I want more people to come and try out. A lot of good runners are good jumpers; I’d like to see more people to try it; we never have enough”. Mr. Dogra responded, “We will be out on the field throwing and since we do a lot of throwing, we will also use the weight room to strengthen the core.” And he continued, “I would want to see more responsibility this year from the students and more motivation through the end of season”.
The new theme for this year is “Performance of Pride” Coach Ichikawa explains,
“It just doesn’t mean you have to be good in front of people, but more or less proud of yourself. Whether you’re fast or slow, I want each individual to do their best and be honest with himself.”
With this new theme, runners have started practice to make their personal best time and to eventually compete at the Far East Tournament.