Indoor Track offers athletic opportunities

Raegan Rains, Reporter

Sandwiched between its more well- known peers—cross country and outdoor track—indoor track is often overlooked. The fact that indoor track happens inside, and has a smaller track, does not disqualify it from being difficult and a competitive sport.

Confined to indoors, the tracks have six lanes instead of the typical eight or nine lanes. The turns of the track are raised up from the ground so as to aid runners in navigating centrifugal force as they’re zipping around the track. Distances are also different: on an outdoor track a 400 is one lap but on the shortened indoor track it’s now two laps.

Senior athlete Elise Curtis said that pacing in indoor track is key, since the distance is not changed but the amount of laps run is doubled.

The indoor track season usually starts in December, has a break for holidays, begins again in January and then is finished before March, just in time for the outdoor track season to start.

The indoor track season is primetime for athletes to get into the zone before an outdoor track season.

“I was always wondering when preseason started and when there would be a possibility to do indoor track, so that I could get a step ahead of everyone else and get conditioned,” Curtis said.

Indoor track’s placement in the chilly winter months makes it enticing to athletes who want to condition themselves before spring sports.

“This is only their second year doing it,” track coach Epley Hamilton said. “And we thought we’d get involved for all the athletes that aren’t participating in a winter sport to get going and start the season early.”

However, because the season is not sponsored by Bellevue West and is of the athletes own accord, they aren’t able to practice as many days as week. In Nebraska, the NSAA does not offer an indoor track season for high schoolers but colleges around the state do. Meets are open to all high schoolers who can get a ride and are willing to pay the fee.

“At our meets, we are not allowed to wear jerseys that are affiliated with our school,” Curtis said. “So our coaches can bring us the idea and they can be there at the meet with us but they’re not technically our coach; this is a completely individual thing.”

For high schoolers at least, participating in indoor track meets is a good chance for them to explore their individuality as athletes and take that extra step in preparing for a good outdoor track season.

“We’ve set a lot of records and I think that it’s setting up to be a really good outdoor track season for us,” Hamilton said.

According to the track team’s Twitter account, West athletes have done well at indoor meets. Senior Natalie McNamara ran 5:33 in the 1600, a personal record, at the meet held at College of Saint Mary on Jan. 29. At that same meet junior Dae’vonn Hall won the high jump setting a record of 6’9”, a full foot over the athlete that came in second place. The outdoor track season starts Monday Feb. 27.