Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

Track stars of tomorrow hone their skills today


Star photo by Lillian Palmer

Eighth grade students Raena Finch and Korbin Serrano practice hurtles.

On weekday afternoons, about 62 Lincoln Middle School students can be seen on the track field, running, hurtling, jumping.

Their faces exert concentration and sweat. They are all trying to meet personal and team goals. Some are striving to break years-standing school records, while others are making hard-fought efforts to break personal records of their own. The middle school students today are the high school track athletes of tomorrow.

"If their techniques are good coming our of middle school, they don't have to start at the beginning when they get to high school," track coach Wally Cantrell said. "It makes a difference."

Starting a sport in middle school makes a difference in the students, Cantrell said, not only in athletic terms but in life as well. It helps them learn to make goals, he said. As far as middle school sports go, Cantrell said there is boys swimming and track.

"If they are not doing one of those, then what are they doing," he asked.

The many students involved in track have an after-school activity to be involved with, as well as something to be passionate about, something to set goals for and strive to accomplish.

"Its a good experience for them," Cantrell said. "They find out they are better than they thought they were."

"I just want them to learn and get better," he said.

The middle school track team is all about setting goals, and

striving to meet them.

"If they learn to set goals that this age, life is about setting goals," he said.

Lincoln Middle School track students will travel to Lander Thursday for the Best of the Best track meet. Each one of them have goals for their events. Eighth grade students Raena Finch and Korbin Serrano were practicing their hurtles Monday afternoon. Finch plans to do compete in the 41-meter relay, and the 100 and 200-meter hurtle. Her confidence lies in the 100 hurtle.

"There's more speed with less space in between," Finch said. "The 200 is more rough."

Finch and Serrano are excited for the meet Thursday, and excited for the competition.

"I like the competition, motivation and excitement at the meet," Finch said. "It pushes me to do better."

"The feeling of trying to beat the other team pushes yourself to win," Serrano said.

Finch and Serrano plan to participate in indoor track next year when they get to high school. They've already developed a passion for the sport. Their eight-grade year has made that a reality.

Cantrell is confident in his athletes for Thursday's meet, and confident they will get close to their goals, if not surpass them.

"I got a good bunch of athletes," Cantrell said. "We'll see what happens on Thursday. We'll leave early Thursday morning, break a few records and come home."


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