Coed track launches new season

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Kristen Witt

On Feb 29, an unprecedented event took place in the realm of West Athletics: the first official practice of coed Track and Field.

“There is a lot of opportunity for athletes to grow by combining the boys and girls teams,” new girls Head Coach Kristin Witt said. “We will be warming up together, going to meets together, and sharing coaches between the boys’ and girls’ teams. The variety and strength of coaches on both sides will strengthen our field events, our running events and our jumps.”

Although it is Witt’s first year as the girls’ head coach, she has been a high school cross country and track runner herself as well as the assistant coach for boys’ cross country and hurdles for four years.

“I love seeing athletes improve, get better, believe in themselves and achieve their goals. I know exactly where they’re at and exactly what they’re feeling when a workout is really hard because I’ve been there and understand the struggles and triumphs of running,” Witt said.

In addition to the change in girls’ leadership, a slew of new and returning coaches all are combining forces to mentor up to 130 athletes who attended the informational meeting in January.

“Having more coaches will give us a chance to focus and specialize in events rather than having to coach multiple events at the same time,” Boys’ Head Coach Kevin John said.

Because of Witt’s appointment to the new position, the athletic department provided funds for new uniforms, singlets and equipment.   

Track's new JV singlets will have the same design for both the boys' and girls' teams.
Kristen Witt
Track’s new Varsity singlets will have the same design for both the boys’ and girls’ teams.

“The guys and girls new warm-ups will look very similar, which is new this year,” Witt said. “With the new partnership with Adidas, we were able to get new singlets for both varsity and JV, and I think everyone will be really excited about them.”

For new runners and old, the track season holds opportunity for self and team improvement.

“I ran Cross Country this fall and I loved pushing myself and improving my times and making new friends,” freshman Claire Smout said. “I’m hoping this track season to continue bonding with my teammates and maybe break 5:30 in the mile and overall just learn the ropes around the track program.”