Indoor track team gears up for ECCs
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Mon., Jan. 21, 2013
Snow on the ground means nothing to the Griswold High School indoor track team. The sidewalks in front of the high school were clear, so bands of runners practiced their sprints back and forth along the 150-meter stretch of pavement, clad in anything from earmuffs and sweats to muscle shirts and shorts.
Indoors, the hurdlers were set up in front of the auditorium doors, their practice runs being dodged by occasional maintenance workers cleaning up the floors at the end of the school day. It’s catch as catch can for facility space, but that’s a function of running track events in the dead of winter.
“We go outside when we can. We use the auxiliary gym when we can. We take whatever’s left over,” said coach Chris Morth. Practice for the throwing and jumping events is contingent on whether another team’s got the gym for the afternoon. But while the team may not have a permanent winter home in the building, it still carries plenty of clout in the school record books: five girls’ ECC team championships in a row, eight boys’ ECC team championships in nine years, missing out only in 2009.
Morth is aiming to repeat this year, but his 60-athlete squad will face some challenging competition in the Feb. 2 ECCs. Ledyard is the favorite to take the boys’ title, and the girls’ competition “is going to be very interesting against Plainfield and Ledyard. It’s really going to come down to who’s the healthiest. We’ve had some injuries, but Ledyard has had some injuries too,” he said. “The competition’s also gotten better from other teams this year. We could win by 20 points or we could end up in third place. It depends on what kind of intensity, drive and competitiveness we have to get done what we have done in the past.”
Shot-put standout Adam Rock is the only individual GHS athlete Morth is willing to bet on as a shoo-in at the ECCs. “We’re rather balanced this year. There’s not one event that’s going to carry us this year,” said Morth. “If we win, it’s going to be a team effort.”