Indoor track season preps runners for spring
Call it travel ball for those who like to run.
Peak Performance Track Club, coached by former Berkeley track coach Twon Williams, recently competed in its first indoor track meet of the season in the North Carolina Runners Elite Holiday invitational in Winston-Salem, NC.
The traveling track team is comprised of nine area track athletes including Berkeley's Marissa Pinckney and Emanuel Collier. The team competed against more than 70 high school track athletes.
In addition to Pinckney and Collier, representing Peak Performance were Devon Duncanv (Ashley Ridge), Woodrow Jones (Ashley Ridge), Davon Anderson (Summerville), Shatasha Anderson (West Ashley), Shelia Austin (Ashley Ridge), Tiana NKanata (Ashley Ridge) and Sydnee Carroll (Ashley Ridge).
Williams said his team was optimistic going into its first indoor meet of the season.
“As always we go into our first competition of the season with an open mind, not really knowing what to expect,” he said. “Because we don't compete in indoor track and field on the high school level here in South Carolina we're forced to travel outside the state for competition.”
Pinckney and Collier had the team's best showing with Pinckney placing ninth in the 300-meter dash with a time of 42:25, and Collier finishing 11th out of 63 runners in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:10.65
“Our kids went to the meet and did a great job in handling the new experience,” Williams said. “Considering it was our first meet it's validation that everything we have been doing in practice since October has been working.”
Even though the team lacked any individual winners in their first meet of the season, Williams said it did turn in “some solid early season performances.”
“The entire purpose for competing in the meet was to see where my athletes are at this point and this meet allowed me to do so,” he said. “I got to see where we are physically and mentally.”
The girls 4 x 400 relay team of Pinckney, NKanata, Austin and Caroll notched a third place finish with a time of 4:22.
“Marissa and Tiana both split 1:03 on the first and second legs of the relay which gave us a 70-meter or so lead in our heat,” Williams said. “Shelia split a 1:07 on the third leg and did a great job of holding on to the lead that the first to girls set up for her. Considering Shelia's personal record in the 400 before this meet was a 1:14, I couldn't be happier for her. And Sydnee anchored with a 1:09.
“We were all alone for the last two legs and I sure had we had someone closer to us we could have run a sub 4:10.”
With the outdoor high school track season beginning in March, Williams hopes the winter indoor season gives his runners a leg up on the competition. Also, according to the Peak Performance coach, the indoor environment can be a tough nut to crack.
“In all the events we competed in this weekend I believe we could have showed a better showing than we did, but at the end of the day I believe the new event distances played a major impact on how the kids ran each race,” he said. “The 200-meter track (in comparison to the 400-meter outdoor track) really threw them for a loop. As a coach you can prepare them as much as you can but there is no substitute for actually running indoor track.”
For Berkeley's Marissa Pinckney, the transition from outdoors meets to indoors was a change.
"The meets are intense and you have to be on top of everything you do," she said. "Competing indoors was a change for me and I wasn't sure how the competition was going to be but after the first meet I knew what to prepare myself for."
Peak Performance travels to Johnson City, TN this weekend.