PRC track dealing with cancellations

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 11, 2021

Pearl River Central’s track program has had a slow start to the season after taking part in a work meet nearly two weeks ago.

However, the first meet of the season did yield some positive results even if the team has been unable to compete since then.

PRC took the top four spots in the 3,200-meter run with Gavin Garza (first), Grant Bowen (second), Jackson Lossett (third) and Noah Waltman (fourth) dominating the opposition.

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Aubrey Martin won the 400-meter and 800-meter dash, and Hunter Bond took first place in the triple jump.

The team doesn’t have a track to practice on, so attending a meet is the only way for the athletes to grow accustomed to the rules, regulations and expectations.
Add in the team’s overall youth, of the team’s 36 athletes 11 attend middle school, and Coach Blake Rutherford expects his team to get better as the athletes get more comfortable.

“I fully expect our times, confidence levels and knowledge to get better as time goes on. It’s practice for us, running at a meet, and knowing certain rules, like for relays using the symbols on the track to tighten up transitions,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford limited the number of events athletes could participate in because the majority of the squad is so inexperienced.

The plan is for those restrictions to lessen over time so that Rutherford can evaluate each athlete and determine their best events.

“As the season goes on and we get to have a meet every week, I’m really going to see what people can do in each event. Instead of running two events I’ll get them to run four just to see what their niche really is,” Rutherford said.

Now the pace of the meets is going to start picking up with Rutherford having his team participate in one per week for the foreseeable future.

Growing the team is a long term project that Rutherford is currently undertaking, and he’s hoping as the meets continue and positive results keep coming that more and more athletes will be interested in joining the program.

“I want to pull more from all of these other sports because track and field is really an athlete’s sport. I want to pull from other sports to help their athletes and help them learn something about themselves doing track. My expectation is to get more athletes out for track and then that culture will grow,” Rutherford said.

PRC has a meet against West Harrison this week before taking part in a meet at St. Patrick on March 17.