New coach and pre-seaon prep for track team

by Luna Johnston

Track season begins on Monday, March 12th. With the season quickly approaching it’s expected that athletes have already began conditioning.

“It is a very small window from our first practice to our first track meet,” Coach Kirkland said. “Coming in with preparation for the cardiovascular and physical aspect will help greatly.”

In past years, there has always been a group that does pre-season workouts together but this year athletes are expected to perform workouts by themselves. Matija Saarenheimovanderhorst participated in pre-season conditioning in past years, but has had to change her methods.

“Not having a preseason does stress me out a little,” Saarenheimovanderhorst said. “But I’ve been doing other workouts that previous coaches have taught me.”

Saarenheimovanderhorst’s goal this track season is to focus on discus. She had a twenty foot jump last year and if she has another, she could compete in states which is her main goal.


Other new changes are forthcoming this track season, including the new head coach, John Ybarra. Ybarra has a history of coaching at Yale and has several accomplishments of his own as a thrower. He was a 2012 US Olympic Trials competitor and he finished fifth at the 2011 USA Indoor National Track and Field Championships and finished 2010 ranked in the top 20 in the shot put in the United States.

Co-coach Kirkland works with the girls track team, she has an extensive history with the sport and has been a coach for eighteen years.

“Coaching track and field has been a wonderful journey for me over the past 18 years” Kirkland said. “I am still a little giddy when we get to walk out onto the track for the first time each season.”

In highschool, Ms. Kirkland was a sprinter, participating in the 400m dash and several relays including the 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m. As a junior her 4x100m relay team broke the school record and it still stands today!

“Sports has always been in my blood,” she said. “Track was one of my favorite sports to participate in when I was in high school.”