Cougars inching close to first meet

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Escambia Academy’s track team is just eight days away from their first meet of the season, which will be held in Canoe on March 17.

At that meet, the Cougars will begin their quest for a fifth consecutive AISA state championship, but earning that championship will not come easily.

The team has begun practicing and have a number of athletes coming out to help them win that championship.

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According to head coach Heath Gibson, the Cougars have a lot of students out for track this year.

“We have close to 50 boys and girls coming out for the track team this year,” he said. “It will be nice to have a lot of them out there to determine who can help us at different events.”

The Cougars, while having strengths, still have plenty of weaknesses that Gibson is hoping to fix by the time the first meet begins.

“Right now, we are just trying to figure things out,” he said. “We need to know who can do what before our first meet on March 17. We will know more about how we are and where we stand then. We’ve got Meadowview coming to compete and possibly Clarke Prep, so it will be a good meet to judge ourselves by.”

As of now, the Cougars are working to improve their conditioning to make sure their team is in the right shape to compete at their first meet.

Gibson has the team doing a lot of running and exercises to get them ready for the events they will compete in.

“We are doing a lot of cardio work to get their heart rates up,” he said. “They have also been lifting weights since football ended, so strength-wise we are in good shape.”

The main concern for the Cougars is finding long distance runners.

Gibson said he is looking for the right type of runner to take that position.

“We need someone who has a real good long stride,” he said. “Long-distance runners are a lot different than speed runners. They don’t need those quick twitch muscles as much and their muscles cannot cramp as much. It’s all about finding the right person for those long events.”

The Cougars first track meet is on Thursday, March 17 at Escambia Academy in Canoe.