Teams in all sports work hard throughout the preseason and offseason so that they can be at their best when competition times. And throughout the season, there are a number of things that can affect how the season goes. Some things can be taken care of by the athlete or coach, while other things may be completely out of their control.
Malerie Merry is the head coach of the Woodward High School track team and she says that her squad had to deal with the injury bug this season.
“Last season was a good one for us,” Merry recalled. “We had three of our athletes qualify for the state track meet. We had two of our key senior athletes suffer injuries that ended their track season.”
With the season over for the two seniors, Merry looked to the rest of the team to carry the load and she said that they stepped up and did a good job.
“Dathan Custar is a key player on the team,” she said. “As a freshman distance runner, he has broken school records twice this season and has set a new Western Athletic Conference meet record in the 3200-meter run this season. Dathan sets goals each track meet and usually sets a new personal record in his races.
“Another one is Taelen Laird, a senior long jumper who finished third in the state in the long jump last season and looks to win a state championship this season to finish out his senior year. Hadley Carey is a freshman pole vaulter. She just started pole vaulting this season and has seen success in the event. She works extremely hard to get better each week.”
As she prepared for this season, Merry knew her team would be able to accomplish big things, and she hoped that they knew that too.
“My goals for this season were to qualify more than three people for the state track meet,” she recalled as her team prepared for regionals and state. “I also wanted the team to know that we can compete with other Class 5A schools in the state and that Woodward has some upcoming track athletes that could and can be a threat in races.”