GVC track team is 'In the Running' for a successful season

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Angela (Grade 12)

Even with official practices five months away, the Garden Valley Collegiate track and field team has already hit the ground running. And soon, they'll be running on a brand new track facility, which, coaches agree, should help them even more this season.

The new track facility is creating a lot of excitement. Lorne Warkentine, one of the main coaches of the team, is heavily involved in the project. He feels that there will be many benefits to the team, school, and community. "The new track will give the team a longer training season and also more accurate and easier training," he explains. He goes on to say that with the new facilities, timings for sprints and relays will be much more accurate. The training will be easier because athletes won't have to dodge puddles as they did with their old gravel track. He also notes that because Garden Valley will now be able to host meets, athletes will perform better. They will gain more experience in competition and will also have the advantage of competing at home.

The school will benefit from the new facility because of the added publicity and also because of the new soccer field that comes with the track. Warkentine adds that the larger community will also benefit. They will be able to come and cheer on the team members, and other schools in the area will be able to host meets as well.

The construction has already started, but Warkentine notes, "We still have a lot of money to raise." So far, in combined efforts with Student Council, the School Division and the Town Council, along with grants and community involvement, there has been about $195,000 raised. Almost $30,000 is still needed. He explains that the Track Fundraising Committee has been hard at work; they recently canvassed local businesses for support, and are about to launch a new fundraising campaign selling calendars. The project is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

Warkentine is also thinking about the team as he prepares for the upcoming track season. The Garden Valley Collegiate Zodiacs have a very successful history in track and field. They have placed in the top three at provincials for the past eight years, and have won their zone championship 12 years in a row. As a coach, he has high expectations for the team -- that they will again win zones and that they will be in contention for some provincial banners as well.

Some athletes are also busy preparing. Chad N., a high jumper, triple jumper, and relay runner, works out three to four times a week. Other track athletes keep fit by being involved in other sports. Most of the athletes also have high expectations for this coming season. Chad has already set his goals for this year: he plans to finish among the top five in the province.

Everyone agrees that it should be a successful season for the Garden Valley Collegiate track team. They have a history of doing well, and according to the coaches, with this new track facility, there is even more to come.

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