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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Stillwater Pony Express

A fresh start: girls track team welcomes new coach for season

The+girls+track+team+welcomes+in+new+head+coach+Travis+Birklid.+They+have+success+throughout+season+and+are+now+moving+on+to+True+Team+State+on+May+17.
Photo by Kaylee Lowe
The girls track team welcomes in new head coach Travis Birklid. They have success throughout season and are now moving on to True Team State on May 17.

Change is in the air for the girls track team as they welcome in new head coach Travis Birklid. The team retired their old track coach after several years of coaching and were in search of a new coach. Alongside the head coach, other events got new coaches as well. The team fills with excitement and are ready for the season with a few new coaches.

When receiving a new coach it can change the team for better or for worse, but for the team it mainly just changes the team dynamics. The practices for the team have looked a little different with having a new coach.

Sophomore Isabel Issacson thinks that the team dynamic have changed because it is really different from last year, but does not think it is a bad thing. She thinks it is just new and they are collaborating differently.

New seasons brings new seniors and new captains as well. This season the team has four captains. The captains work alongside the coaches to help athletes succeed and to also help the team do better as a whole.

“We do a lot of the management stuff. We schedule and organize the pasta feeds, design the merch and handle distributing the merch. We’ll organize the banquet and really just help assist coaches and teach kids when the coaches are a little bit busy. That’s kind of what’s different as a captain, I would say. It’s pretty much the same with the new head coach, being captain. It’s all the same kind of duties,” senior captain Cayman Pagel said.

We do a lot of like the management stuff. So we schedule and organize the pasta feeds. We design the merch, we handle distributing the merch. We’ll organize the banquet and really just helping assist coaches and teach kids when the coaches are a little bit busy. That’s kind of what’s different as a captain, I would say. It’s pretty much the same with the new head coach, being captain. It’s all the same kind of duties.”

— Cayman Pagel

Each event looks quite different as they have different coaches. But the head coach always makes sure the team warms up all together and makes sure they stay away from injuries by ending practice “rolling out with foam rollers,” senior Anya Williams said.

“We get out there as close to 230 as we can. And then the coaches will talk about either a previous meet or meet coming up so like lineups and they talk about who is competing. They [coaches] give a rundown of what practice is going to look like, announcements and then we do our warm up. That takes like 15 ish minutes, do some buildups to finish it off. And then depending on the day, we’re either doing pre meet or like event work. Sometimes we do like lactic or speed workouts. It just depends on the day. And then we do a cooldown kind of rollout with some foam rollers, do abs and shin splints stuff and then call it good,” Williams said.

The team’s old coach was the coach of just one event, so when another coach stepped in the team was hoping he would be interested in all events.

“I think because of the new head coach, he is a hurdles coach and he also worked with sprints at his last school. He’s a lot more involved in everything that goes on like our own head coach, Miss Podolske went off with the distance girl everyday, and said the other coaches got you. So the new head coach gets really involved in all the events even once he does not coach. He is getting involved. He’s asking questions he’s trying to help. So that’s also been a little bit of a learning curve. But today, he is just very involved in everything and all the events that we do,” Pagel said.

The team has shown commitment and growth with having a new coach. The team has placed just the same as previous years. They are now ready to head to their True Team State meet on May 17.

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About the Contributor
Kaylee Lowe
Kaylee Lowe, Business Editor
My name is Kaylee Lowe and I am 16 years old. Outside of school I am on the Stillwater chevals dance team and the Stillwater girls track team. I enjoy being outside. And my favorite season is fall. In school I am in Newspaper and my staff job is Business. So I go around and do fundraisers to help raise money for ink so we can publish our newspapers on time.

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