York Comprehensive High School boys’ varsity track coach Joey Moore and girls’ coach David Griffin say they are feeling the effects of having a feeder program to bolster high school track.
“We have more young track participants than ever,” Moore said before a March 20 home three-way meet with Clover and South Point, N.C.
“They started a track program at York Middle School last year and it is helping us this season,” he said. “Eighteen of our 50 varsity track participants are ninth-graders.”
“Two years from now, the York Middle School track program will really make a difference at the varsity level,” Moore said.
Griffin said the middle-school track program will benefit the York track teams for years to come. “Kids who were middle-school track participants the previous year know what events they like when they become ninth-graders at YCHS,” he said.
The York Middle School girls’ and boys’ track teams opened the season with wins against Clover Middle School and Oak Ridge Middle in a March 20 three-way meet before a large crowd at Pratt Field.
“I want to go watch the middle-school track teams if my schedule will allow it,” Moore said.
Moore said this year’s Cougars track team has a good blend of youth and experience. “With so many young participants, we have seniors and others with experience in their events,” Moore said. “It’s good to have proven competitors.”
Moore said the field events and jumpers are the team’s strengths this season, and that despite a seven-point loss to Rock Hill in a previous meet, “The kids are competing well.”
Senior Matt Ransom is in his third year on varsity and has established himself as a top-level 400-meter runner, as well as a contributor on the 4x400 relay team.
Ransom, who suffered back problems in the March 20 meet but is back in form this week, said he developed an interest in track his sophomore year.
“I ran track when I was playing basketball to improve my conditioning and fell in love with the competition,” he said.
“Track is different from other sports,” said Ransom. “You can work hard to make yourself better, and it shows on the track.”
Ransom, among the Cougars’ most successful participants last year, has a passion for the sport that shows in his work ethic. “I run cross country and indoor track in the offseason,” he said.
Jenna Dasilva, a sophomore sprinter and second-year varsity participant, competes on the girls’ track team in four events: the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters and 4x400 relay.
Dasilva said sprinting requires self-discipline. “I set a goal, and when I reach my goal, I strive to reach a higher goal,” she said.
Griffin said the girls’ track team also is youth-oriented, comprising many ninth- and 10th-graders and only two seniors.
“Our younger kids are developing,” he said. “Our 4x100 relay team includes three ninth-graders and a 10th-grader.”