Bradley West, ECHO Staff Reporter
Following a track and field region championship and a seventh at state that included a 3,200 relay state crown in 2019, the Rocks are on track to bring home a state title. Senior Cooper Stengel discussed his Trinity track career.
Q: What are your expectations going into this season?
A: My expectations going into my final track season include being able to compete like it is a normal year. Last year our season barely even started before they called it off. For my senior year, I would like to be able to compete for a whole season to get the most out of track while at Trinity.
Q: How has COVID-19 affected the team’s preparation for the season?
A: So far, we have had to do all of our training and conditioning with masks on, which obviously affects our breathing and stamina. We also have had to move around a lot since Waggener (High School) does not want us at their track every day. During the indoor season, we could only compete with eight other schools due to COVID. Normally, we can compete with many more at one time.
Q: What are some of the team’s goals for this season?
A: This season, like every other season, we have the goal to win state. But, on a smaller scale, I would say the team’s goal is to just improve. We realize that we are only as strong as our weakest link, so seeing everyone improve is a goal of ours. Both goals will be achieved through hard work and putting the time in on and off the track.
Q: Do you have any personal goals for the season?
A: Just to improve week to week is a goal of mine. It is the start of the season, so my goal is to have a consistent amount of growth from week to week. Also, I would like to do well in state and represent the team to the best of my ability. From a quantitative standpoint, I would like to run an 11.4 or lower 100-meter dash and be a consistent 21-foot jumper in long jump.
Q: How do you plan to be a leader on the team this season?
A: As a senior, I am looking forward to being one of the leaders on the team. Every year before this, I have been younger than most of my competitors, so now being one of the oldest on the track, I am looking forward to seeing what I can do. I guess I am also looking forward to helping the underclassmen and trying to pass my knowledge of the sport down.
Q: What are some things you will remember from your four years of running track for Trinity?
A: I will remember all the coaches that have pushed me and taught be how to be good athlete and an even better man. I will remember all the upperclassmen that have helped me and those who I had a friendship with. One thing I will remember forever, specifically, was during my freshman year when Coach (Scott) Holzknecht met with all the people competing in state and explained that we had a good chance of winning it. He showed our times and the point totals compared to the other schools and showed how we could win if we get points in this event or another. The energy in that room by all the athletes and coaches was something I won’t ever forget. You could almost smell the motivation.