Solid numbers lead to success on the track
As the sun shone down on Granville for what seemed like the first time in a long time, the Granville Track Team was out in force and on the run.
Distance runners scattered across the sidewalks of the village, ears filled with music, joined by the medium distance runners.
At Granville Elementary hurdlers, sprinters and other trained under the watchful eye of (fifth) year head coach Jay Condon.
Everywhere he looks there is something that pleases the track fanatic. Asked what he’s doing, he replies “Oh, you know, trying to win a championship.”
Numbers are up again this season.
The reason for the upswing in numbers is the success the team has had over the past few seasons breaking school records as well as earning recognition from the league as a team to reckon with, he said.
“It’s a sport that’s fun and exciting, we’re starting to do good things here and people want to be a part of that,” Condon said.
Greater numbers bring many benefits to the program and much of the turnout has been driven by the team members themselves.
“I can’t say enough about our seniors, they’re great ambassadors for the sport and they’re my best recruiters,” he said.
Those big numbers come in handy for other, more strategic reasons too.
“This is probably one of the best-rounded teams I’ve had,’ he said.
From stand outs like senior hurdler Mike Fiacco and Meghan O’Brien, Elle Leach, John Diekert, Ariel O’Leary, Taylor Birchmore and many others, Condon said he’s able to build a team to win meets.
“I’m able to fill holes we never have in the past,” he said.
Now, with a larger team, Fiacco or any other athlete on the team who stands out in a particular event, from long jump to hurdles or anything else, can focus on that event and not have to worry about filling in as one leg of a relay race or other gap.
“That helps people focus; we’re designed more like a college (track) team now,” he said. Fresh athletes will be toeing the line without having just run a race, a distinct advantage when it comes to being successful on the track. This is the way dominant track teams win meets, he said, with numbers.
So when Fiacco, heavily favored in most any area track meet, competes Condon knows he should get results from a rested and ready competitor.
“Now we know we can count on those points,” Condon said.
A big part of managing a team this big are volunteers.
Coaching along with Condon is Jack Best and volunteering to help are Sarah Twardy and Brett Tuttle.
Having a coaching staff helps get those specialty athletes from throwers to hurdlers the individual attention they need to be successful, he said.
Best was out on the road with the distance runners and Twardy, a Granville high School record-holder in pole vault, will be volunteering to work with the vaulters and middle distance runners.
Track 2011 roster
Dunbar , Kimberly