Winter track returns
COLUMBUS — The high school indoor track season began last week with the Polk County Polar Bear meet on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Despite the meet being outdoors because there are no indoor track facilities in the mountains, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) still refers to it as indoor track meet.
Athletes have to brave the cold and compete at local outdoor track complexes. Any athlete who qualifies for the state championship meet will have the opportunity to run at an indoor facility in Winston Salem in February.
Strong performances for the Tuscola Mountaineers were turned in by senior Russell Callahan, sophomore Emma Howle and senior Shannon Switch.
Callahan finished fifth in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.00 and third in the 300-meter dash with a time of 38.8. Howle was fourth in the 300-meter dash with a time 47.7 and Switch finished fourth in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 6:28.
Other Mountaineers who finished in the top 10 were Nicole McCracken (shot put), Kelly Perkins and Sierra Diienno (500-meter) and Isaac Sluder in the (300-meter, 500-meter).
Tuscola head track coach Courtney Clinard was pleased with the results from this first meet of the season.
“We should have a strong team this year and hope to have several qualify for the state meet in Winston Salem,” said Clinard.
Unlike outdoor track, there are no conference or regional championships in indoor track. In order to go to the state meet athletes must qualify by their results in regular season meets. Qualification standards are set by the NCHSAA and no Tuscola athletes qualified for the state meet in the Polar Bear meet.