Lloydminster Comprehensive High School’s (LCHS) track and field team is growing. It’s current 30 members are already more than last seasons 22, and with badminton coming to an end this weekend, a few more are expected to join the team, putting the Barons around 40 athletes.
To see the team grow in one year is thanks to the team itself, who spent a little more time tapping shoulders of potential athletes in the school, encouraging them to come out and try one of the main events offered at the public high school.
“We have a great bunch of kids out here and they’ve been shoulder tapping,” said Kelanie Lumbard, head coach of the track and field team at the high school.
The high school will host its annual invitational track and field meet on Saturday, welcoming schools from across the northwestern Alberta and northeastern Saskatchewan. Track events will include 100 metre dash, 200m, hurdle events, and 1,500m races, while in the field, shot put, long jump, javelin, discus and high jump are just some of the events scheduled.
For the Barons, it is their first meet of the year as they gear up for a run at zones and provincials. So for Lumbard, the invitational is a chance for athletes to try different events that they may not be use to or comfortable with before narrowing down their selection closer to the major competitions.
“We are getting kids to try events they are not 100 per cent sure of,” said Lumbard. “It gets people interested in areas that maybe they are a little scared of. We try to encourage them to go in all four events. They see a little of the competition. Usually we do pretty well at these meets and I think it gives them that boost of confidence that they need.”
Athletes can select any combination of four events from track and field for the invitational on Saturday. Some already know what they excel at, as the Barons have had some medal winners at provincials in the past. Lumbard said, typically as they get closer to the provincial date, athletes generally go into either the track or field side of the competition and focus on fewer events, rather than training in multiple disciplines.
But for new athletes who aren’t sure just yet what their strengths are in, this weekends invitational is the perfect opportunity to find what best suits them as a track and field athlete.
“This first meet is good for the kids that are new and don’t really know what they should be going in,” said Lumbard. “Or how the competition is, so it is good for them to see.
The invitational begins at 9:30 a.m. on May 2 at LCHS.