Preseason Success for Track and Field Athletes

Haley Fitzgerald

The track and field season is off to a good start, before the season many members of the girls and boys distance team competed, and succeeded, at preseason meets at Gately Park’s Track and Field Center in the Pullman neighborhood. 

At the Twilight Indoor Meet, multiple current members and even some alumni competed in various events, including the 800-meter run and the 1600- meter run. Many of these runners, including sophomore Maeve Gawne, ran well under their previous personal bests, and the season hasn’t even started. 

Gawne says, “I signed up for the meet because I wanted to gauge how well my training was working and get back in the feel for racing before the season started.” She has been training all winter long for this track season and has high hopes for the season. “I would like to improve my 800 [meter] and 1600 [meter] times. I aim to shave my [personal bests] down to sub 2:40 and 5:45. I am happy with how I raced and I am ready to be in top shape heading into the new season.” Gawne ran 5:52 for the mile, a four-second personal best for her. She likes to say, “the grind [doesn’t] stop.”

Is this a fluke? Far from it. Both the boys’ and girls’ track teams expect, and always have expected, to have a successful track and field season. Both teams include talented runners who are driven to improve every day and can succeed in multiple events. 

Many of these athletes have continued to train and run after school every day, despite not being in season. Some athletes join club teams such as Chicago Rabbits, Sauganash Striders, and South Chicago Track Club. And participating in these meets is another layer of preparing for a successful track season for the many dedicated runners at Saint Ignatius College Prep. 

2021 was a successful track season for the girls’ team, which qualified eleven individuals for the 3A State Meet. 2022 was a historic track season for the boys’ team. 23 athletes qualified for the 3A State Meet, including all four relay teams (4×100, 4×200, 4×400, and 4×800). The 2022 cross-country season was a success, with both boys’ and girls’ teams qualifying for state. The girls placed fifth in the 2A State Finals, and the boys placed 19th in the 3A State Finals, each after second-place finishes at their respective Sectional meets. Will the 2023 track season be the season both teams can succeed together?

The hope is that this off-season training will allow these talented runners to set and reach even higher goals during the regular track season.