New Year, New Challenges for Track and Head Coach McClanahan

Joe Gonzalez |Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Joe Gonzalez

While many Sundevils continue to bemoan the end of their long-awaited winter break, other Sundevils are already hard at work practicing for spring sports. Even though there is still about a month away from the start of the season, the track and field athletes are already training under the watchful gaze of their coach Dennis McClanahan.

McClanahan has been coaching track and field for  roughly 30 years and last year was awarded the Coach-of-the-Year award. The award was bestowed because of the last year’s recent successes  by the girls’ track and field team.

“We had very good girls,” Coach McClanahan said. “They were the best team in San Diego. [But last year] the girls were more successful, so people think you’re better.”

Coach McClanahan feels that last year’s success cannot be entirely attributed to his own efforts.

“I don’t think I did a whole better job than I did the last couple years,” Coach McClanahan said. “It’s a combination of coaching and kids. You teach kids and you coach them and sometimes they’re better than others.”

This year there are few changes to preseason for track and field.

“We have a running class with ASB and kids who are going to go out for track in the spring can come in here and get in shape,” Coach McClanahan said. “They’re not required to be in here; it’s kind of a club.”

This preseason is more formalized even though it is more or less the same from the previous years.

“This is a new class because there are new CIF requirements which [is] why we have the class now.”

With nearly 85 students coming three days a week in order to condition, there is no doubt that many are excited for the upcoming season. Senior Noah Kirkbride can relate.

“I feel great,” Kirkbride said. “I feel tired right now [from running]. But that’s what’s preseason is for, to get ready for the actual season.”

A runner for the varsity long distance team, Kirkbride believes that preseason is extremely vital for the success of the regular season.

“Everyone’s really fat from the wintertime,” Kirkbride said. “So preseason is [basically] shaving all those pounds. Right now I’m a fatty piece of pork, but when the preseason turns away I’ll be a lean piece of steak.”

Those who wish to join these brave and energetic Sundevils as they work hard to get into shape for the upcoming track season should head over to the Sundevil Stadium Stadium every week after school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, until Feb. 12.

Written by Thomas Jung

Thomas Jung is a member of the MC SUN. He is well-known for being awesomely Asian. Thomas’s favorite food is rice. He enjoys writing and doing various other activities. He also enjoys eating watermelon while watching anime. Thomas is objectively one of the greatest writers of all time next to Thomas Jefferson and Robert Jordan. Be sure to say hi if you ever see him!

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