Quakers embrace high expectations
SALEM–The goals were set high for the Salem’s girls track team from day one as seven girls will be competing in four different events today and Saturday in Columbus.
“From the get-go this has been a special group,” Salem girls track coach Amy Cochran said. “There goals were always high from the beginning and they wanted to go to Jessie Owens.”
The 1600 relay team that consists of Halle Cochran, Lydia McKee, Haley Rozeski and Katelin Chilton was a work in progress up until it realized its full potential at the county meet where the Quakers set the county record with a time of 4:10.60.
“That’s when we really believed in ourselves and since than we knew we could continue to drop seconds,” Salem’s Lydia McKee. “I think we can honestly do better than we did in regionals because the atmosphere will push us.”
The progress has been shown as the team finished third at regionals with a time of 4:03.44.
“It’s been a crazy experience for me,” Chilton said. “I would’ve never though my freshman year that I’d be going to state in the 1600 relay.”
Chilton, who is a senior had never run 400 prior to this season as she typically ran in the 100 and 200.
“Jumping into a 400 I didn’t know how to really pace myself but as the season went on I realized I could do it,” Chilton said. “This team is a family and we gel together.”
Joining the 1600 relay team at Columbus will be the 3200 relay team which consists of Cochran, Georgia McLachlan, and Carly Hall.
The 3200 relay team success carries over from a successful cross country season.
“It makes us a stronger 4×8 team because we know each other so well,” McLachlan said. “We’ve spent the whole entire year training together so that has made us way better as a team.”
McLachlan is a senior who is only in her second year of track was emotional after finishing third at regionals with a time of 9:38.20.
“I started crying as soon as Carly crossed the finish line,” McLachlan said. “It’s a huge thing for me to make state in only my second year of track.”
No stranger to the state tournament is Junior Caitlyn Marx who finished 12th a year ago and is ready to make a statement on the big stage.
“She has so much potential at the state meet,” Cochran said. “We are hoping for some big things from her at Jessie Owens.”
Marx’s top throw this season is 155-1 and puts her as one of the favorites going into the state tournament.
Haley Rozeski qualified for state in the 800 meter run after a fifth place finish at regionals with a time of 2:19.58.
“It’s crazy that I’ve never been to state before and now I am going for three events,” Rozeski said.
Rozeski said she used to be a superstitious person but has changed her mentality coming into this season.
“I just try to stay calm,” Rozeski said. “There’s no reason to try to make everything perfect. Now all I do is run.”
Cochran will maintain the high goals for the team going into the weekend.
“Just going to state isn’t enough and I’ve been preaching that,” Cochran said. “Now the goal is podium. Get on the podium, get a medal.”
¯Salem will send 17 combined athletes to the state meet which is a school record.
¯A year ago Marx was the only Salem female athlete at state.