New Track for Piedmont’s Track Team Coming Soon


Lindsey Powell, Journalist

This year, Piedmont’s track team has weathered the season without a track. But don’t be fooled, no track doesn’t mean no improvement for the team.

“It’s been a challenging year, but I think it’s been successful so far,” said head coach Jim Smith. “[M]y biggest goal is always for continuous improvement in kids because track is an individual sport where you are fighting against yourself constantly. And just because you don’t go out and win a race or don’t go out and throw the shot put the farthest or something doesn’t mean you haven’t succeeded. Sometimes you can succeed and still not win if you are bettering yourself.”

“I think I performed pretty decent because I got a lot of [personal records], and I just improved over the last few seasons,” said junior Derek Simmons, who runs the 400 meter and the 4 by 4 relay. “By next spring, I’d like to be up there on the school records, and I want to shave down my times a lot more. For the most part I’m on track. I’ll be doing a lot over the summer to work on it.”

Freshman Kaela Tyson holds the indoor track records for 55 meter hurdles, long jump, and high jump. She also holds the 100 meter hurdle record for outdoor. “My goal for this season is to have the hurdles record and to hit 15 feet on my long jump,” said Tyson. “I am on track to meeting them as I currently have the 100m hurdle record and I am one second away from the 300m hurdle record. [F]or the long jump I am currently at 14’8” so I am looking forward to breaking 15!”

“We broke a few records in winter track, but we haven’t broken any yet in spring,” said Smith.

Piedmont’s track team is currently 4A, which means they’re competing against Weddington, Cutherbertson, and Marvin Ridge. Next year the team will move down to 3A, meaning different competition and a different conference. As a 3A team, Piedmont’s competition will include schools like Parkwood and Monroe. “The Rocky River conference will be a lot better for us,” Smith said.

Next year also boasts a new track for the team. “I think it will greatly improve performance. A lot of the runners including myself are getting shin splints and most of the blame goes to having to run on concrete,” said Tyson. “Not only that but it will allow the runners to work on blocks, hurdles, run in spikes, and allow them to work on any field events like long jump and high jump as we are currently not able to work on any of those.”

“It’s been awful [without a track],” said Simmons, but he’s excited for the improvement the new track will bring.

The new track is set to be completed by graduation this year in June. Smith said, “I’m really excited about the new facility. I think it’s going to be awesome!” And for any rising 9th graders interested in track for next year, be ready to work hard. “We’re going to have a new track out there, so we’re going to have to work hard to keep getting better.”