Colin Hansen, Cardington-Lincoln varsity track coach, has been concerned for several years that there were few track options for younger area athletes.
“I’ve been coaching track at the varsity level for about seven years and realized that a lot of kids didn’t know or learn about track and field until they are in middle school,” said Hansen, who has coached at the varsity level for seven years.
“The last few years I have been taking my son to Westerville to a track club,” said Hansen. “Finally, last year I decided I would start a club on my own – I wanted the young kids in our community to get the chance to participate in a local and affordable track club.”
This spring he began the sign ups and gained the interest of a total of 33 young athletes from first through sixth grade.
Hansen enlisted Todd Jolliff and Mike Hallibrin as assistant coaches and also pulled a few athletes from the varsity track team and some junior high coaches, all helping with practices and meets. They practiced every Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Cardington track.
“We went through proper warmups and stretching – we also practiced hurdles, baton hand-offs for relays, block starts for sprints, long jump and shot put,” said Hansen. He added, “We went on some distance runs, challenging hill work outs and worked on our speed during our spring workouts.”
Hansen said every practice concluded with a running game to keep the kids having fun while still running.
The summer season concluded on July 8 when the Little Pirates Track Classic was held at the Cardington track. All athletes competed in the 100 meter dash, long jump, 400 meter dash, and shot put. Optional events included the shuttle hurdles, 400 meter relay and the 1600 meter run.
A pizza party and awards ceremony was held July 12 when parents and young athletes attended.
Students participating included Cadence Fleming, Isiah Baker, Hailey Helms, Jake Stainer, and Lucy Green, first grade; Shane Hendershot, Connor Morgan, and Fisher Schuman, second grade; Brandon Hughes, Layla Bronson, Halley Littlemeyer, Marlee Watson, Lane Maynard, Toni Withem, Caden Smith Haylee Stainer and Ady Briggs, third grade; Gabe Hansen, Aaron Howard, A J Brehm, Brooklyn Smith, Magy Hallibrin, Jayden Vails and Kalin Briggs, fourth grade; Chloe Sherbourne, Shylan Furr, Owen Harris, Isaiah Ward, and Austin Vails, fifth grade and Addison Plowman, Ashton Plowman, Loey Hallibrin and Kennedy Maceyko, sixth grade.
Pictured above are participants in the Cardington’s summer track program, along with coach Colin Hanson, who ran the program.
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