Thomas Jefferson

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A Running Start to a New Season

Posted 02/25/2016 by Annie McAninch

Three team members are running to victory. photo by Annie McAninch

The track and field team is taking the extra step to make their season great.

Thomas Jefferson High School’s track team has had memorable years in the past, but this year, the team has a most promising outlook to the season, as the Spartans are looking forward to being the best in the League through the hard work, effort, and assistance of the coaches and teammates.  

Last year, the boys’ team took fifth place at City while the girls’ team took third place, including two runners, senior Brooklyn York and TJ 2015 graduate De’Jour Elliot. “It’s very hard to get into State. There were a lot of teams and people, and the energy was amazing. Overall I improved, and came in 3rd place,” explained York. The Spartans have many other runners who have a favorable future, including the girls 4 X 100 relay team who has gotten faster by their hard work at practices. At practices, sprinters, distance runners, and jumpers/throwers had their own workouts depending on the events they ran. During the offseason, runners did workouts to improve for the upcoming spring season. The off season is consistent with conditioning and running, and the workouts prepared runners for the hard work of the season while also rekindling the enthusiastic attitude which brought the team closer to winning. “I love the rhythm and the challenge to the track. There’s always people to compete in it that makes you a better runner,” said senior Maddy Jacobsen.

This season is very promising for Spartan runners, due to the fact that many great runners are coming back for another season. Returning as the head coach is Darius Reed, who began running track in high school and won several awards, including the second-fastest time in Colorado high school history of 13.46 for the 110 hurdles. He was also the number one runner in the nation in 2005 and 2006 for the 110 hurdles. “I would like to have gone further, but my injuries and the opportunity to coach made other plans,” commented Reed. He first started coaching at Denver West High School where he was a volunteer football coach. Reed has continued to keep the competitive attitude throughout his years at TJ. His main purpose is to be there for the athletes he coaches, just like his coaches were there for him. “It was just a way to reach kids, it saved me because I saw my coaches as father figures; they were always there for me whenever I needed them. You never know what’s going to make a kid’s day,” said Reed. He continues to sets the expectations and goals high as he teaches the runners valuable lessons each day such as being mentally tough throughout each race and to work hard at everything life has to offer.

Reed and his team are looking forward to an impressive season. This year they aim to take first place in both boys’ and girls’ teams in the League City. Reed also wants more runners to compete in State. With their new goals set for the new season, the mighty Spartans’ track team will make TJ proud, one run at a time.