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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 17, 2009

Indoor track keeps Guilderland athletes loose for spring

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– For the Flying Dutchmen, outdoor track and field in the spring reigns supreme over its indoor winter counterpart.

“Guilderland is much more focused on the business that happens outdoors,” said Head Coach Dave Kosier, who also seconds as the girls’ cross-country coach in the fall. “Don’t get me wrong, we go out there and compete indoors, but our track program has better results in the spring.”

A handful of athletes take the winter months off from track. “They do other sports or whatnot,” Kosier said on Tuesday. The 30 girls and 26 boys who remain are training and staying in shape for the outdoor track season.

“Competing indoors is a good philosophy and it has its advantages,” said Kosier. “They have friends to work with instead of training alone and freezing to death outside.”

Distance runners spend the indoor months doing basic work and sprinters and jumpers have an opportunity to improve their technique. “We push them through,” Kosier said.

Guilderland participated in its second meet of the season on Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College and both the girls’ and boys’ teams finished in fourth place. The Dutch are part of the Tri-County Indoor Track League that is home to about 40 different schools.

“The league spreads out the competition as equally as possible,” said Kosier. The league has four or five different groups. “It all comes down to match-ups. Teams try to rotate as much as possible and athletes are going from one event to another.”

Sophomore Lexi Fehervari had a time of 46.3 to finish second in the 300-meter dash. Anna Pickett and Amanda Foggia went three and four in the 600-meter with times of 1:49.2 and 1:52.8. Both the girls’ sprint and the distance medley teams took second place.

On the boys’ side, junior Daniel Japikse posted 9.1 seconds to win the 55-meter hurdles and Talyor Muztafago and Zach Pickett finished first and second in the 600-meter run. Sam Segal and Brandon Cleveland tied for second place in the 55-meter dash with identical times of 7.2 seconds. In the 1600-meter sprint medley, Pickett, Cleveland, Segal, and Muztafago finished first with a time of 4:05.9.

“We didn’t have everyone at the first meet, but everyone showed up on Saturday,” said Kosier. “We had some great performances.”

Day by day

It’s hard to follow a team “plan” in track and field because each individual athlete has a different goal. The sport measures success on many different levels. The idea of winning is altered.

“It’s more of an individual thing than a team thing,” Kosier said. “Sometimes you do all you can to train for the end of the season. Scoring the most points and winning a meet isn’t always the answer.”

Kosier continued, “If you don’t win today, maybe you’ll win tomorrow or the next day.”

The indoor track scene is a lot different for Kosier, coming off the cross-country season. Athletes aren’t just running one course; they’re doing many different events.

“Trying to find a balance is a bit of a challenge,” said Kosier. “You just have to make sure everyone is working on their technique.”

Kosier isn’t alone either –– he gets help from Dick Usher and Jason Usher, and Bill Schewe. Dick Usher, a long-time track coach and “technique man,” works with jumpers. Jason Usher bounces around on the boys’ side and Schewe spends a lot of time with the throwers.

“We work together and cover as much as we can,” Kosier said. “I spend a lot of time with the distance runners and work on endurance stuff.”

Still, the main focus of indoor track at Guilderland is getting the athletes ready for a successful outdoor season. Winning isn’t a top priority until the springtime.

“We’re always looking for improvement and hopefully this indoor season will lead to bigger things,” said Kosier. “Everyone is looking to put their best foot forward.”

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