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‘Cause Baby It’s Cold Outside

Indoor Track
Emily Matthews
Hempfield’s Peyton Murray competes in the shot put at the 49th annual Baldwin Invitational on Friday, May 5, 2023, at Baldwin High School. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

When people think of track, they probably imagine a runner sprinting around an outdoor venue to a finish line, but much of the season actually takes place indoors. As the winter chill begins to settle in, athletes are turning to indoor track and field to keep their competitive spirits alive. Many multi-sport athletes use indoor track as a way to keep their bodies healthy and in shape during the off season.

Coach Williams says that his hopes for this season are “that the athletes work to the best of their abilities, and we make real progress through the season.”

The indoor track and field season brings forth a wide range of events that captivate both athletes and spectators alike. The track events include sprints, middle distance runs, long distance runs, and hurdles. These pair with field events such as pole vault, shot put, weight throw, triple jump, high jump, and long jump. At meets, athletes are able to compete in up to four events including relays.

Whether you’re a sprinter looking to shave off milliseconds from your time or a high jumper aiming to clear new heights, indoor track and field offers a platform to challenge yourself and reach new goals.

More specifically, Coach Murray has goals for the season beyond just the events, “I am hoping both teams can place in the top 3 or better at the TSTCA championships. I also believe and hope both teams will be able to place in the top 3 at the indoor state meet.” The Tri Star Track Coaches Association (TSTCA) championship is held at Edinboro University. Two TSTCA meets are held prior to the TSTCA championship on February 17, 2024. To be able to partake in this meet, athletes must have a qualifying time, throw, or jump. The same criteria is required for the PTFCA championship meet which is held at Penn State University on February 25, 2024.

The majority of the meets for the 23-24 season take place at Edinboro University and Youngstown University along with three meets taking place at our own school. Indoor track enthusiasts can mark their calendars for December 16, the first meet at Dickinson University.

Both Coach Williams and Coach Murray have very similar coaching styles as they both chose to be very involved with their players. “I consider myself to be a very hands on and detailed oriented coach. I spend a lot of time planning practices, watching film, and planning lifting sessions. My goal is to be the hardest working coach which has helped our athletes become great over the years” says Coach Murray.

Most notably, Coach Murray’s son Peyton Murray has been throwing for 6 years. For this season, indoor and outdoor, he is looking to break the school record in both shot put and discus. He is also striving to potentially break the Pennsylvania State Record for discus. Peyton has just recently signed with Notre Dame to continue his academic and athletic career. Murray explains, “It is a prestigious school with great athletics and academics. I felt it was the perfect fit for me.”

The coaches believe that the way for each athlete to succeed is by focusing on strength and speed inside and out of practices. Not only is the physical aspect important to track, but the work ethic and dedication plays a huge role into how the outlook of the season will go.



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About the Contributor
Mallory Bitar
Mallory Bitar, Contributor
For 10 years, Mallory Bitar has been attending Hempfield Area School District and is a cheerleader for the varsity cheerleading team. Her goal is to encourage people from the sideline as well as the journalism lab. One of the most valuable things to Mallory is spending quality time with her friends and family. Her favorite thing about high school so far has been Friday Night Lights, where she gets to do what she loves with her best friends.  With joining journalism to write for The Royal, Mallory is looking forward to sharing her opinions and thoughts about what is going on within the school and community. She has come to appreciate John Mayor's words, "Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason."