BHS girls missing numbers early
Although March weather has been troublesome so far for sports' teams, it's not been the biggest concern for Ted Zuzzio.
Readiness and lack of running shape has the Baldwin High School girls' track coach worried with the first meet only eight days away. Monday will be the first time the entire girls' team has practiced in nearly three weeks.
"We've had some missing some action for school events," Zuzzio said. "We're not going to be in mint shape for our first meet."
Those school functions include a Spanish trip to Costa Rica and a culinary competition in Washington D.C. Two of the missing girls were seniors Colby Heckathorne and Heather Garcia.
Zuzzio is hoping for a good four days of practice before the season kicks off with the Baldwin Invitational March 28. He is sure Garcia will still compete to the best of her ability, despite limited practices.
"She should do fine," Zuzzio said of Garcia. "When you fire the gun, she is ready to run."
Garcia will most likely be leading the Bulldogs in points, as she has done throughout most of her career. She is the returning two-time state champion in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. She also helped the Bulldogs place third at the state meet a year ago.
The chance to watch Garcia run for one more season is an exciting thought for Zuzzio, who has enjoyed the chance to coach her at BHS.
"We're excited to see how's she's going to do her senior year," Zuzzio said. "What she's done so far has been pretty phenomenal."
Although Garcia and others have been away from the track, several Bulldogs have been practicing at Liston Stadium. The girls' team has 32 girls out this season, which includes 21 underclassmen.
"We have a good number of kids out and they are working hard," Zuzzio said. "We have 32 out, which is a good number. We have some good young kids that we can mix with our veterans."
The Bulldogs that have been practicing have experienced several different climates so far. It's been around 70 degrees for a couple of days, snowy one day and wet and chilly for many other afternoons.
"Well, weather-wise, it's sort of been a challenge," Zuzzio said. "In our first week, we got out a couple of times. Then in our second week, we ran into what's called spring break."
The girls' team will begin practice as a team again Monday in preparation for the first meet. The Baldwin Invitational begins at 3:30 p.m. at Liston Stadium.
Zuzzio said the first meet will be used to gauge where the team is at early in the season.
"We're far from being in shape yet, but we have kids that like to compete and that's all we've ever asked for," Zuzzio said. "We have competitors."