Bulldogs preparing for opening meet
With the first meet just eight days away, Baldwin High School boys' track coach Mike Spielman is trying his best to physically prepare his team.
The Bulldogs practiced for nearly two weeks before spring break began last Thursday. Since then, they can still been seen working out Liston Stadium or at BHS. Spielman understands the early part of the season is about trying to figure out events and conditioning.
"The weather hasn't been great or anything, but at least we are a little bit better off than baseball or softball," Spielman said. "We can at least get out to the track. Over spring break, we are getting some things done with the kids that are in town. In this early part of the season, we just try to get kids in shape and work toward different events."
The Bulldogs will first compete in the Baldwin Invitational, which begins at 3:30 p.m. March 28 at Liston Stadium. It will be the 42nd year for the annual track meet.
Practices aren't always well attended during spring break, so Spielman knows next week will be tough on some of the Bulldogs. However, he isn't too concerned about the opening meet, because the team will have two weeks to rest and get in better shape before its second meet.
"It's a little tough, because we come back from spring break and everybody is just trying to get back into it again," Spielman said. "It's good to at least get started. We have a week off after the first meet, so it's good to get training in after that first meet."
Unlike the BHS girls' team, the boy's track squad hasn't been limited to the number of participants at practice. Several members of the girls' team have been out of the state or country for different school functions. Spielman has enjoyed having his team at the track working out.
"We hardly had any boys that went to Costa Rica or Washington D.C.," Spielman said. "We had a few more here during that last week before spring break started. It helps to have them here so we can get things going."
The Bulldogs once again have 32 boys out this year, which is about average, according to Spielman. Most of those are upperclassmen, which has helped make practices run more smoothly.
"We are at 32, which is a really good number for us," Spielman said. "We are excited about those kids that are out. We are trying to get them in shape and hope to have a good season.
"We have a lot of seniors and juniors out," Spielman said. "We have some really good leaders. We also have some younger kids out that are going to help us."
Entries for the first meet are still up in the air, but the BHS coach is optimistic about his team's relays this year. He hopes the relays can lead the team to a successful season.
"I think we can load up some really good relays and be able to compete really high at the state level with those relays," Spielman said.