Waverly girls set for indoor track states
When the state indoor track and field championships begin on Saturday afternoon both Kaylee Uhl and Samantha Goble will be busy for the Waverly Wolverines.
Both runners qualified for states in the 600 meters and the two join Liia Carpenter and Lea McMahon in making up the 4x400 relay team that will run at states.
"It's really nice," Uhl said of qualifying for states. "Especially being able to come back from last year and to come back from not running great in the middle of the season to run the time I did at the state qualifier is nice."
Uhl is the 12th seed in the 600 in 1:37.14, while Goble is the 21st seed in 1:39.80.
For Goble it took a career day at the state qualifier to get to this point.
"I'm so glad I dropped five seconds," she said. "I can't wait to run at states with Kaylee. It will be a great experience to run in an individual event."
While the two are excited to run in an individual event, they are also excited to have a relay team back at the state meet.
"Last year I only had Danielle (Burkhart) to practice with me," Uhl said. "Now we have people to work with and to run with. And, it's great to get a relay back."
The relay is seeded 10th at 4:10.71, but they know there is time for improvement.
For one thing Liia Carpenter is expected to run this weekend after an injury prevented her from running the race at the state qualifier.
"I'm excited that I get to run again," Carpenter said.
After being hurt last week Carpenter knows that it takes a little bit to get comfortable again.
"We are going up Friday to practice and that should help settle my nerves," she said.
While Burkhart and Katelyn Moore are the alternates for the race, they know after Moore ran at the state qualifier in place of carpenter that they need to be ready.
"We definitely have to prepare as alternates," Burkhart said. "We practice as hard as we can to get better."
For Uhl the relay this year is a lot different from years past.
While she is just a sophomore she has been to states in either indoor or outdoor, or both, since seventh grade and she is now the veteran on the relay.
"It's different," she said. "I've always been the youngest. Now we have Sam who is newer and I have to calm her and the others down."
For Goble there are nerves making her first trip to indoor states, but it helps her to have Uhl around.
"I get so nervous before the 600," she said. "We did our handshake at qualifier and took 1-2 and it got me pumped."
For both runners it is nice having another person running the same event to work with in practice.
"It's really nice, me and Sam work really well together," Uhl said. "We work together well during races and we calm each other down."
One other thing that helps with the nerves is running at Cornell a place that they just ran the qualifier last week.
"We had so many meets at Cornell you get to know the atmosphere," Goble said. "I think it will be really exciting."
Having a lot of teammates around you for the relay can help with nerves, but it can also add another type of pressure.
"It settles your nerves knowing you have all the other girls with you," Carpenter said. "But, it can make you more nervous because you don't want to let the team down."
For all the runners getting a chance to run at states gives them a leg up on other runners as they head into the outdoor season.
"You have a good start, you will already be in shape," Moore said.
"It's good to continue running," Burkhart added.
And, the runners hope what they are doing now will continue into the spring.
"I hope I can continue to drop my times in outdoor," Goble said.
"It really helps a lot for outdoor season," Uhl said. "The 600 really helps to get ready for the 400."
Before the outdoor season starts the runners have some big goals they hope to reach as they wrap up the indoor season.
"We want to make it to finals," Carpenter said.
"We would like to maybe break the school record," McMahon added.
The school record for indoor is 4:08.93, held by Burkhart, Carpenter, Uhl and Mariah Brown in 2011.
For Waverly's runners if they could get that record it would be the perfect end to the indoor season.
"It would be really awesome," Carpenter said. "Especially to do it at states my senior year."
Notre Dame will have a 4x200 relay team at the state meet this weekend. Sayre's Mary Pelkowski, Deborah Diarrah and Brittany and Victoria Schutrum are seeded 10th with a time of 1:48.87. The girls meet is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday with Waverly's 4x400 relay being the first event, followed by Notre Dame in the 4x200 relay. Uhl and Goble should run somewhere between 4 and 5 p.m. in the 600.