SCP track team readies for first season

Coach Richard Long is excited about St. Louis College Prep's first-ever track team.
"We have a really good foundation right now and have a number of students who ran track previously in 8th grade and 9th grade or who ran cross country in the fall," he said.
The team will participate in its first meet of the season on April 6 at the PHL Relay held at Gateway STEM High School  (5101 McRee Ave., St.Louis). The event kicks off at 4:15 p.m.
Long said both the girls and boys track teams have been working hard to prepare for the season, with after school practices 4 days a week since the beginning of March.
"We are using the track here at the school," he said. "It is a 200-meter track so it does us justice. It not about where you are at, but about what you do in that space.
"This year we are focused on running, running, running," he added. "We will be competing in everything from the 100 to the 3,200 and all of the relays. We do not have the equipment to participate in field events right so we are just focused on the track portion."
The teams have spent most of their time focused on running form and getting used to competing on a track.
"We will focus on weight training next year," said Long. "We are still at the Freshman, JV level this year so I just want the to accustomed to the track before we start throwing things on them. We do general core work during practice to get their core strength up."
He said the school has built their season of 5 meets around of theory of accessibility for both the athletes and their families.
"Most of the meets are at Gateway, which is only 8 minutes from the school so the families can actually come to them," he said. "All of the meets start after 4 and they usually run for 3 to 4 hours, so that family time to come out even if they don't get off until later. We want as many people as possible to come out and support our scholars."
Long said he has already seen some standout runners in the practices.
"Kobe Cole ran cross country in the fall and has kept running so he is in pretty good shape," said Long. "Kalind Anderson was actually a Junior Nationals qualifier in 8th grad so I am excited to see what he can do this year."
On the girls team, Long said he will be watching Amya Jones and Alexis Mangrum.
"Alexis is new to track but she has really strong abilities," he said.
Although he has high hopes for the team, Long said they will not be able to participate in state competitions this year, but he hopes that is something they work toward for next year.
"I have had them all set their own personal goals for the season and I want to see them meet those goals," said Long. "We are also going to be getting the state numbers so they can compare themselves and see where they will be next year. They can see if they would have made it to the conference or district or state level and that will give them something to look forward to for next year." 
The team includes Kalind Anderson, Bakari Dorsey, Dakiah Barner, David Chandler, Marcus Strohmeyer, Braiden Cole, Kobe Cole, Amya Jones, Alexis Mangrum and Opal Strohmeyer.