Track tri-op sprints into new season: ED, Galena, River Ridge join forces


Putting in the Miles: Track newcomer Owen Murdock ‘22 competes at the Regional Cross Country meet in Oregon, IL on Oct. 30, 2021. This was Murdock’s first cross country season, and he found a love for running. “It was a very challenging experience competing at such a high level, but I am ready to do it again this track season,” he said.

With track season right around the corner, the coaches and athletes are preparing for success. During the COVID-19 shortened season, both teams were the unofficial conference champions, winning more meets than anyone else in the conference. Head Coach David Eaton believes that the team can repeat its success this season as well.

“Although we graduated several very talented athletes from last year’s team, we have a deep and very capable roster again this season,” said Eaton. “We should be able to produce significant points in nearly every event. We will be strong in the distance events in addition to the field events, hurdles, and sprint relays.”

For the athletes, this will be the first full track season in nearly three years. After one canceled season, and one shortened season, competition is finally set to return to normal form. This includes an NUIC Conference Meet, which was unable to be held last season. In addition to the meets, practices will also return to normal. While the team would often have to split up for practice, this season will return to holding their practices at River Ridge. Having all the athletes in one place will be instrumental to both chemistry and morale regarding the team.

“I am very excited for the season because I can’t wait to get back on the track and race against my friends and compete against other schools,” said Samantha Callahan ‘23. “I can’t wait to run with my friends from both East Dubuque and River Ridge and improve on my times from last year.”
Several members of the cross-country team will also be competing in track this season. The rigorous training they’ve already done will likely benefit them during the track season.

“I decided to go out for track for the first time my senior year because during the cross-country season I found a love for running,” said Owen Murdock ‘22. “I have been training really hard during the off season, putting in about 45 miles a week to prepare myself for the upcoming season.”

Another major difference of this season will be the team’s participation in indoor meets. Indoor meets were unable to be hosted due to the COVID-19 restrictions during last year’s season. The first girl’s indoor meet will take place on March 18, and the first boy’s indoor meet will be held on March 19. Both will be held at the University of Dubuque.

“I am interested to see how I will run on an indoor track,” said Callahan. “With its shorter distance and tighter curves, it will definitely be more difficult.”

The boys return to outdoor meets will be on March 29 in River Ridge WI, while the first outdoor girl’s meet will be on March 30 in Milledgeville. The boys will have their conference meet on May 12 in Lena-Winslow, and their Sectional meet on May 19. The host of that meet has not yet been selected. The girls will have their conference meet on May 5, and their Sectional meet on May 12. The locations of those meets are also pending.

“I am grateful that the athletes have the opportunity to finally compete in a normal season,” said Eaton. “Our athletes have put in a lot of hard work during the off-season, and I’m excited to see it pay off.”