Oakdale’s Boys Indoor Track Program Begins Preparations For Another Season


Shrey Anderson

Pictured above is the team warming up before splitting into their own groups for their workouts. While the name of the sport is indoor track, due to how inconvenient it would be to actually practice on an indoor track, both the girls and boys have to practice on Oakdale’s outdoor track over the course of the season.

Shrey Anderson, Writer

Oakdale’s Boys Indoor Track team has long been one of the school’s most successful sports programs. The team has consistently placed well over the course of the school’s history, occasionally being flat-out dominant, winning state championships in 2015, 2019, and 2020. Now, as winter sports finally start to return to normal practices and competitions, many people are excited to once again lace up and compete for Oakdale.


The team itself is split into 3 main categories: sprints, distance, and field.


In the sprinter category, there are events such as the 55 meter dash, the 200 meter dash, several relay events, hurdle events, and other shorter-distance races. This side of the team is historically much larger due to increased interest from sports like football. This year is no different, with the sprinting side being about twice as large as the distance side.


Bavan Nadarajah, a captain and sprinter for Oakdale, commented on how he feels about the shorter distance side of the team this year, stating, “We feel good, we’re excited. We’ve been having good practices, and we’re really feeling prepared. I feel like we have a very strong team this season, so hopefully we can do well.”


The distance side of the team, while significantly smaller than the sprinting side, is just as important. The distance team is split into two groups: mid-distance and long-distance. Mid-distance events include the 400 and the 800 meter races, as well as relays for these events. The events considered to be longer distance include the 1600 meter (1 mile) and the 3200 meter (2 mile) races.


When asked about how he felt about the distance squad this year, captain Abhishek Mudireddy had high praise for the team. He explained, “I’m feeling highly confident, I think we have a couple of new guys that can definitely work really hard and put up some great times for the school.”


The final part of Oakdale’s strong team is the field part. The list of field events for indoor track is much shorter than for outdoor track. Events include shot put, high jump and pole vault.


Assistant Coach Zachary Lesieur, who coaches the distance squad, is also coaching the shot put event this year. When asked about the event, he remarked, “It’s a good event, it’s a different group of people than I usually get to work with, so it’s always good to make relationships with different student athletes and help them work towards their goals as they progress throughout the season.”


In the pole vault event, Oakdale Captain Samuel Starrs is the reigning state champion. He expressed how he felt about the event, explaining that: “My last indoor season in my sophomore year I set the state sophomore record. I’m really excited, because this will be my first indoor season since sophomore year, and since it’s my senior season I’m looking to leave my mark and break all the records that I can, and also hopefully jump high enough to vault where I want in college.”


Despite the team’s events and training being very different, they still have a very strong sense of community, or “brotherhood,” as Starrs described it. 


Distance Captain Reed Fliegel explained, “We’re very big on warming up as a team, stretching as a team, doing core as a team. Although we do split up for workouts, it’s something that we like to highlight.”


Altogether, the team is very strong and will likely once again be a serious contender for the state title. However, they know it will be no walk in the park, as many other schools have very strong teams.


Fliegel offered some insight on the competition, explaining, “The thing about track is, we just got moved up to 3A, and it kind of changes each year. The competition changes up a lot because there’s so many variables going into it. That’ll probably be something that we evaluate later.”


Head Coach Ronnie Beard had more insight on what this might mean: “I think we’re going to have a different caliber of competition, with us being moved up to 3A west, it’s very competitive up there with schools from Montgomery county and Prince George’s county… it’s going to be interesting when we get to regionals.”


The team’s first meet will be held at Hagerstown Community College’s indoor track on Friday, December 10th. 


Beard commented on their plan, “We need to get in the weight room just for maintaining, as there’s probably a lot of nicks, proper stretching, it’s a long season and we need to make sure that they are, endurance wise, ready to run throughout the season but also that they are ready physicality wise.”


The team has been working hard to prepare for this meet, as this will be the first time that they will be able to compete in a meet in almost 2 years. They are understandably very excited, and are looking forward to putting up a good opening performance.