Photo by Derrick Mahone
Eagle’s Landing Christian will need a big effort from relay members (from L-R) Seth Moore, Timothy Holland, Joe Walker and Bryson Durden this week in Jefferson to have a shot at winning the Class A title.
For the most part, track and field is an individual sport. Most runners, throwers and jumpers are not dependent on a teammate to determine their success.
That’s until the relay events come up at a track meet.
Doing an individual event is great, but coaches and runners said there is a certain prestige in being on a relay team.
“Runners try hard to get on a relay, and they try even harder to stay on it,” said Drew coach James Davis, whose Titans have one of the top relays in the nation.
“Everyone doesn’t get to run on a relay, so it is a big deal,” said Luella senior Tadashi Pinder, who’s the anchor on the Lions’ top-seeded 1,600-meter relay at this weekend’s Class AAAAA meet.
Luella’s 400 relay is seeded No. 2 behind Region 2-AAAAA foe M.L. King.
At one time this season, Drew had the No. 2 400 relay team in the country.
Davis said it is the competition among the runners that makes the relay teams strong.
“Nobody on the relay team wants to be that weak link,” Davis said. “Everyone is trying to beat the other team member’s time. That is what makes it exciting and fun. The relays are the biggest attractions at the meet.”
And not to mention — good.
A strong relay team could be the difference in winning a meet.
Both of Eagle’s Landing Christian’s relay teams made it to state. The 400 relay is seeded No. 3 while the 1,600 is seeded sixth in Class A.
If the Chargers are to have a shot at the team championship, it will need a good showing from the relay teams.
“I think running on the relay team has brought us all closer together,” ELCA senior Seth Moore said. “The relay teams are more intense. You have a lot of pride when your relay team wins. We all love being on the relay and try to do our best in that event.”
Pinder, who has had a breakout season at Luella, said he doesn’t feel any added pressure to do well on the relay team.
“Even if I did feel pressure, I wouldn’t show it,” he said. “My teammates look up to me. I can’t be nervous out there.”