Wakefield’s indoor track and field team doesn’t need wings to fly


Staff Photo by Abigail Mosher

Jasmine Wilson- Johnson does a hurdle exercise during practice.

Hurdles, shot put and sprints, oh my! Wakefield hit the ground running in their first meet of the season on Thursday, Nov 29, 2018. Student-athletes placed in the top five in all running categories, making their four coaches proud.

“We pretty much dominate in speed categories,” Coach Joseph Richardson said. “When we compete at the meet, that’s their measuring stick, so we know what we need to improve on.”

In past seasons, speed has carried Wakefield through many competitions. Reggie Barlow, a senior, is one of the top 55 meter runners in the state. Unfortunately, he couldn’t go to the State Championship meet last season due to an injury, but he doesn’t plan on missing it this year. His top times are 10.8 seconds for 100 meters and 21.9 seconds for 200 meters.

“[Being on the team] has helped me make friends and kept me on track with my grades,” Barlow said.

Staff Photo by Abigail Mosher
Some of Wakefield’s runners pose for a picture together.

Some other star athletes on the team are seniors Timon Edelen and Jasmine Wilson-Johnson. With a best distance of 55 feet, Edelen is the defending indoor state champion for shot put. He’s been in track since he was seven years old; ten years later, he plans to participate in track and field in college. He’s recently committed to Campbell University.

“[To stay motivated] I just think about going to college for free and improving my numbers. I want to get 60 [feet] in shot put and 180 [meters] in discus,” Edelen said.

Staff Photo by Abigail Mosher
Jayden Jones, Wakefield’s only female thrower, practices shot put.

Jasmine Wilson-Johnson was a state qualifier last year in the 4 x 100-meter relay and has a personal record of 7.5 seconds for the 55-meter dash. She is one of about ten returners from last season. The majority of the team consists of underclassmen, and the seniors and coaches of the team expect a lot from them during this season and in the seasons to come. The speed and enthusiasm that Wakefield’s indoor track team has lost over the years is beginning to come back.  

“They’re more coachable, attentive and hungry. They want to be good at what they do. It’s a big culture change,” Richardson said.

The indoor track team is now much closer than they were in previous seasons. They encourage each other and correct each other in a kind and uplifting way during practice.

“They know how to talk to each other,” Richardson said. “This team has it going in the right direction.”

Staff Photo by Abigail Mosher
Annie Camara, Sophomore, runs laps around the track during practice.

Several teammates have expressed their gratitude for having this outlet to create such long-lasting friendships. In practice, they love to have fun and make jokes and have truly created their own family. Claudia Pons, a junior Spanish exchange student, has found the relationships built during indoor track to be beneficial to her American high school experience.

“I wanted to try different things. In Spain, I didn’t do a sport,” Pons said. “I wanted to meet new people.”

Moving forward, the team will be working on depth and field events, as well as perfecting their techniques. Things like foot and hand placement, body posture and flexibility play a crucial role in maximizing all of the athletes’ abilities. Barlow thinks that the team can do even better than previous years if the team works hard and practices hard. Over the years, Wakefield has earned themselves an impressive reputation in indoor track, and the team looks forward to running their way to the top this season.

“Wakefield’s been really successful over the years in track and field,” Coach Richardson said. “When they see the “W” coming, nobody’s in awe anymore; they take it as a challenge. That’s just how the program has positioned itself.”