By David Fong
Regional Sports Editor
TROY — The dress rehearsals will continue for the Troy track and field teams at Friday’s Herb Hartman Invitational at Troy Memorial Stadium.
Thanks in part to poor weather, spring break and nagging health issues, both the Troy boys and girls track teams still are looking to firm up their varsity lineups heading into the Hartman Invitational, the fourth meet of the season. It’s the last meet the Trojans will host until the Greater Western Ohio Conference championships in May.
“We are four track meets in and it doesn’t seem like we’ve had one,” Troy boys track and field coach Deon Metz said. “I’m still fighting with my lineup in terms of who is healthy, who is here and who is in shape. We really haven’t had a meet where we’ve been able to put some of our guys in multiple events like we would normally want to.”
Metz said that, under normal circumstances, he’d like to have a much firmer grasp on his lineup heading into the Hartman Invitational — but will make do with what he has for Friday’s meet, while hoping to learn more about his team in the process.
“There have been times in years past where we’ve gone into this meet rolling,” Metz said. “I don’t know if that will be the case this year. Hopefully we can take what we’ve learned here and in the next few meets and know a little more about ourselves heading into the county meet (April 16).
“You know, I always say how fast the season goes, but it’s more like a marathon than a sprint. I remember when I was a younger coach, I wanted to win every meet. I wanted all of the trophies we could get. Now that I’m a little older, I’m looking more toward the end game. I want to put us in a position to succeed at the end of the season when you start getting into the conference meet, districts and regionals. Last year, we were a much better team at the end of the season than we were at the beginning of the season.”
While the Troy girls team has fewer question marks than the boys team, coach Kurt Snyder still is looking for answers in several events — and hopes to find out a little more Friday.
“For the most part, we are almost there; we almost have our full arsenal,” Snyder said. “We’re lucky in that our first five meets, we can enter ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams, so more kids still have the opportunity to make varsity. With that many kids getting the chance to compete, no one can complain they didn’t get their opportunity.
“Our biggest challenge this year is we have so many new kids. I think we are still looking to try and see where some of those kids are going to fit in on the team. For the most part, we are healthy, which is always good. We’ve been able to enjoy good weather this week in practice, which also helps.”
The Herb Hartman Invitational is named after Troy’s long-time track and field coach. Hartman has spent 52 years coaching the program, both as head coach and now as the boys and girls pole vault coach. One of the annual highlights of the Herb Hartman Invitational is the steeplechase, a 2,000-meter run that includes a portion of the race in which runners have to push off a wooden barrier and leap across a water pit.
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