Springers fire off a good start
There may not be a Glenwood Springers summer season, but it doesn’t mean up-and-coming runners aren’t getting the instruction they need to be successful competitors in the future.Twenty-five participants showed up for the first day of the Springers Summer Camp at Glenwood High School on Monday. The free camp, with runners ages 4-18, is headed by Glenwood High’s track coach and former Springers coach Blake Risner, who hopes to get the campers addicted to the sport at a young age.”I don’t know if it was just the sport or if it was just somebody that motivated me when I was their age, but I learned to love the sport early on,” Risner said. “If I can teach the young kids the benefits of the sport and just to enjoy it then hopefully we will get more people involved in the program and get more people involved in the sport, because it is just incredible, and I think it has a lot to offer.”
The camp runs every day this week from 3:30-6:30 p.m. and will conclude with the Springers All-Comers meet on Friday. Each day the campers will learn different techniques for different track and field events. On Monday, the runners were introduced to basic drills before being split up into two groups based on age. The older kids went for a distance run to Two Rivers Park, and the younger kids learned about distance running by each completing a 100-meter leg of a relay.With so many things to teach, Risner has roped in the help of Springers alumni including Chas and Marco Salmen, University of Duke runners who both assisted and spoke at Monday’s camp.
“Knowing going in that I wanted to squeeze as much as possible into one week, I knew the success of the camp hinged on having some great volunteer help,” Risner said. “Today, even though we only introduced one event … to divide that into two groups really helped. The next three days we are introducing three events each day, so that is when the help is going to be crucial.”Pumping their arms and paddling their little legs as fast as they could, the younger kids tried to learn basic techniques such as how to warm up and cool down properly, how to get a good stride, staying in their lanes and breathing correctly. The older kids worked on form, lifting their feet off the track quickly and accelerating. Two of the older kids, Kellin Casey and Michael McGraw, said they had fun running with their friends at the first day of camp, but missed having a Springers season.
“It is different because I always did it and that was just something to do,” 12-year-old Casey said.Even if the camp is only for a week, it introduces kids to track and gets them exercising, which is a big emphasis for Risner as well as the kids.”It’s kind of just something to do instead of sitting at home,” McGraw said.
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