Traversing the Track and Flying Through the Field: Track & Field’s 2023 District Meet


Jacob Will

State High Track and Field athletes run a victory lap after winning the District 6 Championships.

Eliana Kaufman, Staff Writer

On Tues. May 16, and Wed. May 17, State High won the track and field district meet. State Highs’ boys won with a score of 288  and the girls won with a score of 209. Altoona’s teams both came in second with scores of 150 for the boys and 209 for the girls.

District 6 comprises about 10 AAA schools and 40 AA schools, with around 40-50 schools in attendance at the meet. As a AAA school, State High was competing with other AAA schools.

After the long two-day meet, head coach Artie Glikes was feeling good, although tired. “I’m very pleased with our efforts,” he said. “We put a lot of pressure on [the kids] for the month of May to score points. That’s kinda when they have to have their best performances, and they definitely did that.”

“Districts is the qualifying meet for the state championship,” Gilkes added before the meet. “That’s next Friday and Saturday, and we’re talking about almost 40 kids qualify[ing]. So we’ll leave, go down there, some of them will even continue on to nationals, which is after school, which is in a few months, but the real focus is on states. I think that the crew that we’ve got going is a good crew. A lot of them are young so they’ll gain [a] valuable experience for future years.”

Glikes continued to emphasize the age of the Track and Field team. “The exciting part is how young our team is, and I think that our coaching staff really did a good job at getting these young kids prepared for the rigors of multiple-event, multiple-day competitions in a way that we really haven’t before.”

“The excitement of both boys and girls winning, and doing their victory lap together and families getting involved was a lot of fun,” Gilkes recalled. “For the coaches, there was maybe a little bit more strain of the stress of it all from an administrative point of view but once the kids got to the meet, it was all game on.”

One of those kids, Senior Grace Morningstar, was feeling “really great” after the meet.“I hit such a runner’s high. The whole team was on their feet because they had run and it was just a great feeling,” she stated.

“The atmosphere was really good,” Morningstar continued. “It started before the track and field events started. Everyone was kinda nervous and in good spirits at the same time. It was interesting to see, because, [in] the beginning, we were all kinda super nervous, [but] towards the middle when people were doing their events or finishing up, more and more people just got excited to encourage and support other people, and by the end when it was just one or two events left everyone was going crazy, so it was fantastic.”

Morningstar also took note of the wording people tend to use when referring to track and field. “I love how people always say track meet, but in reality, it’s track and field. Everyone’s eyes always say ‘Oh who ran the fastest’ or ‘Who got a record’ and that’s fantastic, it really is,” she said. “But the important thing to remember is you can still set records [outside of track]. You can do it in time, you can do it in distance [throwing], you can do it in height [long jump]. There’s just a lot that people don’t always include and I think that field events have always been a main contributor to our point system. So I think it’s really important to include everyone in that.”

After winning districts with several kids going on to states, and a young, strong team sure to improve in the coming years, track and field is closing off the year strong.