IR gets on track with program's first win
Stepping in as a first-time head coach for a new high school athletics program can be a daunting task, and Bob Hahn’s role as the varsity coach of the Indian River track-and-field team is no exception. But, in his varsity coaching debut, Hahn is exposing the team’s true potential, helping the program find their first win last week as they faced off in a tri-meet against Dover and Laurel.
“This isn’t about me, though,” said Hahn, “as much as it is about the kids. They’re the ones out there working hard. I’m doing the best I can, and we’re going to take what we can get, but it’s the student athletes who are making this all work.”
Despite dropping their matchup against Dover, 95.5 to 45.5, the Indians persisted to defeat Laurel, 74-54, in the program’s very first win since it began last spring.
“I really want to try to keep the kids positive,” said Hahn. “It’s a good thing when you have these kids willing to try something and step outside of their comfort zones. These kids really believe in themselves.”
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the team’s first win is the fact that the sport is still in such a preliminary stage at IRHS.
“We go to a lot of these schools,” said Hahn, “and you face athletes where track is their main sport. Here, we have wrestlers, basketball players, soccer players. For these kids, track is more like a secondary sport. In some cases, we’re still working on getting them more familiar with the arena.”
Several Indians placed first in their events. Katteem Harmon grabbed a first-place overall in the shot put. Timothy Roberts grabbed an overall finish in the long jump, and Jesus Baker finished atop the 3,200 hurdles. Indian River’s boys’ 4-by-200 relay team topped Dover, while Jeremy Biamby’s 100 meter, Tyler Danaher’s mile, and Roberts’ long, triple and high jumps edged Laurel.
The Indian River girls pushed past Laurel in the 4-by-1,600 relay, while Keiosha Shelton placed in her four events – the high jump, the 200, the 100 and the 4-by-100 relay. Maria Smith grabbed a first-place finish in the 800 and 2-mile against Laurel, while Naja’e Smith grabbed the 400. Chanel Handy finished first in the shot put and discus, and Brianna Marshall won her 100-meter hurdling event.
“I’m really enjoying coaching at the varsity level,” said Hahn. “I enjoy working closely with the student athletes and watching them gain confidence. From here, I’d like to focus on getting more hurdlers out there.”
The Indians headed to Seaford earlier this week and will follow up with Stephen Decatur on Tuesday, April 5, at 4 p.m.