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Roseburg High Track Update: Seniors to Compete in Final Home Track Meet

2:38 AM · Apr 26, 2023

Roseburg High School's track team is preparing for their senior’s final home meet, set to take place this Wednesday at 4pm at Finlay Field in Roseburg. Head Coach Gwen Bartlett shared her thoughts on the season, team progress, and the upcoming event in a recent interview. This year's track season has seen numerous personal records (PRs) and season bests, with the team performing well against other conference competitors. Coach Bartlett emphasized that the most significant aspect of track is when athletes improve their own performance, and the team makes it a point to celebrate PRs together. As the season has progressed, the number of athletes achieving PRs has increased, marking the team's success. One of the key aspects of this season has been adapting to challenges and making adjustments. While returning veterans have performed as expected despite some injuries, the influx of new and young athletes has required coaches to find the best fit for each individual to succeed. At every meet, the coaching staff adjusts event competition based on athletes' needs for rest or recovery, the opposing team, and the strengths of the competitors. The biggest challenge this year has been ensuring that as many athletes as possible have the opportunity to travel and compete. With a large team and limited transportation capacity, it has been difficult to provide every athlete with the chance to participate in away dual meets. Roseburg High School's track team has experienced significant growth in recent years, beginning with approximately 80 athletes in 2018 and now featuring 145 consistent participants in 2023. The coaching staff comprises a mix of seasoned veterans and new additions, all working together to support and develop the athletes. Among the experienced coaches are Mike Bober, who has spent 50 years in the program; Tonia Brewer and Stephanie Hutchins, who specialize in the throws and have helped numerous athletes over the years succeed at the State level; and Nathan Eckman, the long-distance coach who also serves as the head coach for cross country, bringing valuable experience and rapport with the runners. New coaches Dave Heuberger and Jordan Humphreys have made valuable contributions in hurdles and horizontal jumps, respectively. Both coaches have actively sought to expand their knowledge by attending clinics, consulting with former coaches, and asking questions to become more informed in their respective events. As head coaches of other sports – football and basketball – they understand how to work with athletes in motivational and supportive ways, making them great additions to the coaching staff. Another noteworthy coach is Bill Bartlett, who pole vaulted in high school and has coached pole vaulting at both the middle and high school levels. His experience is particularly valuable given the safety needs associated with the event. Senior night is a bittersweet event for the coaches, who have watched the seniors grow and develop throughout their high school careers. The upcoming meet against Grants Pass, a traditionally strong team, will focus on creating a positive final memory for the seniors competing at Finlay Field for the last time. As the season enters its final month, the team's ultimate goal is to perform at their best during the district meet, (May 18-20) whether at the JV or Varsity level. Coaches will strategize workouts and taper efforts to ensure athletes have strong legs for their final competitions. Small tweaks to technique in events like shot put, javelin, discus, pole vault, and high jump will be crucial to help athletes reach their full potential for the district meet. For those wishing to come out and support the Roseburg High track team and the senior’s final home meet, the competition starts at 4pm, Wednesday April 26 at Finlay Field. ~ Photo of the graduating seniors from this years track team by Elijah Finlay