The track program at Godwin is on the rise. This is due, in part, to the successes of the girls who participated in the Medley Relay at the outdoor invitational meet, held at Highland Springs High School.
The first two legs were run by junior Katelyn Griffin and senior SeMore Green. In both 100m legs, Griffin and Green ran 12.4 second and 11.43 second splits respectively.
One of the tricky parts about the relay is the baton handoff. However, for these girls, it was not a problem.
“My baton exchange to SeMore was great, and so were all the other exchanges,” said Griffin.
“The exchange was good. Perfect in my eyes. Plus we came in first by a big shot,” said Green.
The race consisted of two 100m legs, a 200m leg and 400m leg. Seniors Jessica Flammia and Ardenne Sklavos ran the back half of the relay, participating in the 200m leg and the 400m leg respectively.
Flammia had a 25 second split for her 200m leg while Sklavos had a split of 1:01.14 for her 400m leg.
Sklavos, running the anchor leg, was important to the team’s success as the anchor is expected to finish strong.
“It was a regular meet, but there were only relay races (no individual events),” said Sklavos.
After every person ran, the Godwin girls came up top.
“My relay team got first in our heat and second overall,” said Flammia.
As far as chemistry goes, Flammia says she has been practicing with two of the other girls [not Sklavos] in a group for two years now (Green and Griffin).
With that being said, Sklavos mentioned that the relay as a whole had not practiced together with an exception of the week prior to the event.
“We also don’t practice for this relay because it’s not a state event, so we just practiced handoffs the week prior,” said Sklavos.
“The baton exchanges were very good. We got the baton around very quickly and efficiently,” said Flammia.
“My leg was the last, so I did not have to pass it off, but receiving the baton went smoothly as the hand off from a 200 to a 400 is pretty simple. The other handoffs were also very smooth and went well which helped give us a large lead,” said Sklavos.
Flammia and Sklavos have benefited from the teachings of the coaches. Flammia has learned how to run “technically correct and effectively” and Sklavos has “learned a lot about how to efficiently run a 400-meter dash”.
While the technicality is important, so is the mental mindset before a race.
“Additionally, for meets in general I’ve learned how to get in the right headspace and be confident for my race,” said Sklavos.
Griffin, when asked what she has benefited from said, “we practice handoffs a lot at practice so that helps our times in relays a lot to have quick exchanges.”
Without the help of the coaches and staff, this relay team would not have been nearly as successful as they were.
Godwin track Coach Keilah Tyson knows a thing or two about running. After her running career at Kentucky, she was hired as the track coach here at Godwin.
When asked about this particular group of girls, Tyson said one of their best qualities is their chemistry as a unit. Tyson said “These girls are attached at the hip and they all are dedicated to being the best relay team out there every time they compete.”
One thing is for sure when you practice with Coach Tyson: it is no joke. Tyson says she challenges these girls in ways they have never been challenged before, and they do nothing but respond. “The girls are built with a different mindset that a coach can only beg for in their athletes. Each of these young ladies comes to practice every day with the mentality to get better,” said Tyson.
Track regionals are coming up, and coach Tyson is confident this group will be mentally and physically prepared. “This sport is more mental than it is physical. I believe they all have embraced the process and we have yet to see them at their best.”
Tyson has a few concepts that must be accepted in order to run track under her. “Greatness is not a GIFT it is a choice, if you choose to join this VARSITY sport you are choosing GREATNESS,” said Tyson.
Tyson describes her style as “coaching ordinary people to extraordinary accomplishments.”
Finally, this relay has been successful enough to be approaching the postseason. Tyson said “their hard work will show on the track at regionals.”