EL Boys’ Indoor Track Takes States

EL boys’ distance runners have back- to-back success from cross country to indoor track


  EL runners Brendan Fant, Sean McCauley, and Jilali
Benjdid run at the ECC Championship meet.

After an extremely successful cross country season this school year, the boys’ distance team’s diverse talent won them the state title at the 2023 Class M indoor track meet and broke many school records at nationals. Winning by 54.33 points, the EL boys’ indoor track team’s success can be credited to a lot of small sacrifices made by each player. Many athletes stepped up and made an individual difference by taking on more work than they needed to. “We had a lot of guys that chose to do three events as opposed to two,” senior captain Brendan Fant said. “Those small sacrifices, I think, are what tipped us over the edge.” The team also talked about how an effective coach-athlete relationship can lead to great success when it comes to this sport. When both the coach and the team make sacrifices, it leads to more improvement. “The coach takes half of [the work], and we take half [the work]. At the end of the day, it helps us to achieve whatever goal we set forth,” Fant said. “I think that reciprocal relationships really contributed to the win.” When it comes to many ELHS track athletes, they participate in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. The three seasons that run concurrently basically act as one elongated season, and they are essentially seamless when it comes to transitioning from one to the next. “I think especially having our coach, Mike
Flynn, know how to transition us between longer distances to track distances [helps],” junior and distance runner Nathaniel Ritz said. “It’s pretty seamless.” Several of the indoor track and field athletes went to nationals March 9 through March 12 in Boston, Massachusetts, including Jayla Washington, Jilali Benjdid, Nathan Bergman, Brendan Fant, Sean McCauley, Thomas Matlock, and Nathaniel Ritz. “I mean, it’s kind of like a dream,” Fant said. “Our coach told us that this is by far the most athletes he’s ever had going to nationals. It’s something that I think most runners dream of.”