BY ABBY WICHTERMAN
Wadsworth’s Athletic Department’s winter season is coming to a close. Before the season ends, athletes are getting ready to attend state competitions.
Indoor track and bowling will be competing in states this weekend. Indoor track will be sending five relay teams and bowling will be sending one bowler to compete.
Gymnastics just sent one gymnast to states on February 29 to compete on vault.
This Saturday, Wadsworth’s indoor track team will be sending three girls teams and two boys team to compete. Each relay team will be running in several events.
Rachel Murphey, 10, attended states this past fall for cross country, but this will be the first time she is going for track.
“I am excited to run against some of the best competition, yet nervous at the same time,” said Murphey. “Since I am only a sophomore, I feel it is a great opportunity and am thankful to have such great teammates.”
This will be Sami Shaffer’s, 12, second time going to states for indoor track. Her and Emily Kurtz, 12, have been on the same relay team both times.
“I am really excited for states this year because it is my senior year,” exclaimed Shaffer. “It is my last time I will be able to compete with all of my teammates and that means a lot to me. I am less nervous this year because it is the last time and I want to enjoy the moment as much as I can.”
The team has been preparing all winter and is ready to finish the season next Saturday.
“We have been mixing in a lot of solid strength workouts in order to build up the stamina for running 800s, but we have also been doing some speed training in order to prepare for that aspect of the race as well,” said Shaffer.
The track team will be competing next Saturday afternoon at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Chris Steele, 12, will be representing Wadsworth Bowling next Friday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl. This will be Steele’s third year going to states. He did not go his junior year due to not scoring enough points in sectionals.
“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders going back to State,” stated Steele. “Especially missing it by such a small amount of pins just because of one bad frame last year.”
In order to make up for last year’s loss, Steele has been spending most of his days at the bowling alley practicing for the match.
“I practice about five to six days a week focusing on different things each day like shot execution, hand position, different types of ball roll and much more,” said Steele. “It all just depends on what I feel I need the most.”
With states just around the corner, Steele is feeling confident with the competition and is hoping to perform well.
“This year, I feel that it is very different because I’m finally at a place where I feel very comfortable with my game and shot execution,” Steele said.
Jensen Heppner is a sophomore and is a member of Wadsworth’s gymnastics team. She was at states this past Saturday competing on the vault. Heppner was the only gymnast who qualified for states this year. It was also her first time attending the state competition.
“This is my first time going to states,” state Heppner. “Last year I was one spot away from making it to the state competition on all-around.”
Heppner believes that the sport is often overlooked in the school and she looked forward to representing the sport she loves at states.
“I love representing my school at the state competition,” said Heppner. “I think gymnastics has been overlooked by the school, so representing the school at states is important to me in order to get the recognition that it deserves.”
Heppner competed at Hilliard Bradley High School in Columbus and placed 17th in the state.
Wadsworth is ready to cheer on these teams as they represent the school at their state competitions next weekend. Bowling will be competing Friday morning and Track will compete Saturday afternoon.