Flying Four

The Westminster boys 4×100 relay team attempts to make history.


Colin Ring

From left to right: Hines, Mulick, Wilkerson, Minner, and Walsh (not pictured) are excited to showcase the fruits of their hard work this season.

The 100 meter dash is undeniably the greatest measurement of human speed in its purest form.

These races, usually lasting under twelve seconds, are some of the most electric and exciting moments in a sporting event. Watching a fast 100 meter runner gain speed out of the starting blocks as they begin to pump their arms and legs is like watching poetry in motion.

On the Westminster track and field team, there is no shortage of speed in the 100 meter dash. In the individual 100 meter last Tuesday at Rockwood Summit, Rob Hines, Tucker Mulick, juniors, and Gus Wilkerson, senior, finished first, second, and third in their heat, annihilating the competition, while on the girls side, Madison Schofield also won her 100 meter heat.

Although it is extremely entertaining to watch these short head-to-head competitions, it is even more exciting to see these runners combine their talents in the 4×100 meter relay because it emphasizes the team over the individual and demonstrates Westminster’s overall speed.

Westminster’s boys 100 meter relay team, made up of Hines, Wilkerson, Mulick, John Walsh, senior, and LJ Minner, junior,who recently subbed in for Walsh after he experienced a hamstring injury, is a special example of teammates working together to achieve a common goal.

The team has lots of experience in the event and believes they are ready to achieve big things in the upcoming season.

“[Our goal this season is] to get the school record which is 44.80,” said Minner.

This past Tuesday during a meet at Rockwood Summit, the team rallied to win the event by a step, flashing their raw talent in the process.

Despite the injury to Walsh and two botched handoffs, which is common for many early season relay events but did not cause the boys disqualification since the meet was not officially scored, the four sprinters managed to overcome the adversity and make a solid first showing.

After mentioning how well Westminster’s team as a whole did, the team was not impressed with their first performance.

“As far as the 4×1 goes, I personally am disappointed. Our team has a lot of potential, but we simply did not practice enough to do what we needed to do. The handoffs between Me and Tucker were the worst. In practice, neither one of us were able to run at 100%. As a result, Tucker gave me too many steps and took off too early. I simply couldn’t catch him,” said Hines.

To get over their early season handoff woes, the 4×100 team is working exceptionally hard, as is the rest of the track team.

“After the last meet, everyone is doing their best in the workouts and encouraging everyone regardless of their specialty. As far as 4×1 handoffs go, we are practicing to the point of perfection, and asking for critiques from all of the available coaches,” said Hines.

“We are definitely working on steps, timing and trusting each other,” said Minner.

Though they were rusty, as it was their first meet in two years, it can’t be ignored that they also had to compete with a runner who hadn’t previously been a part of the relay team.

Minner displayed exceptional selflessness and character, giving his best in an event he wasn’t originally scheduled to compete in. He exemplified a “team first” attitude that has helped generate success for Westminster on the track in previous years, and he performed quite admirably in Walsh’s absence.

“What I love most about the 4×1 is the brotherhood that comes with it. Personally, I’ve always been a team player and I love team sports. Just building deeper bonds with these is amazing to me, especially when we start to have success,” said Minner.

Despite not knowing if Walsh is going to make it back before the end of the season, with the gifted Minner filling in, the team is still poised to make a strong run at state.

“I believe that our 4×1 team is fully capable of reaching our goals,” said Hines.
The girls portion of the track and field team competed on Tuesday, April 7th, and the whole team will compete again on Saturday, April 17th at the Corey Siebert Invitational, hosted by Rockwood Summit High School.