By JON SITLER
Sheffield High School senior Kalil Slaughter has been on the run this winter.
Photo by Denny Kyser
Slaughter has not only played basketball this winter for the Wolverines - with a playoff game on Wednesday, but he's also been competing in indoor track at the same time.
He admits it's been a grind, but Slaughter's first love is track and field; he's doing everything in his power to get better for the 2012 outdoor track and field season for Sheffield High School.
Basketball is helping with his "cardio," said Kalil. Indoor track is helping with becoming "more explosive."
Indoor track is not affiliated with Sheffield High School or the PIAA; there's nothing prohibiting Kalil from doing both. It's like a club sport.
Sheffield High School track coach Bryan Gould said the indoor track season begins in December, and culminates on Saturday at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association Indoor Championships at Penn State University.
If you qualify.
Slaughter is the only athlete from Warren County competing on Saturday at the Multi-Sport Facility at University Park. He has qualified among the top 35 in the state in both the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. His best times came on Saturday at Edinboro University, running the 60 in 7.13 seconds and the 200 in 22.69 seconds.
"There is no Double-A and Triple-A (classification) indoors," said Gould. "Everybody is together, including Altoona, Upper St. Clair and Mount Lebanon (high school athletes). They have more kids in a history class than we have graduating.
"That puts things in perspective," Gould said.
Like the fact Slaughter ran what is classified as a "National Elite" time in the 200 at Saturday's Tri-State Track and Field Coaches Association (TSTCA) Indoor Championships at Edinboro and still finished sixth in the race.
Gould said there was one indoor track event at Edinboro in which 104 boys competed in the 60-meter dash and 98 in the 200. Slaughter finished second in the 200 in that event in January.
As one of the best in the state, "he wants to medal" on Saturday, said Gould, which would be a top-eight finish out of 35.
"The ultimate goal," according to Gould, "was to get him running early (prior to the spring season). And, his biggest deficiency in the sprints is the start."
So Slaughter, along with Gould and coach Dave Fitch, have been concentrating on the 60-meter dash to help him in the 100 and 200 this spring.
"Track and field is definitely his sport," said Gould. "I think it's going to help him."
Sheffield teammates competed with Slaughter in the 4X200 relay, but the relay did not qualify for the indoor championships on Saturday.
With Sheffield's basketball team winning on Wednesday, the Wolverines next play Friday night at Ridgway.
Kalil is supposed to run at 10 a.m. on Saturday. So he'll join his Wolverines Friday night in Ridgway, then head straight for State College after the game.