Track & Field ready for healed injuries and warm weather

Daiyaan Hawkins ’20 (center) strides forward at the Great Valley Kellerman Invitational, April 20, 2019

After an enormously successful winter track season that saw Fourth Former Kevin Thomas become the first Ford to win an individual state competition, many eyes are on the spring track team.

The Fords will have to overcome the departure of their previous captain and one of the team’s largest point scorers, Dan Whaley ’19, along with fellow alums Petey Lemmon ’19, Khalil Bland ’19, and others, but Sixth Former Daiyaan Hawkins, the team’s leading scorer, will return for his final year.

In his fifth year running the team, Coach Luqman Kolade is looking forward to the season.

“All our top guys are going to return, and we even had some injuries in the winter that will hopefully be sort of remedied by the time spring comes about,” Coach Kolade said. “So, in theory, we should be as good or a little better.”

Joining Hawkins, Thomas, and Coach Kolade will be a new shot-put coach, Mr. George Avecillas. Additionally, Lucas Elek ’13, will help out with the middle school and varsity track teams.

Many runners use winter track as a bridge to the spring season when they can compete at their best. In the warmer months, the team has more opportunities to practice outside, which, as Coach Kolade pointed out, “helps everyone be considerably faster than they were in the beginning.”

Sadly, when it comes to competitions in the spring, the Fords will not be able to compete against the top schools in the state. In the spring season, Haverford is only allowed to participate in the Inter-Ac and the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISA) meets, but not in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) state meet.

“I like to stay relaxed, get my mind ready, not think about the race too much, and just trust my training.”

Kevin Thomas ’22

Thomas had some advice on how to prepare before running in a race.

“I like to stay relaxed, get my mind ready, not think about the race too much, and just trust my training,” Thomas said.

As he looks out to another season, Coach Kolade reflected on his favorite aspects of being a coach.

“My favorite part is seeing kids get better,” Coach Kolade said. “We have kids that have pretty substantial goals for the season and helping them get to there is pretty awesome.”

Author: Matthew Schwartz '21

Managing Editor Matthew Schwartz has written for The Index for three years. He previously served as News Editor.