Men’s team is currently 11th in the nation while women’s team is 17th
By Collin Frazier
As the indoor track season is in full swing, the University of Findlay track team is finding themselves in the national ranks with the men’s team currently in 11th, while the women’s are 17th. Many individuals are nationally ranked. One such is fifth year pole vaulter Gabe Makin, who feels the rankings are a great motivator.
“It pushes us all to be better,” Makin said. “We’re all surrounded by great competitors and the more exposure you get to higher level athletes, the better you’re gonna be. So being surrounded by them all the time, you’re gonna be better.”
“I think for us – what we’ve seen in the last couple of years is we’ve been competitive as a team at the conference level,” Head Coach Jared Krout said. “Men won the championship indoors last year. Women won outdoors. I think that was a big motivator to kind of stay at that level and then just keep improving where we’re at on the national level.”
“We’ve had some success there in the past, now we’re really starting to add to that. To see us ranked where we’re at early in the year with still some good people yet to open up or yet to really run their best or perform their best this year,” Krout said. “It’s exciting to think that we’re in a good spot.”
This is the first season with Krout as head coach after Blaine Maag stepped down. For Krout, it has not felt too different than his days as an assistant coach.
“I think there’s been obviously some changes from me,” Krout explained. “I think for me before [when] I was an assistant, I was still involved with a lot of the workings of our team especially like running the meets and stuff like that so that part’s been pretty smooth.”
“Taking on the role of head coach [has me] paying a little bit more attention and really being aware of what all the other events are doing and out in front [for the] team rather than just the sprints and hurdles group has been a bit of an adjustment,” Krout said. “But I guess from my perspective it’s going well. I don’t know – you’d have to ask everyone else.”
Many others agrees that Krout is taking on the helm of head coach well.
“He’s a leader. He shows up. You want to compete for him,” Makin said.
“He was a high caliber athlete when he was in college,” Makin said. “He shows what a good athlete is supposed to look like inside and outside. Having that as our leader for the entire team – it shows what we should be striving for.”
If you have lived in Hancock County in the last twenty years, chances are you agree with Makin. Graduating from Arlington High School fifteen minutes south of campus, to coaching Liberty-Benton High School less than ten minutes from campus, it only feels natural that Krout is now coaching at the collegiate level in Hancock County.
“It’s pretty cool to see it come full circle,” Krout commented. “I think my first track camp I ever went to as a kid was here at the university in the 90’s. I’ve been involved with this [campus] and obviously ran high school meets here. [I] went to Hillsdale and competed in college meets here.”
“[I] spent a lot of time coaching, competing and stuff here at Findlay and then getting a chance to come back as an assistant was great,” Krout said. “Then, having the ability to coach at really the best school in the area [Liberty-Benton] and be a part of that. Now to be the head coach [at Findlay] has been pretty cool.”
“We’re really looking to start to see everyone really go after those big marks,” Krout explained. “[We will] really start to see some of those personal bests and stuff.”
“I believe we can all go out and have a decent run,” Makin explained. “We’re all pretty comfortable, so we’ll go out there and put some pretty good work out there.”