The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

The Student News Site of Omaha South High School

The Tooter

Running toward success

South track members sport a promising future
Soaking up their success are track members Leland Bishop, October Kochen, Charlotte Gregor and Xander Kochen.

The sun is out, and so is the Packers track team.

With multiple state qualifiers and a promising future, new head coach Nick Nichols has a lot to look forward to. Although it’s his first year in charge, Nichols has coached long and triple jump since 2012, so he is a familiar face to the team. Nichols shared some insight on what it’s like as head coach.

“We’re off to a good start,” Nichols said. He also stated that he’s seen some consistency from his leaders, and that the underclassmen follow suit.

“We work hard in practice, kids show up every day and the weather has been great as well to start the season,” Nichols added. He also acknowledged some standout players who are having a good season.

“For the girls, October Kochen has really taken hold of her hurdles,” he said.  Kochen is second or third in the district in the 110 hurdle, as well as the 300 hurdle which makes her on pace to make state for the second straight year. “Charlotte Gregor is also a dominant force,” Nichols added. “She’s top three in whatever she runs that week whether it’s the 800, 1600 or the two miles.” Gregor also made state last year and is looking to make it in back-to-back years.

For the boys, Leland Bishop and Xander Kochen are having a good season. “Leland is top 10 in the long jump and triple jump, and he’s also making strides in his 100 and 200,” Nichols added. “Xander is top 10 I’d say on the mile and is a really good leader for the team.”

Senior Leland Bishop also talked about the season and what’s to come. “The best part about track is the meets, because we always travel,” Bishop said. “The worst part is the conditioning.” Bishop believes the rest of the meets will be good because a lot of people on the team will have the chance to go to state. “Coach Nichols is the best. He always wants the best for us, and he’s always helpful,” Bishop added. Bishop also plays football and will pursue track if football doesn’t work out in his favor in college.

Junior Charlotte Gregor also shared her thoughts on the season. “Each of my teammates and coaches are so encouraging, and it makes those hard workouts super fun. At every meet, all the South athletes always cheer for each other.” Gregor described the team as strong and expects many personal records for the team. Both Bishop and Gregor talked about how they drink lots of water or a shake to get their muscles ready for a long day of track. “Coach Nichols is awesome,” Gregor added. “He’s been super organized and has prepared us really well.” Gregor plans to run both cross country and track in college and beyond as well. “It’s a great sport with great people and is very rewarding. I encourage all to join track and cross country.”

Being a new coach isn’t easy, so Nichols explained what he does to keep his team motivated. “It can be tough, but my goal is to make practice the best part of their day. We want to have positive attitudes and for the kids to show up.” Nichols described his first season as a head coach as good, and a fun adjustment that allows him to be around all the athletes as well as involved with all of them. “One change this season that has been difficult is all of the administrative stuff, but I have a great coaching staff that helps me with those things,” he added. Nichols is on a mission to keep the team of more than 70 athletes together and thinking positively now and in the future.


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Cordai Beck
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