Woodfords honing skills for breakout outdoor season

Patrick Newell

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt of an article on Oxford seniors Katie and Emily Woodford. The complete article will appear in the Thursday, Feb. 3 edition of The Evening Sun.

For two months out of the year, the past two years, Oxford’s twin sisters, Katie and Emily Woodford have rewritten the recordbook in the Midstate Athletic Conference. Katie and Emily teamed as part of the 400-meter relay to win a Division II state championship in 2009. The past two years, Katie has won state championships in the 400-meter dash, while Emily was a few feet away from winning a state title in the 200-meter dash last year, only to suffer an untimely fall near the finish line.
The Woofords, now seniors, have come into the past two spring seasons with a flash, and left with a large bang. The other 10 months of the year, they were largely unseen on the local sports season. That is, until the duo – who will likely be a welcomed addition to some collegiate team’s track and field squad next year – decided to compete for B-G/Afton on its winter indoor track and field team.
Knowing B-G/Afton coach Robb Munro quite well, Oxford’s track darlings have continued to excel, continued to break records, and should be well prepared to exceed any an all outdoor accomplishments the previous two seasons. “Let’s be honest, those two didn’t walk in here (to our team) as nobodys,” Munro said. “They were already well trained in terms of their speed. We’re talking about a girl, in Katie, who ran a 11.8 in the 100-meter dash (a Section IV record). Her speed was already outstanding. My ultimate thing is to get her to the point, when she leaves me, that she can go to Oxford and have a spring season that blows everyone’s mind.”
Munro’s training methods are not unconventional, but they are unfamiliar to the Woodfords. The Bears’ mentor is doing his best to take the Woodfords out of their comfort zone. The Woodfords have specialized in the sprint distances at Oxford – the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter dashes. Over the past two months, the Woodfords have ran 600-meter races, 800-meter races, and even ran legs on 3,200-meter relays. Running those distances were foreign to the Woodfords, but Munro has the luxury of a deep indoor roster, so he can tinker with the Woodfords’ training.
“I have been able to use those types of races as workouts for the Woodfords,” Munro said. “For those girls, doing a workout is still fast enough to be competitive.”