COLUMBUS - Warren G. Harding track and field coach Charles Penny surveyed his surroundings and saw his contingent of Raiders practicing.
His team was wearing black shorts and T-shirts which said, "It's all about the W." The "W" was in the shape of two hands forming the letter - a slogan Harding used during its 2010 Division I boys state championship run.
It's much more than a flash of the hands, like former WGH standout DeAver Williamson did as he crossed the finish line en route to winning the Division I state 100-meter dash in 2010.
Those around the program know the saying is much more than a slogan strongly based on the University of Miami's, "It's all about the U."
It's about city of Warren, its rich history and the people that proud to call that city home.
These WGH athletes are proudly representing the Raiders and the city of Warren today and Saturday at the state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
"This is something we made up so that no matter where you come from, you'll come to Warren and be behind one thing," Penny said. "That's why it's all about the W."
Thursday, during a final practice, the Raiders did a couple of run throughs, handoffs and starts - taking care of the basics.
"I would tell my coaches and kids, 'The hay's in the barn now, you can't make yourself any faster.'" Penny said. "You want to make sure you take all the intangibles out. You want to make sure your blocks are set."
Prior to today's Division I state semifinals that begin at 4:45 p.m., staying calm is essential. Penny stressed to his runners that are in a new setting, like state, getting a bundle of nerves doesn't do them any good.
Relaxing and having fun is the protocol and, after that his achieved, success should follow.
"Good things tend to happen," Penny said.
No one displayed that any better than Alexandra Allen, who calmly strutted up the track wearing sunglasses after practice. She smiled when it was mentioned if those movie-star shades made her more relaxed.
Considering she has the third-best time heading into today's 100 hurdles, she should not have too much trouble grabbing one of those two automatic qualifying spots to Saturday's final. The top two in each of the two heats of the every running semifinal, along with the next five fastest times, advance to finals.
"I'm relaxed. I'm not really nervous because I know I can do it," she said.
It's that cool, calm and collective attitude she hopes her teammates in the 4x200 have picked up as well because good handoffs and starts are essential.
"I don't like to be too nervous because if you're nervous, you'll mess up," Allen said.
Like the girls 4x200 relay and Allen in the hurdles, the WGH boys 4x100 wants to make state finals as well.
Then, if the time is right on Saturday, WGH could display its slogan on the track once again.
"It depends on the place," WGH's Dalyn Gattison said. "Hopefully if we're up there, we're going to throw the W up."
It's not only a slogan, it's the pride these athletes want to display on the track. After all, it's all about the W.