Freshmen athletes find ‘family’ in track and field

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Freshman Jayden Henry competes at the Bellevue West track invitational.Photo by Brooke Riley

Although runners and throwers compete separately, track and field athletes still train together as a team. Through the hard work in practice, runners and throwers support each other through the ups and downs of the season.

Throwers and runners compete individually at track meets; they win medals and earn points for the team as a whole. That’s about where the similarities end. In meets and during practices the workouts and training are different.

“I think it’s different because when you’re running you’re against your own team, and when you’re throwing it’s against yourself and the other teams,” freshman discus thrower Delaney Doyle said.

Large crowds, excited fans, and guns shooting off to signal the start of a race make most competitors nervous during meets. The atmosphere of multiple schools competing head to head sets a tense vibe for most athletes.

“I’m thinking about getting a good stride out, but at the same time I’m really nervous inside,” freshman 400-meter runner Amiya Johnson said.

With many schools at meets, the opposing teams sometimes make it difficult for athletes to focus on their events without letting pressure get to their heads.

 

“It’s really intense because you’re trying to size up the competition,” Doyle said. “Some people catch you off guard and it’s also very nerveracking.

Through confidence and strong faith, athletes can run strong races and throw well without feeling the fate of the team’s success on their shoulders.

“I’m usually pretty nervous, but then I tell myself I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” freshman mile and two mile runner Kortney Buresh said.

Close-knit relationships on the team also help ease high nerves during the meets. Athletes perform at their best with the on-going cheering in their ears.

“I really like how the team is so supporting for one another,” Buresh said. “The team is always cheering for at least someone. It’s so fun and it gets your mind off of your nerves for your race.”

The track family supports each other through everything, no matter the distance of a throw or the time of a race.

“I love being a thrower on my team,” Doyle said. “My team is like my family.”

The passion of the coaches always shows. From one end of the track to the other, coaches voices cheer on their athletes and remind them to train hard and correctly.

“I always think of it as constructive criticism, and that sometimes we need to know if we’re doing something wrong and what we need to improve, because it will help each person in our events,” Johnson said.

Track and field means more than running in a circle and throwing a discus as far as possible. For these athletes, the track team has made an imprint on their lives and changed the way they live and play in other sports.

“It’s changed my output on life because it made me realize that it’s important if you wanna excel at something,” Johnson said. “In anything you have to work harder and go further than you usually do, and also it’s important to not give up and to reach for your goals in every possible way.”

Sara Fogarty
Guest Reporter