The Value of Track
May 8, 2019
It was a windy day, like most spring track meets. I saw him coming down the cement stairs from the track field. I asked him if he likes track. He said, "Yes. I run the 100 and the hurdles." Although I learned later, he's never runs the hurdles but wanted to and on that day, he was going to get a chance to. He just loves being a part of a team and playing sports. His skill levels will not make him a winner, but he loves the camaraderie like sitting with friends on the bus and running in the same races. "His team is very good to him," his mother said.
The reasons for being a part of the Junior High Track team vary, but I couldn't find one that didn't like it. The main reason for that is varied in the sport. There are 16 events. Charlie Klimas helps the students who want to throw and Shersteen Cline works with the Javelin event. Head coach Serena Cator says there is some really good athletes on the team. This year the sixth graders were allowed to come up, so the total number out for track is 31. A couple of the kids and one girl especially said they liked it and said, "It is easy!" Coach Cator pointed her head towards her and said "It was easy for her because she was in basketball so she was already in shape when track started, plus she is fast."
Another track star has been practicing the high jump and last night she beat her own personal best by jumping 4'10". Now she is hoping she can jump 4'10" at a track meet. She said she practiced and practiced, her mom said, "let's go home", but she knew she could jump it and just kept practicing and she did it! It took her 30 times, but she did it. Self-discipline is one of the benefits of track, a skill which can be used over and over in their life-time.
For many it's about meeting friends, friends they have met from other towns and the fun of competing against them.
One girl said she was jumping the triple jump for the first time. She had been practicing the triple jump for the last week and discovered she really liked it. Some boys mentioned it was a great sport because you just complete against yourself. They like seeing their progress by improving even by ¼ of an-inch and 100th of a second. It was exciting to see. However, it was exciting to see their team mates improve too by the smallest of margins as well. Relays are fun, because that is the only team event.
One boy said he loved throwing the javelin and when I asked what he didn't like it was throwing the discus, while holding the disc and getting ready to complete in the event.
One girl said the most beneficial thing about track was getting into shape and having fun. What she like the best about track was meeting new people and running. I asked what was the worst thing about track, she laughed and said probably the running!
Is track worth it? Yes, because it is fun. The hurdles seemed to be a lot of the student's favorite events. When I asked a girl which event she was best with she said probably the 100-yard dash. Her grandpa spoke up and said, "she is the best in everything."
"I love track its super everything! Running is something you can do forever. Anyone can do track. You don't have to win to get better and feel good about it. It remains a friendly competition."
"I went out for track to get better for the other sports."
"It helped me get in shape, I was fat."
Parents said, they loved the wind, the rain, standing outside all day and then all of them standing in the circle laughed. In reality, they loved the idea of so many different events with 30 kids to watch and support.
According to Coach Cator this team will be contenders to win districts. The girls won last year so they are challenging themselves to win again.