By J1 reporter Julia Hingorani
Racing to the Finish Line: Emma Boever ’19 competes in the 4×800 meter relay. The team placed 4th in this relay. Photo by Andie Mikuls.
When February rolls around, the track and field season begins. This sport of running, jumping and throwing has become popular among Marian girls, and forces them to find a way to balance athletics and academics.
Head track coach Mr. Greg Golka affirms that students join track for various reasons. Golka says that some girls are truly dedicated to being successful competitors while others join for camaraderie of the team. Some students join to just try something different. Golka is very optimistic about how the 2017 season will go. “All I expect is for every athlete to do their best and keep improving. If this team does that, we’ll be right where we want to be at the end of the season,” Golka said.
The track team consists of new and returning athletes who bring lots of potential for the season. Golka said he believes that Marian can be a top five team by the end of the season.
Track is a great option to get in shape, especially since it ends just before summer begins. Daily practices force students to adjust to time restraints. Instead of getting home every day at 4:00pm, girls normally get home at 6:00pm. Because those two hours are occupied by track, students learn to adapt to less time for homework, family activities and work.
While track and field is noteworthy for physical exercise, students also join track as a chance to grow closer to girls of different grades. Senior Lucy Boever claims that her favorite part of track is the team.
The track team is notorious for being very close-knit. “It’s a really good experience and the team makes it all worth it. At the end of the day, it’s the girls on the team that make me want to come back,” Boever said. Junior Lauren Klingemann agrees that the team is the best part of track.
With approximately 75 girls on the track team this year, Klingemann said “It is such a neat experience to form relationships with girls from every grade. I also participate in track because the team motivates me to always do my best and to go after my PR (personal record).”
Along with motivation, Klingemann notes that athletes in track are especially supportive of each other; the team is able to watch one another grow throughout the season.
Klingemann throws shot put and discus. Track tends to be better known for running events, but people sometimes forget that field events are enormous aspects of track. For those who aren’t familiar with shot put and discus, shot put is when you throw an eight pound metal ball as far as you are able to. Discus is similar event, except you use a disc (like a frisbee) that weighs around two pounds. Like running events, athletes who throw and jump need to train, strategize, and prepare for competitions.
The Marian track team has five coaches that assist with various events. For example, Mr. Roger Wright trains the runners who participate in distance events.
Track and field clearly means a lot to Marian girls. Girls join for several reasons: to meet and hang out with friends, get in shape, or just because they love competing. Track is an individual and a team effort, which makes track meets fiercely competitive. It’s not difficult to see how hard track athletes work both physically and mentally. But this balance of athletics and academics definitely keeps Marian girls on track.