Track on the attack; hurdling over misconceptions to start season strong

by Maddie Robertson

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Well-rounded warmup The track and field team runs laps around the gym to start off practice. Every member, regardless of their grade or event, participated in the first few minutes of practice with their team.

Contrary to the popular belief, there is more to track than just lacing up sneakers and running. Track takes a physical, emotional and mental toll on each athlete.

With the help of fellow teammates and supportive coaches, however, the track team is continuing to thrive.

Because not every athlete is on the track at once, as soccer players would be on a field or volleyball players on a court, many are led to believe track is more of an individual sport than a team sport. 

Freshman Lauren Harris, who has been participating in track for eight years, disagrees. “I would definitely consider track and field to be a team sport. The points are scored as a team so you can’t win with an individual person. Relay races also include more than one person on the track with you,” Harris said. 

In addition to those who view track as an individual sport, many also assume that there is a lack of necessity for reliance on teammates. 

“My fellow teammates have always pushed me to do my best,” Harris said. 

In an effort to push her even harder, Harris’ summer team coach utilized certain teammates to help Harris excel. “My coach has always had me run with the older boys so I would be able to be faster in events. The way that they push helps me to make myself push even harder. They are also always on the sides of the track to cheer me on when I’m running and congratulate me when I’m done,” Harris said. 

So far, Harris has competed in the 400, 800 and high jump. She is hoping to compete in the 100 and 200 as well. 

Already, Harris has felt the team bonding, even within her large team. “The first track meet we were all talking in the car and jamming out to music,” Harris said 

Junior Rachel Liske, who competes in the 100, 200 and long jump, and has participated in Marian track and field past three years, is debunking the rumor that track requires nothing more than the ability to run. 

“There’s a lot to your form. You have to train hard, work hard. You’re supposed to run up on your feet as opposed to flat footed and keep your arms at 90 degrees,” Liske said. 

The transition from middle school track, which can be less strenuous than Marian’s, has been made much easier with the team’s help. “With long distance we did a free run around the parking lot. I didn’t know which way to go, so the upperclasswomen helped show me where to go,” Harris said. 

With 36 freshmen, 26 sophomores, 24 juniors and six seniors, the team is starting off the season united and on the right foot. Their first meet at Nebraska Wesleyan University on March 16 earned them fourth place out of 11 teams. Their next varsity meet is today at Doane University. 

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