By Ellie Farner
“My favorite part [of track] is probably just all the friendships I have made throughout the years,” senior Grace Hahler said. Hahler’s feelings are not uncommon among other track girls, either.
“We always have each other’s back,” said freshman Jackline Paul “We’re always cheering each other on through the difficult times.”
The bond that the track team forms is one that is simply unbreakable. “The distance girls are such a small group, and it’s very easy to get to know them all. The varsity meets are also very few people, so you spend the whole day together in an atmosphere that’s so unlike school,” freshman Emma Gunn said
One of the team’s favorite bonding activities is playing the card game Spoons during the meet. Meets can take hours to finish so playing spoons helps pass the time, relax the girls, and form closer friendships among them.
Head coach Greg Golka, who has been coaching track at Marian for 17 years, sees the bond of the team and how that bond positively affects the girls. “Track is unique in that when you’re at a competition its not just a game that you’re all involved in for an hour and a half, or whatever, but it goes on a little bit longer, three, four, five hours but you’re only competing for part of it. So, the rest of it is just a lot of social time,” Golka said.
Being on the track team is more than just fun and games. Running track and being apart of the team is a lot of hard work and commitment. Gunn spends her off season training hard for the next year. “I try to get in 15-25 miles a week on my off season, depending on how close track season is and what the weather is like.”
Paul spends her off season training by doing basketball conditioning and running club track.
“You don’t have to be good, you just have to try your hardest,” junior Rylee Roberts said.
For anyone thinking about joining the team next year, Coach Golka says, “Give it some serious thought, we want a commitment that you’re going to really work hard because while we hope that the experience is a positive one, it is not about fun. The workouts are not real fun and the meets are long, so it takes some commitment. But, as part of that, it will be fun and hopefully it will be a really positive and rewarding experience if you stick it out.”
Varsity’s first meet of the season was an indoor meet at Nebraska Wesleyan on March 16. They placed fourth out of eleven teams without having any senior runners, due to senior retreat. At their second meet, on March 23 at Doane University, they placed fifth out of 15 teams. On April 4, the Varsity team ran their third meet of the season at Bellevue East and placed first of five teams. Varsity placed fourth out of seven teams in their fourth meet of the season on April 5 held at Kearney.
The junior varsity team has also placed in a couple of meets. Their first meet was on March 20 at Papillion LaVista and they placed second out of six teams. Their second meet of the season took place at Westside on April 10 where they placed third out of six teams.