Track and field: a sport worth pursuing

Track and field: a sport worth pursuing

Mireya Torrero

“On a cold Tuesday evening, standing on the starting line of the Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium in Rockford, anticipating the sound of the gun, I prepare to run by doing the necessary stretches and jumps prior to starting the race. The thoughts of knowing I won’t place in first race through my mind. I get down on the starting line as the official says runners take your mark, I take position and take off with all of the energy I have in me as the sound of the gun goes off. Every ounce of energy I have in me is what pushes my legs to run faster, the yearning and demand to pass as many runners as I can is what motivates me to pass the finish line. The rush before a race is what makes track worth running,” Jr. Kasidy Kuzmanko said.  As March approaches, the nerves and tension in spring athletes starts to set in. Plenty of hard work and training has to be done during the off-season before track starts. While track and field is a hard sport to participate in, it is a sport worth pursuing.

  Unlike a variety of other sports, track and field is a sport where athletes do not get cut from being on the team. Track athletes have the advantage of automatically making the team and also have the opportunity to prove their ability as athletes throughout the season. “There are no cuts, so everyone who participates can improve in their overall speed, endurance, strength, core, and overall coordination,” Track Coach Daniel Blake said. “Not having cuts in track gives everyone a chance to get involved in a sport and will not have the worry of not being good enough to make the track team,” Jr Kasidy Kuzmanko said. Every track and field athlete has the opportunity of being part of a team in comparison to other athletes who might get cut from another sport at tryouts.  

  The advantages that track and field offers are much greater than other sports. Unlike soccer, volleyball, football, etc… track and field is a sport that contains a variety of different events that an athlete can choose to run depending on their abilities and what the athlete is good at. “The thing I love about track is that there is a place for just about anyone on the team. Many think all you do is run, which there are a lot of running events, but there are also quite a few field events that people can do. Those that are fast typically do sprints 400m and under. If you are coordinated and flexible, hurdlers are a great fit,” Blake said. Running sprints is an ability that few runners have while on the other hand, other athletes have the ability of running for a long period of time. “For those that might not have the quickness, but can run for a longer period of time, there are the mile and 2 mile run. There are those that have a blend of speed and endurance that make up the middle distance events 400 and 800m. If you can jump, high jump and long jump might be a good fit. Those with good coordination, speed, and upper body strength make good pole vaulters, and finally the throwers focus on building strength and power in order to throw the shot and discus,” Blake said. “I base the events I do on my abilities and what I think I’m good at from the past years of running track and field,” Jr Kasidy Kuzmanko said. There is events in track and field that are not for everyone but can can be if they’re tried. There is a place for everyone in the sport of track and field, whether it is for being good at running sprints, long distance, having good coordination or being strong.

  Track and field athletes have to train for a great deal of time prior to track season in order to start off on a strong note. Runners also improve throughout the season with hard work and adherence. “The athletes will improve throughout the season if they do what the coaches ask of them.“The thing I enjoy about track is that even if you are not one of the top runners, you can still see times/distances improve as you work hard throughout the season. Each event group coach has a process the athletes need to follow in order to improve. If the athlete is willing to put in the work and not take shortcuts, then they will see improvement,” Blake said. Everyone can see improvement of themselves by the end of the season if they’re dedicated to the sport. “At the beginning of the season, everyone starts out pretty rough and slow because no one knows what they’re doing. After the first track meet, people start figuring out what it’s all about and start learning what their events are about,” Jr Kasidy Kuzmanko said. As athletes also start training specifically for their events and start working hard to improve their times runners will surely  improve from the beginning to the end of track season.

   My main message would be to stick with and finish out the season.,” Blake said. Track and field athletes have to train for a great deal of time prior to track season in order to start off on a strong note. Runners also improve throughout the season with hard work and adherence. The amount of training and dedication that has to go into participating in track, is not for everyone but it can be. Not everyone in track will a top athlete but everyone has room to improve  over the season and from year to year. Track and field is a also a pure sport that uses no refs and it’s just an athlete racing against other athletes. Track is an enjoyable sport that requires dedication from an individual runner and motivation from the team. Teams that encourage each other to succeed, do in fact succeed. Perseverance is key with such a sport that require plentiful of intensive training and commitment. While track and field is a hard sport to commit to, it is a sport worth pursuing.