Track offers some surprises
They run to stay fit. They run for the challenge. They run, because it is what they want to do.
The track kids push themselves every day and work hard to stay fit and challenge themselves just because they enjoy doing it.
“Running is kind of like life; you have to push yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. When you run one lap, you tell yourself, ‘just one more, just one more.’ You build yourself up, and learn to deal with problems. It is like life on a really small scale; you set goals to work towards, and accomplish,” explained Elisabeth Soronsen.
Soronsen feels okay after a loss, she feels like it is no big deal, because although AHS tries hard, they aren’t used to winning.
Soronsen said that she loves running because she likes to feel fit, but she thinks it is also mental; being able to push yourself to finish the mile, or whatever you have to do. After she finishes, she feels accomplished, and like she can do anything. Although she hates the races and practices because of the anxiety, she loves the people and the coaches.
Soronsen and Soledad Sierra ran cross-country in the fall, and enjoyed it, so they decided to join track.
Sierra does the one mile, 800’s, and 400’s in track. She will sometimes practice out of school and out of practice when she has the chance; she tries running at least once a day on breaks and weekends.
Sierra said that when she runs, she loves the way her heart starts beating; she wants to throw up before she runs, and after she is done, because she is really nervous, but she also feels really accomplished. After a win, she feels good, “you want to cry, but you don’t. And when I lose, I look at it, figure out what I did wrong, and what I can do better.”
Sierra, as well, said that what she likes the most about track is the coaches and the people.
“Running is miserable,” said track runner Kelan Crespin, “but it feels good to finish. Running is terrible, but then finishing is good. Finishing is awesome.”
Crespin runs the distance, such as the 800 and the mile. He started running after he couldn’t play soccer anymore, receiving too many concussions. He ran cross country last semester and decided to continue on to track because he needed something to do.
“Running with people is fun,” he said with a smile, “because you’re both sharing in the misery.”
He took a moment to chuckle before continuing. “Running can be exciting. It’s kind of rewarding in that you can improve upon past races. It’s good.”
When asked how he felt after winning, he admitted that he hadn’t won just yet. “Most of the time after a loss it’s an improvement on my previous run, so I’m happy. Miserable because I just got done running, but happy.”
Crespin said that out of all the things, he enjoyed the people in track the most, saying that they were all fun people. Even though they were all fun, though, he said that they were all miserable together and shared in their misery.
“I try to keep active every day, I’ll usually go running or ride a bike a few miles or something like that.”
It took Crespin a fair amount of time to poetically describe his track experience thus far. Finally, after many seconds of hard thinking, he replied that, “It’s like… an absolute pain. You’re not really there, but you’re kind of there. It’s like you’re running and you know you’re running, but you’re having fun. Until the end and then you’re miserable,” he laughed, “but it’s all worth it.”
“A good track student is hard working, shows up to practice, they give one hundred percent hundred perfect of the time,” said track coach, Carrie Olson.
Olson said that they’d had many surprises this season so far, having a lot of the younger kids step up, and many making improvements on their running times. She feels that so far the season is going better than they initially expected.
Olson gave a few words to describe her hardest working runners, saying that they were willing to do whatever was asked of them. She said that some of the throwers stayed at school for practices sometimes up to six in the afternoon, saying that many also practiced during their spring break.
“Probably the level of competition,” she decided was the hardest part about being a track member, “the people they have to compete against are difficult, because a lot of the Jefferson County schools are pretty good in the state; so that level of competition is difficult for them.”
Olson said that the only requirement is the same as any other sport – keep a good academic standing, give one hundred percent and you can stay on the team.
Olsen took a few moments to consider what was the hardest part about being a track coach, “Recruiting and then getting people who like to run; that’s a big problem.”
Olson feels that she has experienced a few surprises in the season so far, stating that their season is going pretty well.