Track and field may be among one of the most difficult sports to train for. What is running fast or far, if not a metaphor for the internal struggle against the body’s inherent laziness? Spectators at recent meets can clearly see what kind of character traits a sport instills in its athletes, and in this area track and field is one of the best.
There is a learning curve to every event in track and field. Athletes can run, but it takes years of practice to run efficiently with an optimal production of power. Track and field requires athletes to have a fierce competitive drive and strategy, as well as the ability for them to continue running, when mentally they may want to quit. These traits are what separate beginner runners from veteran runners. Senior long-distance athlete Richard Qiao said, “When I run I stay focused on my training so I can keep going.”
Track and field is a unique sport because it does not limit you to learning a few skills for one objective, but it pushes the athletes to train hard based on the different events that the sport offers. A runner can be skilled at sprinting yet still lack that skill in long-distance runs. This is why it takes years for a runner to be proficient in different types of running. “Depending on the event, we do a lot of speed and endurance work. In order to run fast, you have to train fast, Head coach Jonathan Thomas said.
On Jan. 26, indoor track participated in an invitational held at Georgetown Prep where selected athletes were invited to participate in events. A mixture of JV and varsity athletes attended. The biggest success that occurred at the event was the varsity female 4 x 400 meter relay. They ran their fastest time all season, and their time was the fifth fastest in the region. “We pick our athletes for these events by looking at who meets the time standards. However, there are other factors that go into this such as who attends practice, who shows leadership, and who shows commitment to practice and training,” Thomas said.
The most recent track meet at the time of this issue was the Maryland 4A West Regional Meet. Schools in the region competed on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover. Senior John Riker will be competing in the 3200m, junior Osagie Aimiuwu will be competing in the boys’ high jump, and the varsity girls will compete in the 4 x 400 relay.