Track and field starts off with a bang

Ava Stein, Graphics Editor and Online Editor

Bang! A shot fired into the air and track members zoomed down the field. Junior Kyle Och’s feet pounded on the ground as he had his eyes on the finish line. Och inched his way to the front of the group, using all his energy to stay on top. He finally got to the end, running his body into the black and white checkered banner, winning first place.

Girls and boys track and field season started off strong this spring. Members worked hard off-season to stay in shape for the new season along with preparing for the challenges they faced. Many were excited to be with their friends and compete once again. The athletes worked hard to accomplish their goals while some dealt with the responsibilities of being captain.

During the off-season, many athletes stayed in shape to be prepared for the upcoming season. Many athletes lifted weights, ran on the treadmill and did cardio in the Pony Activity Center. Track coaches would send workouts for athletes to do as well. Other athletes participated in other sports during the off-season.

Sophomore Samuel Fredericks explained how he participated in football and basketball during the off-season, staying in shape.

As one of four captains on the girls team, senior captain Kylie Galowtiz had many responsibilities to uphold. During the pre-season, she organized the apparel along with holding captain practices. When the season started, Galowitz made sure there was clear communication between the athletes and coaches. Communication was key for the athletes so they could be as successful as possible. Galowitz also hosted pasta feeds for the team, which brought the team even closer together.

“It’s a lot of like, planning out those kinds of events and making sure everybody knows what’s going on,” Galowitz explained.

With having had a wide variety of athletes with different skills, each athlete had their own goals they wanted to achieve that season. Many of the athletes competed against themselves, trying to one-up themselves. For some, this was improving their race time while others wanted to improve how far they could throw a disc. At the end of the season, the athletes felt accomplished knowing the hard work they expressed that season.

“Whatever their world is, I want them to be successful in their world. And that’s my only goal. Everything else will take care of itself,” boys head coach Scott Christensen explained.

Track and field came with a lot of challenges, one of the biggest being injuries. Athletes often got injured during practice or felt sore afterward. Many of the runners experienced shin splints, which is when muscles, tendons and tissue became overworked in the legs. This took athletes away from participating in practices and competing at meets.

Fredericks explained how the team worked on not getting shin splints because they “limited us last season.”

Though track and field took a lot of physical hard work, it was rewarding in the end. The athletes enjoyed spending time with friends and getting to know the coaches. Many enjoyed the team bonding exercises and outside-of-practice team events. For Och, his favorite part about track and field was participating in competitions.

Och explained how he enjoyed competition because “you are not only competing against others, but you are competing for yourself and like better time, which makes it more fun.”

Overall, athletes were excited to compete in competitions with friends and accomplish their individual goals.

“I’m just really proud of what we’ve done here at Stillwater over the years. . . I’m just proud of the team, the record, the enthusiasm and my three assistants,” Christensen concluded.