Rosengren finishes season strong

This+was+just+one+of+many+races+that+led+up+to+Rosengren%27s+greatest+victory.+That%27s+when+years+of+practice+paid+off.

Photo submitted by Thomas Rosengren

This was just one of many races that led up to Rosengren’s greatest victory. That’s when years of practice paid off.

Joshua Bove, Online Editor

There are many things that can empower people to do more than they thought they were capable of. Love, necessity, desperation—all ignite the fuel of adrenaline to push them just a little further. For junior Thomas Rosengren on the day he placed number four out of 400 in the boy’s varsity track state meet, it was anger.

“Before it, I was kind of mad because…me and my teammate messed up a handoff,” Rosengren explained, “and then I guess me being mad kind of fueled myself and I got fourth… I couldn’t believe it.”

But it was not as though the entire victory could be chalked up to the fuel of rage. Rosengren and his fellow runners practice five, and sometimes six, days a week, working hard to hone their skills under the watchful eye of their coach Scott Christensen. He’s fair, but tough, which can be just what the job calls for.

“This isn’t a club, it’s a competitive team with a competitive responsibility. [Rosengren] is very good at being responsible for his own fitness,” Christensen said.

 Of course, there is some element of genetic advantage that puts him in a league not everyone can reach.

“I’ve been coaching 31 years and I’ve seen a little bit of it before but [these athletes] come along infrequently…it’s a mix of genetics, because there’s obviously physical talent involved…and that’s all controlled by the human genome,” Christensen added.

 Still, determination, whatever form that may come in, is the most important piece of the puzzle.

“He’s got grit and purpose,” Christensen added. “Passion’s not enough, passion’s just ‘I love that, I love this”. People are passionate about a lot of different things. Purpose involves passion and grit. Grit is finishing something that you started, whether it’s a workout, whether it’s a race, whether it’s a season, whether it’s a career. [Rosengren], he’s got a great sense of purpose, to go along with mental tenacity and strong physical characteristics.”

If you’re big, you can do shot put, if you’re small and skinny you can run…long distance, short distance, jumps, you know, it’s meant for everyone.”

— Thomas Rosengren

Christensen also considers Rosengren a great team player. “He’s a nice guy. He’s humble, he’s got some humility… he is a joy to have in practice.”

Another big factor is Rosengren’s legitimate joy for the sport.

“I had an awesome experience, [and] made a lot of friends doing it,” Rosengren explained. “There’s not really any negatives I have with Track and Field…[it’ll] probably get me a pretty good college scholarship.”

He even expressed his wish that the sport would be offered more in elementary schools instead of waiting until junior high.

He started practically as soon as he could back in seventh grade. It’s been a long road to this point, with countless hours spent on the track, but here he is now: one of the best in the state.

He won first place in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, second place in long jump, and the third place record at Oakland Junior High. He was named Conference Player of the Year by SEC in his ninth grade year, and was named MVP at multiple meets this year alone.

Rosengren’s determination has been crucial in getting him this far, and it also drives him into the future. He hopes to go to college and continue playing this sport he loves there. With his many accomplishments, Rosengren’s future is looking bright.

Still, even though most people will never reach that level of athletic achievement, Rosengren is proud to consider track and field a sport for everyone.

“If you’re big, you can do shot put, if you’re small and skinny you can run…long distance, short distance, jumps, you know, it’s meant for everyone,” Rosengren added.