Track team ‘hurdles’ over challenging obstacles

Through determination and hard work, the track team has found great success, but not without overcoming obstacles.


Photo by Christian Gresko

Track star…Crossing the finish line, senior Johnny Argueta beats opponents in a Quakertown scrimmage on March 20. Argueta ran 12.12 seconds in the 100 meters.

With practice from 3-5 p.m. every day, meets and invites, the track team is met with many challenges, but tries to focus on the outcomes of hard work.
A big challenge many face in track is comparing themselves to others.
According to freshman Matthew Myers, there are always going to be people better than you.
“You can’t look at other people and compare yourself to other people,” Myers said.
Girls track coach Anthony Pace agrees.
“An athlete will know they might not be able to hit a time,” Pace said. “So they may sometimes go into an event with even more pressure on themselves, having predetermined the outcome.”
According to Pace, 0.13 seconds can be the difference from first to fifth place.
“To put that in perspective, a blink is an average of .23-.33 seconds,” Pace said.
To overcome the temptation to compare times, Myers gets “mentally locked in” before he runs.
“You have to stop listening to your thoughts that tell you you’re not good enough,” freshman Felix Suliveres said.
Sophomore Janae Pettaway tells herself to stick to her lane and “run for yourself.”
Nervousness can also have an effect on how the athletes perform.
“Starting on that line and just waiting there, you get very shaky and the nervousness builds up,” Pettaway said. Running almost daily, the track team encounters injuries. “Nagging injury or soreness can take over the entire mental state,” Pace said. “The shin splints concerns are the real deal.”
Just a single athlete being injured “affect[s] the entirety of our track team” Suliveres said.
Training since November, Myers has dealt with different injuries.
“I fight through them,” Myers said. “I think that everyone has that struggle though on the track team.” Injuries can set the athletes back, but they have to focus on what’s ahead of them.
According to Suliveres, track is not all about winning, it is about progress.
“It’s about what you want yourself to look like in the future,” Suliveres said.
To obtain that progression, the athletes say they have to work hard. “If you don’t put in work, you’re not going to get better,” sophomore Destini Smith said.
They feel when they do work hard, positive results are shown.
“We have broken the 4×200 record this year, qualified for districts in five events, finished in the top in a few invites and earned many medals,” Pace said.