Without limits

Without limits

Aubrey Berns

Daniel Kim, writer

For the KHS track team, everything revolves around running. Their legs tirelessly push and kick off the ground. Their lungs, deflated, gasp air, while the athletes sprint faster than the others. Nevertheless, running has brought many students to the track and field program.

According to Austin Nico, junior, he enjoyed running ever since he was in 3rd grade. Since then, he became an active runner, for he participates in cross country and the KHS track team.

“Once I found running, I found something I was actually good at, and I liked it,” Nico said. “It is fun to run with your friends or family, and talking and enjoying each other company while running.”

The team trains almost every day after school for their next track meet. While most athletes, like Meredith Lang, freshman, enjoy training to run in races, they agree that track is a very challenging sport.

“Physically, running is hard because you are running for a long time,” Lang said. “But I think mentally [it is challenging] too because for one race, you are out there for two miles, which might be 13 minutes.”

These track and field athletes agree that finishing a race as fast as possible is a wearing task. However, according to Land and Nico, they receive motivation from their teammates to push themselves for better records.

“It’s hard to push yourself,” Nico said. “I find that when I’m with my team, and when I’m with my friends, I perform better and they perform better as well. I think we don’t want to disappoint each other, because if one person runs a bad time, then the whole relay runs a bad time.”

Nico also list Roberta McWoods, the head track and field coach, and Wayne Baldwin, associate head coach for the Kirkwood Track team, as one his sources of motivation. However, McWoods and Baldwin believe their athletes should put work and effort toward track and field.

“Distance running, track and field tend to be a longer term gratification,” Baldwin said. “It’s not immediate, it’s not video game. You get an immediate gratification and you get to press the reset button, that’s not how it works. You have to put in time and effort, and you have to work hard to get what you want.”

McWoods and Baldwin said that their job is not only encouraging their athletes to put in time and effort into training, they said that they encourage the athletes to set individual goals. McWoods and Baldwin encourages their athletes to set goals because they believe that it is an important habit to succeed in their life.

“We have a goal sheet, and the athlete, once they write their goal down, knows what to shoot for,” McWoods said. “We try to get them do that because it’s a life skill, it carries over to whenever they get out of high school, so when they get out to the real world, they know what their goal is.”

McWoods and Baldwin are responsible for coaching, managing and interacting with 130 track and field athletes. However, McWoods and Baldwin believe they have another mission for the athletes.

“Part of our mission is to build better beings using track and field,” Baldwin said. “We truly believe that we could make better human being through our sport, both mentally and physically. What we are doing is constantly saying the same mantra, ‘this is something you can do, this is something that you can change, this is how things will get better, keep a positive attitude,’ and it will make a difference in your life.”