Track & Field

The boys getting ready to run.

The boys getting ready to run.

Here at North Hollywood, our track team has been taking the competitions by storm. 

The inner workings of a track meet all come together to put on a show. Their unique rules and point system seem to have a positive effect on the athletes. The overall environment and behind the scenes of the track team produce kind and hard working people that just want to do their absolute best. 

The girls getting ready to run.

In Track & Field, there are different events to run and jump for. Points are awarded to an athlete depending on many factors. How one jumps over hurdles and their ability to continue running after, how far one jumps, and what place the athlete finishes all determine the amount of points the team gets. 

Eli Gonzales is a long distance runner who believes that “it’s a great system because it really stretches your limits. If it’s a close meet then you know that you will have to do whatever it takes to get your team points.” He, amongst others, works to always push forward and do his best. 

A student jumping.

The track meets are either against one school or multiple schools. Like every sport, schools always compete against each other. Moriah Beard, who is a jumper,  finds it beneficial, because “You get really competitive, since you want to push yourself. You want to push yourself beyond your limits and actually improve rather than doing it just for fun, or you don’t really care.”

 Gonzales also had some thoughts about it, saying that, “Although track is a unique sport, it still is just that, a sport. Going against other schools can truly give you a good understanding of where others are at your age, and how you should be competing against them.” 

The host school runs the meet and makes sure everything goes smoothly. There are volunteers timing the races, measuring the jumps, etc. Schools also cheer each other on because at the end of the day we are all alike. Like Gonzales said, track is a unique sport. 

One of the reasons that it is, is because it is a CO-ED team. Having a CO-ED team can either clash, or work really well together. “I like having a CO-ED team, as we can both push each other to strive for better,” Gonzales noted. It works, as we are able to have fun on the track and field every day, while staying committed and serious in the sport. 

Preparations are always key to success. How the team prepares both physically and mentally is really important to how they perform. Physically, they all work on everything they can during practice, but the mental aspect hits just before the events.

“I know it’s going to be hard, but I try to envision myself winning. Envisioning yourself winning makes the races more durable and it can prepare for what’s left to come,” Gonzales shared. That seems to help him, as he pushes through every race and always places. 

Similarly, Riley Katz, a long distance runner, tells herself that “it’s not a long distance. It’s like a lap or a few laps and it’ll be over fast.” As long distance runners, their stamina and whether they can push through it is partly determined by their mind. 

Before a meet, the athletes are filled with many different emotions. Katz is sometimes “terrified, nervous, and anxious,” and Gonzales thinks that “there is definitely a lot of stress. Not necessarily just about running, but about the physical pain that comes with running long distances.” They aren’t the only ones that feel like that. But, all those emotions go away as soon as the gun goes off and the race starts. After that, it’s all about getting to the finish line, or completing your jumps. 

Track is an individual sport, as each athlete earns their own points which add up for the team. This team is a team that should get more recognition for doing what they do. Usually people don’t find sports without a ball needed to score somewhat boring. Track is so much more than people think it is. But like any other sport, having a team that supports you as an athlete and person is really what it is all about.