Track and field succeeds with high marks


Track and field athletes prepare for upcoming meets as the season progresses.

Ji-Sung Lee

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s senior Jordan Banker laces up her spikes in preparation to run, vault, jump or even throw, she does so knowing each meet gets her closer to the end of her high school track career.  As she approaches the final stretch of her four years as a Bruin, Banker hopes to get as much out of the season as she has put in.
“Mostly, I’m just looking forward to traveling with the team. I’ve known most people on the team for a few years now, even some of the freshmen, and being at meets is always my favorite,” Banker said.  “I’m also really excited that I’ll get to contribute to the team more this year, as last year I usually only competed two events while now I sometimes have four.”
More than a month into the season, RBHS throwers, jumpers and runners have begun to get into a rhythm with meets and workouts.  Despite already being weeks into competition, freshman miler Shanley Silvey believes it’s important not to rush the process.
“I have to take each week and each meet one at a time,” Silvey said.  “Every week looks different depending on where the meet falls and when,and at practice I’m always surprised to see what new workouts [we do].”
As a freshman, Silvey realizes the jump from middle to high school can be daunting, especially for athletes who are unsure of what events they can excel at.
“High school track is a lot different from middle school track in the sense that athletes fall into their respective event and are finding what they excel in most; in middle school, you just tried everything that sounded fun,” Silvey said.  “Middle school track also didn’t have specific varsity and junior varsity athletes which meant those who would be in ‘JV’ got to compete more and with varsity athletes.”
For the athletes who are already certain of their main events,  the times and jumps they have been achieving have met the expectations of head coach Neal Blackburn
[quote]“So far I’m very pleased with the depth we have in our events,” Blackburn said.  “What’s important at this point is keeping people healthy so they can continue to progress as our season resumes after break.”[/quote] Though Blackburn is satisfied with his athlete’s performances, he knows they still have potential to continually excel as the season progresses.
“Workouts are very important throughout, each and every day, as we continue to move into our various phases of training while at the same time competing in some very elite meets,” Blackburn said.  “I believe all of our athletes will continue to progress as long as they stay healthy and committed we hope they’ll see season and career bests when they matter most.”
Similar to Blackburn, Silvey refuses to settle and continues to work through fast paced workouts and threshold runs.
“There is still lots of room for improvement and I usually don’t see results of my training until the end of the season,” Silvey said.  “I’m looking forward to beating personal bests from last year in the mile and all in all finishing out my third sport of the year.”
Like most athletes, Banker too has hopes for improving her own records, which usually comes as the season progresses.  While the season has taken off, Banker knows that she still has enough time achieve higher accomplishments.
“My marks have been good, but I don’t think I’d say they’re great yet,” Banker said.  “I’ve got a bit of work to do still, especially since I’m in three field events, which are very technical, but I’m encouraged by what I’ve done so far. I think there’s definitely room for improvement. The biggest area for me is probably javelin, which is because it is a brand new event to Columbia Public Schools. I’ve only actually practiced three times, and at my first meet I didn’t throw very far. But with more practice I think I’ll get much better at it. Since I have more experience in pole vault and triple jump, it’ll be more about fine tuning, but I still have plenty of areas for improvement, and I hope to compete both of those events at state.”
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