Track: Running into New Experiences


Joey Mackenburg

Freshman Jackson Williams tries pole vaulting this year for the first time, and is excited to try it again next year.

Abigail Evers, Matthew Jacobi, and Hayden Gust

The Pattonville track team embraces individuality as much as it does teamwork and collaboration. With records, personal records are as important as school ones.
“One of the best parts of track is that you are constantly improving and getting faster,” freshman Spencer Mitchell said. “One of the best feelings in the world is finishing a hard race and realizing you PR’d.”
Not only is getting a personal record important but also trying different events and finding what they’re good at and enjoy doing.
“My biggest accomplishment in track has probably been getting 7’6 my first-year pole vaulting,” Mitchell said. “I and many of my friends had never pole vaulted before, but we tried it and it surpassed so many of our expectations.”
Senior Karmen Daniels said that her biggest accomplishment this season was “at conference when I PR’d in the 4 by 2 and PR’d in the long jump.”
Daniels does the 4 by 1, 4 by 2, long jump, and sometimes the open 100 and open 200.
Some students play to their strengths from Cross Country in the fall, but still rise and pass their expectations in the spring.
“I run the 2 mile and the 1 mile because I’m good at long distances and keeping my pace,” freshman Jackson Williams said. “I’ve been trained to do that through cross country.”
Mitchell does his events for similar reasons.
“I do long-distance running (800 Meter, 1 Mile, and 2 Mile) and Pole vaulting,” he said. “I did these on track to help push myself past what I thought I could do, and prepare for cross country season of course.”
Each race is about growing as an athlete, both physically and socially. Junior Nicholas Rice was influenced by Coach Tate to join track.
“He didn’t really give me much of a choice after he saw me run at a couple of practices,” Rice said. “I had been interested in track for a while already but Tate made it official for me.”
Rice has grown throughout the season and is excited to participate again next year.
“I enjoy the people that I do it with and it keeps my body in shape and keeps my overall fitness at a good level,” he said.
Even with all of the different events, the team still comes together and enjoys spending time with each other.
“The team’s biggest accomplishment is probably the fact that we were able to come together as a team and form a real culture and community,” Mitchell said. “I’ve met some of my best friends on the team and there is no one I would rather compete with.”
Corey Lewis has been coaching girls track for 11 years.
“It’s been fun,” Lewis said. “We’ve been very successful, we have three state trophies, won districts, sectionals, and conference three years in a row.”
Lewis has seen the team improve over the season compared to last year.
“The girls have gotten stronger, and they are also more mentally tougher this year than they were last year,” Lewis said. “They’re older, a little more mature, and I think that their approach to practice was more serious than it was last year.”
With the season and school year coming to an end, however, the team will miss their graduating seniors.
“It’ll be a new group, the core of our team is seniors so there’s a lot of adapting that’ll have to happen,” Rice said. “I guess I’m just excited to compete again.”
Districts were at Parkway Central on May 13.