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Story and photo by Destiny White

After a long offseason, runners are getting warmed up to begin a new season of track and field.

“My goal is to make it to state this year and place in top 5. I believe at the rate the track team is going currently we have the potential to earn another state title,” senior Heather Pittman said.

Runners challenge themselves by setting high standards and goals for the season.

“[I expect us to be a] stronger, focused, and determined team of players trying to get to regionals,” junior A’jahlaya Carter said.

According to junior Christian Johnson, the sport helps participants on and off the track.

“It keeps me fit, healthy, and looks good on my transcript for colleges, but it’s also fun,” Christian said.

In many different ways track helps students with their inner and outer appearance throughout the years.

“Track and field benefits me in many ways, the obvious way being my fitness and athleticism, but the not so obvious way being improving my self-esteem. After I had an amazing first track season last year, my self-esteem grew unprecedentedly. I can even be a bit haughty sometimes now,”senior Nelson Addison said.

As the team continues to grow, each student works on themselves individually to grow mentally and physically fit for the sport.

“[I am going to work on] being mentally tough as a whole because track is not an easy sport, otherwise I would be going through everything. This gives me a challenge to push myself above and beyond my standards of pain,” A’jahlaya said.

Though track may be portrayed as a one man sport to others, to runners it’s all about being a team.

“This season I need to work on being a ‘team player.’ Even though track and field is a primarily individual sport, teamwork still matters. Teams still place in meets, or win or lose in dual meets, based on the points that their runners score in events,”Nelson said, “I tend to run on my own and my primary goal is usually to get a personal best, not primarily to help my team. I need to learn to run to help my team as well,”

Despite it’s difficulty, participants continue to put in work to improve themselves.

“My favorite [thing about practice] would be when we practice going over the hurdles and working with form, but my least favorite is doing long distance while doing hurdles,” Christian said.

After having a successful season in 2016, runners are getting ready for another year with new teammates that will help everyone reach the position they need to reach.

“There are a lot of newcomers, but they seem very devoted and ready to be the best they can,” Heather said, “We lost a lot of good teammates last year but I think that this will help others step up to fill that position.”