Staff Writer Jennifer Setek
“What do you mean you don’t run, aren’t you on the track team?”
When an athlete makes a comment that they are on the track and field team, the number one question that is asked, “what events do you run?” The most irritating question a field athlete comes across. Running of course is a main focus of the track and field team, yet it is called track and FIELD for a reason. The field events are so special and show a wide range of talents and abilities of these ambiguous athletes that rightfully deserve more attention. Yet why aren’t these events acknowledged as widely as the running events? While asking some field athletes, they had something to say.
Long jumper, Maeve Murphy (grade 11): “When someone says track, I feel people think of running. I don’t think they consider them (field events) as important, people just aren’t exposed to the idea of other events. Field events should be appreciated more because of all the work people who participate in them put in. It takes the same amount of skill, or even more, to do a field event than a running event. They are also really fun to watch!”
Murphy added that it would be nice to have people actually watch the field events and hear action from the audience, instead of the distant cheers from in front of the track.
Long and triple jumper, Mikey Meskos (grade 10): “Field events are not noticed as much because they’re kind of just off to the side even though they’re some of the most entertaining events. My favorite part about track is the long and triple jump because it’s always fun to try and get a couple inches than the guy before you and it’s a great feeling when you hit your PR (personal record).”
Brooke Hulbert (grade 11), newbie to high jump and hurdler: “I think that most people believe that running events are more important because it’s in the center and there’s not as much of an audience where the mats or sand pits are. In my opinion, running events are often perceived as harder and generally get more attention. Field events should get more attention because I think people fail to realize the techniques that go into it and the amount of practice it takes to get things, such as form, down just right to optimize your results.”
Shotput and discus thrower, Amarisse Rodriguez (grade 12): “I think that many people just don’t know how the event works or don’t know the event exists. Most people only know about running and that many athletes do it so they just assume that’s what you do for the sport. However, there are many other events that aren’t just running and are really impressive. Field events are really fun to watch and impressive that athletes have this much strength in them. Whether it’s pole vault, long jump, high jump, triple jump, discus, or shot it’s impressive how much work and techniques goes into doing these events. It takes skill and determination to do these events and these athletes need more appreciation for what they do.”
From the coaches to the crowd, runners seem to overtake people’s minds during a meet, while the field athletes add points to the score, and make astonishing moves that go unnoticed. Instead of asking “what do you run”, ask “what do you do?” and show up for these events, watching the hidden heroes of the track team, the field athletes.