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The Student News Site of Urbana High School

THE HAWKEYE

The Student News Site of Urbana High School

THE HAWKEYE

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SPORT SPOTLIGHT: The upwards slope of Urbana Boys Track

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Staring down the barrel of eight lanes with its four-hundred meter long muzzle of a track. But this time on the count of three you go flying. You put every bit of your energy into jolting across that track. 

Track and Field is a huge category of sports, which is widely celebrated all across the globe. It is arguably THE biggest attraction of the Olympics when they come around, so much so that they will garner up to 35 million viewers for any ONE given race, per NBC.

The Urbana Track and Field team competes in twenty-two different events, including popular events like the 60m dash, the 200m, and 400m, but on top of that they compete in less popular events like the racewalk. There are members of the team in all grades 9-12. And if you are interested in track and field, Coach Suarez said, “Definitely just go for it, it’s a sport that everyone is welcomed in, and there is a place for everyone, whether your a sprinter, a distance runner, a thrower, or a jumper, we have a place for you.”

They are coming off of the State Championships where Coach Suarez said, “They had the best performance in school history.” They had four first place finishers, and many other incredibly impressive finishes. 

Coach Suarez is in her sixth year in the program, and has had no problem winning over the entire track and field team, so much so that there is practically a team meeting in her class during her lunch period everyday. She too was actually a runner throughout her entire life leading into college. She pretty much went right into coaching track and teaching students right after she finished running; saying the moment she knew she wanted to become a coach was during college because she loved her coaches so much and they grew her passion for the sport heavily. Sadly one of her coaches ended up passing away, and her and her teammates thought, “He did so much for us, what can we do to pass that on to the next generation.” And that led her here, to the Urbana High School Track and Field program. 

Coach Suarez and the rest of the coaching staff has pushed the program to new leaps and bounds over the last couple of years, those years being the most successful years of our program’s history. This has allowed us, not only to perform in tournaments like regionals and states, but to send off students to colleges with tons of scholarship money, helping them pave their way in the future. 

That doesn’t come without hard work, however. They practice six times a week, Monday through Saturday from 3:30-5:30pm. Their practices differ depending on if you are a sprints runner, a distance runner, a thrower, or a jumper, but they all pretty much consist of, “Warm up laps, drills, the ‘workout of the day,’ a cool down couple of laps, and then a stretch together as a team.” 

All this hard work has its purpose though, as Senior sprinter Ryder Levy said, “There is a common goal between everybody on the team to ‘get faster’ and we all hold each other accountable if we aren’t putting in the work and effort.” It really goes to show that there is a shared motivation across everybody on the team to get better, and to improve for one another. 

The environment that all the players and coaches have created helps draw all the players closer and pushes them to be better, both in track and field and in life; like how Ryder Levy said, “Being on this team has taught me the importance of community and friendships. The guys I ran with quickly became my closest friends and still are to this day.”

All of the players have amazing experiences to share from their time running track, like their celebrations which “makes all the excruciating work forgettable.” They’ve gotten really “surreal” experiences through running track, like going to the outdoor nationals last summer at the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, where they got to run with some of the fastest high schoolers in the nation. 

It is definitely a lot of work that they put in, but when it is all said and done it is all worth it. Making new friends, getting to celebrate accomplishments, and winning, that’s what really defines the Urbana Track and Field experience. 

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About the Contributors
Chase King, Reporter
Chase King is a wizened journalist, who plans to take his time with the craft far into life. He joined our group not once, but twice, to gain further insight into the art of journalism, for he plans to spend his future days walking a similar path. He plans to make a bit of a thing out of it, combining his interest in sports and his interest in writing articles to write articles about sports. When he grows older, he wants to possibly educate others, while continuing his passions for journalism and sports on the side. He wants to go to college, to receive a degree in such things: Journalism, and education. Being an experienced member of the journalism group, it's no surprise. Of course, with all this mention of passion and journalism and everything in between, it's easy to forget the rest about him. Chase is a fan of indie rock music, citing the meaningful lyrics and intricate sounds. After getting home from school, he enjoys playing video games, watching sports, and chilling out with his dogs Boh and Miley. He says he is somewhat indifferent towards his schoolwork, but ultimately comes to enjoy a significant deal of it.
Ryan Tran, Reporter
Ryan Tran is a senior at Urbana High School. With four years under his belt now, he has figured out and decided that he is absolutely enamored and obsessed with history. He loves researching and learning more about specific historical eras like the brilliant strategic mind of Napoleon or the gruesome acts of violence committed in World War 2. He especially loves watching historical movies that are able to capture what it truly felt to be in that time period, like Saving Private Ryan, All Quiet on the Western Front, and the recent Napoleon Film. Ryan did actually take a class studying the film industry and learning the intricacies of camerawork and editing. His top three favorite movies are Whiplash, Ford v Ferrari, and Wall-E. When Ryan isn’t in the classroom, he is often seen watching more and more movies to expand his knowledge and watch every classic film. Ryan eventually wants to become involved in the filmmaking industry, doing whatever calls to him the most. Whether its a foley artist making sound effects with various strange objects, a cameraman trying to capture the perfect angle, or a VFX artist making awesome special effects for Hollywood's biggest movies, Ryan will be there to give 110% at all times.

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