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The City Journals

Become a Multi-Sport Athlete: Do Track and Field

Jun 15, 2016 10:32AM ● By Jessica Thompson

Emma Schroeder has been running the 100 and 200 Meter dash for six years. Photo Credit: Emma Schroeder

By Jessica Thompson | [email protected]

It’s become a trend in high school sports for the students to specialize in one certain sport. Track and Field is normally not the sport of choice. “At Taylorsville High we are trying to build the track program. I think it is important for kids to participate in an individual sport and a team sport. Kids tend to get caught up on how to play as a team and forget how to compete as an individual. Track can teach kids so many things about how to be a better athlete. I believe we need to help kids become multi-sport athletes,” Coach Clint Barnes said.   

Two students at Taylorsville High have seen the benefits of being a part of the Track and Field team. Emma Schroeder has been running for six years. “Emma is a hard and dedicated worker. She ranks top six in the state of Utah for 5A schools in the 100 and 200 meter dash,” Barnes said. Schroeder enjoys many aspects of running track, but her favorite would be the lasting friendships she has made. “No matter what team you are from we all understand each other. I’ve always said some of the nicest people are the athletes at a Track meet. Some of my best friends I’ve met through Track and Field,” Schroeder said. Schroeder has suffered from an injury for many years, but when she runs it seems to disappear. “When I am running I feel free. I feel that for those few short seconds my injury that I’ve been dealing with for years has disappeared. The pain goes away for a little while,” Schroeder said. 

Darnel Apelu is new to Taylorsville Track and Field, but has already seen the benefits of running as a sport. “Darnel is new to track, but has some really great speed. I won’t be surprised if he makes it to the State meet and has a great showing,” Barnes said. Apelu has learned to love the competitive spirit Track invokes in others. “My favorite aspect of Track is the competitive spirit everyone has, it’s always fun to go against someone where you have to push yourself past your limits in order to cross that finish line and beat that person,” Apelu said. Apelu has recently been called to serve an LDS Mission for two years in Papua New Guinea and has used this to help him run faster. “Papua New Guinea is known as a breeding ground for alligators. When I’m running my 100 Meter race, I always try to think an alligator is chasing me, so I always feel like I’m being chased by something that’s trying to eat me,” Apelu said. 

Track and Field really is a great place for students to learn athletic and life lessons. “Track teaches you how to work well with others and how to lead a team. There are a lot of Seniors on this team that do a great job of teaching our younger teammates by being a great example of hard working people, patience and showing love for other teammates,” Apelu said. Being a part of Taylorsville Track and Field team has given Schroeder a chance to learn many life lessons, especially what it means to be a leader. “Running has taught me that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined. You don’t always win, but you have to keep trying and pushing to get in the next race,” Schroeder said.

As Taylorsville High’s new Track and Field Coach, Barnes is trying to show students the many benefits of running track. “I am trying to give knowledge to these young kids on how to be a better runner and a better person. Track makes it so you can work with a kid one on one and you can get to know them much better and help them individually. Track is going to take them a long way in life,” Barnes said.