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Titan track team chases titles

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Rome Bridger, 12th, takes selfie of herself with close friends.

Returning from a girls State Championship and a boys top-10 finish, Titan track is looking to kick it up a gear. Each event practices separately, but they all have to come together on meet day to fight for a team medal. Five Titan seniors gave advice on what it takes to succeed in their event, in order to see Titan Track at the top. Although every event has its own challenges, every athlete has a similar recipe for success: never giving up. 

Dade Larsen, 12th, takes his final step before jumping.

High Jump specialist Dade Larsen has been a leader for the jumpers.

“My advice is to stick with it,” Larsen said. “It can be hard, especially starting out, to learn. But if you stick with it and apply yourself and work hard, you’ll be all right.” 

“You have to be really emotionally tough,” Larsen said, “because if you get down to your last attempt on a bar, you’ve got to not freak out. Even though it can be frustrating at times, it is really rewarding when you do well.”

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Mason Langabee, 12th, striding out during the 800m.

Mason Langabee has excelled as  a distance runner, a part of the mile, 400, and 4×8 squads. Langabee is a leg in one of the state’s best 4×8 teams.  

“The competition involved is my favorite part of the 800. It’s really fun when there is good competition and you get to go out there and talk trash a little bit,” Langabee said. “Going out there and knowing you are the best is really fun.” 

Langabee said he believes not letting up gives him the edge.

“Having the mental strength to finish the last 300 meters is what makes a good 800 runner. It takes someone with good ending sprint speed to be able to be a top 800 runner,” he said.

Mikey Deters has competed  in shot put and discus for the Titans. Deters described how the team dynamic might be different for a thrower.

“We’re pretty isolated from the rest of the team,” Deters said. “We’re the Big Guys of the team. We don’t talk to the runners, sprinters, high jumpers … because of how far the rings are from the rest of the events. If you’re a thrower, you probably will only talk to other throwers on a consistent basis.” 

For Deters, focusing on oneself  helps increase the focus of the team. 

“You probably won’t throw as far as some of the other guys; don’t compare yourself to any of them. Compare yourself to the thrower you were at the last meet, and try to beat them this meet,” Deters said. “We might be a team, but this is an individual event and you just have to trust that you [and the team] will get better.”

Aurora Griffin, 12th, finishing the 100m. (Avery Brasfield)

Sprinter Aurora Griffin has been running the 100, 200, and 4×1. Griffin gave credit to the mental side of her event. 

“I know I get really stressed easily,” Griffin said, “so I listen to music while warming up, just to not constantly be thinking about how stressed I am. And a good quality just to have in general is confidence. It is something you want to have, because it also instills in other people.” 

Never giving up on the process is important for Griffin.

“While it is about athleticism, and that is a huge part, it is about the work you put in. You can also improve a lot through the years if you work at it. My freshman year, I wasn’t near as fast as my senior year. So I think if you keep working at it, you’ll get better with effort and work,” Griffin said.

Rome Bridger, who has competed as  a hurdler and long jumper, was described by fellow teammates as the heart of the team. 

“After races I look forward to embracing my teammates and congratulating them,” Bridger said. “In addition to the amazing community we have within the hurdle crew, I cherish the race.”

“There are many exciting events in track, but nothing spells out adrenaline, excitement and entertainment better than sprinting over obstacles that could render you broken and bloody on the track,” Bridger said. “I love the thrill and excitement of hurdling.” 

“If I was offering advice to a new hurdler, it would be to not give up,” Bridger said. “Learning how to hurdle takes lots of time. It is completely normal to be nervous, but you have to trust yourself, be OK with falling, and SPRINT!”

For Bridger, there is no such thing as an individual event.

“The Titan Girls Track team has a strong community and team connection,” Bridger said. “I see throwers cheering sprinters, I see sprinters cheering jumpers, I see groups of girls all from different events chatting in a circle, then jumping up to cheer for an athlete in a distance race. Track gets a bad rap for not being a team sport. In reality, it’s the biggest team sport there is.”

 

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About the Contributors
Parker Hylok
Parker Hylok, Staff Reporter
Hello! I am Parker Hylok. This is my first year on staff, and I am senior. I have been on the Varsity Soccer team since Freshman year. If I am not in school, you are likely to see me playing soccer, fishing, lifting, or taking a nap. I am super excited to be a part of journalism.
Avery Brasfield
Avery Brasfield, Photographer
I feel like my biggest strength as a photographer is passion. I am constantly wanting to learn more and have more experience. I love to spend my time taking photos. I love the feeling of going home and seeing what I captured. Seeing my growth makes me want to strive harder to be better every day. I love being on the sidelines taking everything in. I also love to capture people that don't normally get the recognition they deserve. Showing people someone's personality and who they really are is my favorite.
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