Conquering the Track

Athletes making personal records and memories

Amber Davis

More stories from Amber Davis

A Toxic Fandom
February 1, 2023

Spartans on track and field prepare to beat the clock — and their opponents — at a meet. The athletes practiced hard so they could give their best. (Ava Reyes)

The 2023 track and field season is underway, and many achievements have already been met by the team. From pole vaulting to mile runs, the Spartans truly have many moments to celebrate about.

For some, the goal came from more competitive situations than standard meets one may be more accustomed to. Sophomore Sophie Rosser, who competed in pole vaulting, is one of many who reached a goal this season. 

“We just had [a competition] last week, and I got a PR in javelin, which I was really hoping for,” Rosser said. “They put you in a list of who’s expected to get [which place]. I was expected to get fourth by a good amount, and I got second place which is really awesome.”

Rosser isn’t the only athlete who hit a milestone this season. Junior Laney Parmeley, who competed in the mile run, has gotten quite the congratulatory remarks from her peers for her recent accomplishment. 

“Last year, I was trying to break six minutes in a mile,” Parmeley said. “That was my big goal. I [told myself recently] ‘I’m gonna break 6:03; I need to break this.’ So then I ended up running a 5:51 this time around. That wasn’t my fastest [time], but that was the first meet I broke six minutes.”

The reaction that day was one of the most notable to her, as she put a lot of dedication — and some stress — into meeting her goal this season.

“My coach [came] behind me and tackled me, like, ‘Oh my gosh, she did it.’ I ran [and gave] high fives to all my teammates. And then I saw my mom and dad on the fence. I just looked at them. They looked at me and I sprinted across the track to go give them a hug. And I was almost crying,” Parmeley said.

These achievements, of course, don’t come easily. Many of the athletes have trained hard outside of their typical practices to get where they’re at right now.

Two Spartan athletes show their speed during a recent meet. Competing with hurdles, they worked extra hard to demonstrate what they put into track and field everyday. (Ava Reyes)

“I ran and did weight training over the winter, which definitely helped out a lot,” Parmeley said. “That transition back to track I think helped with injury prevention. I have a knee injury so I’m trying to build up that strength so it’s not as bad [with track].”

“I do other sports that keep me in shape all the time,” Rosser said. “I also go to the gym sometimes and work out with a group of friends.”

Overall, the team has had many successes worth cheering for too. Recently, the team got third place out of about ten, which has excited and encouraged the athletes. 

“There were a ton of PRs and just a ton of great efforts,” Rosser said. “Everybody stayed for their events and gave as much as they could; it kind of felt like a group effort. It’s nice to have those [moments] when it feels more like a group than an individual competition.”