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Sophomore adjusts quickly to demands of track team

Photo by Tom DiGrispino

As the sports seasons change, many students decide to take risks and try new things. Of course, this new experience comes with many opportunities, but many hardships as well. Many new athletes feel that they are setback from their peers as they all have gotten a start before them in the sport they choose. 

One of these new athletes is Sophomore Nyla Arthur who has recently joined the track team as a first-time athlete. 

“Track is just an interesting sport because it makes you push yourself beyond your limit. It helps you internally a lot,” Arthur said.

There are lots of students who benefit from sports; mentally, physically, and socially. Joining a new team gives students the chance to grow with themselves and with a team.

“I think it was kind of like a guinea pig moment for my coach because he’s been trying to get me to do this for a while, so he was pretty excited about it when I decided to do it,” Arthur said.  

While Arthur was participating in volleyball, she would constantly get talked into trying out for track by her parents, her friends, and by the track coach. 

“Nyla was a great student in my PE class last year and I suggested that she join the track team to help her develop more for her main sport, which is volleyball.” Coffey said.

Having support for anything is really important to Arthur as she’s been exploring track. Newcomers are for sure to have doubts and anything could help. Whether it’s being pushed, getting tips, or showing up to every game. Having a support system is good for anyone. 

“Of course the coaches have helped, but on a more personal level then, I think my parents because they did track too back in high school, so they’ve been giving me tips and helping me when they see I need it. Also just them being really supportive overall. They’ve been to every meet so far,” Arthur said. 

With being new to the sport, Arthur feels like she has to try harder to get to the level as some of their teammates who have been there longer. Some students tend to get discouraged while others try to work harder to be right up there with their new team. At first it was a struggle for her because her relay group had all done track from childhood or eighth grade, so for being in one of the top relay groups during her first year is definitely impressive.

“It does make me push myself harder though so I don’t hold anyone back.” Arthur said. 

The coaches feel strongly about who they put on their team. They look and see who will end up benefiting the team. 

“Nyla’s work ethic and maturity has put her in position to compete at the state’s highest level. She’s stronger, faster, and more mentally tough,” Coffey said. “Nyla went from not participating in track and field to now being in one of the best 4x400m relays in the state of Indiana. We have high hopes for her success, and we feel confident that she will accomplish a majority of her team and individual goals.” 

Arthur feels strongly about how she will benefit the team as well as how she will meet her goals and grow as a person, along with growing as a team member. 

“I feel like just me personally, and my 4×4 relay will get really good because we’ve only had four meets so far and every time we’ve run, our time has gone up.” 

Along with running with her teammates, she also has a good connection with them so they can all run better together. 

“The relationship has to be strong with your team, relay for example, if you’re not on the same wavelength as your teammate, it won’t sync up right,” Arthur said. “I feel like that personal connection with your team in track is very different and important.” 

Although she has done volleyball, navigating a new sport is difficult and has its struggles and hardships. 

It’s harder when a student has to balance work, school, a new sport, and personal life. It teaches them a lot about maturity and responsibility. 

“I definitely do have to balance everything and it can be hard,” Arthur said. “But I feel like if you can put that energy into a sport and other things then it shows how strong you are as an individual. It will definitely be a struggle at first.” 

The coaches have high hopes and expectations for Arthur’s future as herself and within the team.

“She’s a great competitor and a student of the sport. She’s extremely coachable and a great leader on our team.”


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