Arlingtonian sits down with four UAHS track and field athletes.
BY EMILY AYARS ’24 AND MATTHEW DORON ’23
Track and field consists of a variety of events, three of which senior Miriam Silver competes in. She participates in the 100-meter dash, the 4×100 relay event, and pole vaulting, all at the JVA level.
“I also really enjoy being part of relays because I like the team atmosphere of extending the baton and being able to complete that race together,” Silver said.
Along with relays, Silver began sprinting in seventh grade and has since continued to compete in it. She competed in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints through middle school.
“I think one of my favorite parts of [track] is being able to work on my own personal development as a runner and as an athlete,” Silver said.
Throughout the years, she has grown as a runner while also discovering other events, like pole vaulting.
“I haven’t had a ton of time to get very good at it,” Silver said. “But it’s a lot of fun to be able to do a field event and to work on developing those other aspects.”
Senior Ronnie Armstrong can jump. She began pole vaulting the summer after sixth grade after seeing her brother’s track meet and quickly became a captain at UAHS.
“I was a captain [my] sophomore year, and then junior and senior year. These two seniors who pole vaulted thought I was a senior. So they would call me ‘Senior Captain Ronnie,’’’ she said. Armstrong said the solitary nature of the event allows athletes freedom.
“I just love the feeling of flying through the air. And it’s kind of different, because [other events] at the track meets, you’re trying to beat these other people, but when you’re at pole vault, you’re just trying to do the best you can,” Armstrong said. “We continue practicing after the rest of practice is done because you have to get through so many people and you can’t have eight people do it at the [same] time. So the practices when everyone’s gone, it’s kind of fun, because we’re just doing our own thing in our little world.”
Last year, the pole vault team sent several athletes to nationals, and Armstrong hopes to send more students this year.
“With hurdles, we do a lot of different training,” senior Amelia Pearson said. “During practice, we’ll split into our groups and there’ll be a sprint group and then there’ll be a hurdles group.”
Pearson, who competes in the 100-meter hurdles, pole vault, sprints and relays, began participating in hurdles her sophomore year.
“I knew that there were a lot of open spots for hurdles. A lot of the time being on the hurdle team means you get varsity automatically,” she said. “But as I kept going with hurdles, it just got more fun trying to be better and better at it. It’s different [from] an open sprint because you have more obstacles.”
Out of the five field events offered by Upper Arlington High School, sophomore Eliana Baryluk has devoted her two years on the track and field team to throwing in two events: shotput and discus. These two events are similar down to the form and object being thrown.
“Usually you throw a lot further in disc than you throw in shot,” Baryluk said. “But then in shot you’re pushing it more. I think I’m better at shot a little bit. In my opinion, the form is a bit easier to get down. I think that’s my favorite.”
Baryluk, like Silver, said the communal aspect of track and field is one of the reasons she participates.
“It’s a good community,” she said. “The practices, those can be a lot of fun, especially our throwing coach. [She’s] really nice and great… so I enjoy spending time with her too.”
The field events in track and field focus less on the running aspect of the sport and more on other abilities. Other events in this area include high jump, long jump and pole vault.
“It doesn’t hurt to show up to a couple of the throwing practices,” Baryluk said. “As long as you’re doing track and field, you can show up to at least one event and try it out for a couple practices.”