On track for their future goals

THE+HOME+STRETCH%3A+Senior+Justin+Larson+leads+his+team+in+warmups.

Coco Tsaur

THE HOME STRETCH: Senior Justin Larson leads his team in warmups.

Abby Fang and Mei Ono

As long as you keep running after your dreams, you can go the distance. Seniors Justin Larson and Mary King do exactly that on Northwood’s Track and Field team. Both typically compete in long-distance running events and have taken another step forward after high school to compete in the sport at the collegiate level. 

 

The Howler: Which college are you attending next fall and how did you decide you fully wanted to commit there?

Justin Larson: I am committed to Cal State Fullerton because of their incredible Division I Track team. I feel like if I didn’t continue Track, I’d be doing a disservice to myself, because I have the potential to be doing great things in the next few years.

Mary King: I am committed to New York University for Division III. I was specifically looking for Division III colleges because I like running but I don’t want it to be my career. I’m running not only so that I can continue eating whatever I want to eat, but also to make more friends and stay active. 

 

TH: When did you start Track and Field and why did you join?

JL: I joined Track my freshman year and I mainly did it because my sister was good at it when she was in high school, and I fell in love with the sport. 

MK: I started with cross country. I used to do a running club in fourth and fifth grade because I thought it was easy, then my parents encouraged me to do it for middle school and high school afterwards as I got better. I went straight from my club team to Track and Field for Northwood.

 

TH: What do you love about Track and Field or sports in general?

JL: The camaraderie. After the races, your team is like your family and everyone is super close and friendly. I also like the competition.

MK: When I was a freshman here, it was always nice to have people I knew on campus, especially upperclassmen, to reach out to as a resource. Now that I am an upperclassman on the team, it makes me really happy when the younger girls ask me for advice because it reminds me of when I was a freshman.

 

TH: In what ways have you grown as an athlete or a person through Track and Field?

JL: It made me more humble of a person. It was a wake-up call for me that I wasn’t special, and that I should respect everyone for how good they are.

MK: As an athlete, I used to be really anxious, but now I’ve learned to hold that back. As a person, it really helps with my dedication skills and staying committed to something because practice is around three hours every day after school. 

 

TH: Why did you decide to commit to Track and Field for college? Do you have any goals beyond college?

JL: If I get to that level in college, I would have to think about if I want to compete professionally or perhaps in the Olympics. 

MK: I like the workout and being able to run several miles without feeling too winded, rather than competing in races all the time. But I’ll always keep training. 

 

TH: What advice do you have for high school Track and Field athletes who hope to pursue the sport?

JL: Never doubt yourself even if you’re down in some races. Always believe that you are capable of anything, and tell your mind what to do and you can do it.

MK: As a career, you have to buckle down a lot more in high school. You should start setting up your NCAA profile junior year, and other steps you can take to get the coaches’ attention. Once you get into the groove of it, you’ll be fine. It clicks at some point or another. 

Coco Tsaur
THE HOME STRETCH: Senior Mary King leads her team in warmups.