Making the jump: Trinity athletes balance track and field, other sportsPublished 12:01am Friday, February 1, 2013
NATCHEZ — Peyton Young wants to make the most of his senior year, and with that in mind, he put out a rallying cry to his friends on the Trinity Episcopal Day School track and field team.
“I’m not going to waste (my senior year),” Young said. “A lot of the guys get senioritis for track and don’t come out. But we talked everybody into it, and told them, ‘If you don’t come out, you’re going to regret it.’”
The Trinity track may look deserted at times right now, but that does not mean the track and field team is not preparing for the season.
Almost all of Trinity’s track and field athletes, including Young, participate in other sports and are forced to get their track practice in before school or after other practices.
But Saints track fans should not be fooled by the lack of bodies gathering on the track in January. Head coach Michael Kinney said the team should have approximately 30 athletes when at full force led by a big senior class.
“We have five or six seniors,” he said. “We usually get around one or two, so it’s surprising. Having more older kids is going to be good thing for us. It gives the younger ones role models.”
Young, who runs the 800 meters, is one of those leaders, and he sets the example for other track athletes by hitting the track whenever he can between basketball and baseball practices.
“It’s tough,” he said. “I get exhausted. When I get home, I usually just go to sleep.”
Kinney said he expects all of the senior track athletes to be on the boys side this year, and he is looking to a younger leader on the girls’ side.
Sophomore Taylor Ham started track at Trinity in seventh grade as a medium distance runner, but she found her track calling in eighth grade.
“One day, our coach asked if anybody wanted to (try the high jump).”
Ham said she tried it that day and after a few practices, she caught on quickly.
“It was pretty hard but after a while it got easier,” she said. “I made it to state that year and finished third.”
Ham hopes to pick up some running events this year, but she said high jump remains her favorite.
“I like the thrill of it,” she said. “I like the feeling of the thrill you get when you get over, and you do it by yourself.”
Young and Ham, who is also a Saints’ cheerleader, said it gets hard to stay focused on track with so much going on, but the other sports also allow them to stay in shape.
“(The other sports) keep me in shape all year long,” Young said. “But they are all a different kind of shape. Track is different from football, because it’s long distances, but the hardest is still getting in shape for football in the summer.”
Trinity finished third in its district last season in both the boys and girls, but Kinney said having more bodies with more experience has him confident for this season. The Saints will still have to battle with other spring sports for athletes, but Kinney said he and the coaches work well together, and it should not be too much of an issue.
Trinity begins its track season in March.