Track triumphs with rising talent


True Van Dyke

OHS track athlete jumps for success.

True Van Dyke, Feature's Editor

OHS track continues to break school records, set ambitious goals, and expand the ever-growing and well-accomplished program. As the largest sports program at OHS, there is no shortage of impressive student-athletes and rising talent, all supported by a group of dedicated coaches. 

With over 240 students doing the sport, and ten different coaches, the team has to be a well-oiled machine of support, motivation, and constructive criticism in order to help the program as a whole. 

“We just don’t treat it as an individual sport; we’re a team sport. Even though there are individual accomplishments, we try to get our kids to understand that even if you win, but no one else wins, we ain’t gonna win,” said Eric Bolus, head coach. 

With several different events and heats of competition, it is easy to get caught up in the individual numbers, separated lanes, and personal records, but track is nothing if not one large community in itself. 

“It’s just you versus timers and heights mainly, but then it’s also fun because you still get the team environment,” said Jarom Lewis, junior pole vaulter. 

The race against every athlete and themselves is a unique aspect of track that can be daunting, requiring integrity and strength to push through. 

“It’s mostly a mental battle, so it’s definitely harder to be like ‘I’m racing myself’ than seeing something visible,” said Cara Davidson, sophomore sprinter. 

The team is not complete without every coach and student giving as much dedication and focus on collective goals, something OHS confidently does not lack. 

“The coaches are pretty cool, they are one of the nicest [group of] people. All of them are nice, they all care, even though there’s like 20 kids that they have to coach, they care about you individually,” said Joshua Bacon, senior jumper. 

A good coach pushes an athlete’s limits as much as they reward their accomplishments; something that runs deep in the well credited core of track coaching.  

“We don’t focus on time and distance and how far they throw or jump, but we look for effort, and if we see great effort, we celebrate it, but if we don’t see great effort, we get after them a little bit,” Bolus said. 

Ambitious goals and determination are nothing without accountability. The coaches at OHS have made a point of pushing each and every student to their individual capacities, personalizing their goal points and improvements throughout the season. 

 “I’m hoping to get 15’ft [on pole vault] by the end of the season, which would be a new junior record, and a new school record as well, so we have a couple guys trying to get the school record this year,” Lewis said.  

For some student athletes, they already have the successful results of supportive coaching, impressive tenacity, and raw talent under their belt this track season. 

“Right now I hold the current school record for the four by four with the twins, Olivia and Ellie, and then Kendal Kittleson, so I’m proud of that,” Davidson said. 

Success is not without challenges, every competitor on the team is able to attest to the long meet days, consistent practices, and many failures before reward that have to happen first. 

“The best part is the people, and the worst part is the bruises,” Bacon said. . 

Regardless of the numerous personal records broken, and bruises formed, OHS track continues to show its team spirit and praise for one another’s accomplishments. 

“Our kids have done a great job of competing at their highest level, and then when they’re done, becoming great cheerleaders for their teammates,” Bolus said. 

With internal competition rumbling throughout the season, and hundreds of students battling to do their utter best within the sport, the OHS track team, with talented athletes and successful coaches, rightfully earned a respected name throughout their division.  

“We have kids that have never done a sport before ever in their life, and we celebrate as they improve, we have kids that have the opportunity to win state championships, and we celebrate when they improve; getting everybody to compete at their highest level, get everybody to give their greatest effort, [all] with the understanding that everybody has different goals in mind,” Bolus said.