With the winter season starting, track was one of the sports to make a return after a year of remote learning. The team had their first meeting on Jan. 17 and they have already come back to their daily practice.
David Pytko, who has been a coach for 25 years with this year marking his 12th year at AT, shared his thoughts about coming back, “Overall, I feel great about being back because we’re kind of in a rebuilding mode. After last year, our numbers were down quite a bit and we’ve picked those numbers up, so I’m very happy about that.”
“We’ve had so many more people. For the longest time AT only had like two or three throwers, now we’ve got around ten,” added coach Jeff Reher.
As could be expected, it takes time before things truly go back to normal. This, however, does not stop the students who are in track from enjoying it and giving it their all.
“I’d like to see that more athletes that are in other sports give it a try and overall more students give it a try. Everybody has something to offer and you might not know your strengths. You don’t have to come out just because you’re an athlete.
“You want to try and challenge yourself and that challenge is what the girls love. They get a chance to see how much they’ve improved, so those are things why kids should come out and join us,” said Pytko.
Although the track team is not small, the athletes have a great connection and continuously encourage each other to improve.
“We have great comradery. There isn’t a team out here with this many athletes that has this kind of comradery,” said Pytko.
Pytko has shared some hopes and plans for the season in regards to the whole team, “I see us just trying not to take a step backwards in conference. I think our ultimate goal is to stay where we’re at or move forward.”
“There’s 12 or 13 of our girls from last year that were in conference and we’ve done that for two years in a row. That’s going to be a hard thing to repeat, but that’s our goal. It’s to get as many girls in all conference as possible,” he continued.
Junior Lettia Hoda shared her feelings about coming back to track with the return of in-person learning, “It feels really good to be back after the year of remote learning. I’m really excited for the indoor season, especially since we couldn’t have one last year. One of my personal goals is to drop my mile time to six minutes.”
Senior Madelyn Ford has participated in the high school track program for seven years. With this year being her last year in track, Ford shared her feelings about the season, “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have a full track season my senior year. Having our full season gives us as much time as possible to drop our times before the IHSA state series starts.”
“My hopes for the season are to recruit new members and bring our numbers up. We’re a really big team, but I want to keep expanding that because being a part of the girls track team is an amazing experience that I think other girls should have the chance to enjoy.
“Since it’s my last year running track for Addison Trail, I want to make sure to leave an impact on my fellow athletes and make sure I get the most out of my last season,” added Ford.
Senior Julissa Cobos described her experience coming back and how important track is to many of the athletes, “Personally, I feel that being back is such a refresher, even though we’re all wearing masks.
“It’s so good to be back in the place where you know you can be yourself. It gives you more motivation to be at school. I want to see anyone actually succeed and break their own personal records.”
The new season means new opportunities and the track coaches, as well as the athletes, are looking forward to new challenges.