Junior high athletes use other sports to help in track
(May 21, 2016)
Article, video and photos by Junior High Students Jayme Lindstrom and Cooper Davis
Athletes prepare for track long before the month of March. Eighth-Graders Taylor Burkhardt, Gabe TenEyck, and Daryn Lamprecht are just a few of the experienced athletes out for track.
Burkhardt has been playing sports since she was 6. She said her favorite is softball.
“(I am) best at softball because it’s competitive, and you have to work hard to be successful in that sport,” she said.
Softball has especially helped her train for track by getting her in shape and helping her work well with a team. Not only has softball, basketball, and volleyball helped her prepare for track, so has her coach, David Schooler.
“Mr. Schooler has really pushed me to reach my goals, and he has taught me that playing as a team and winning as a team is really important for success,” Burkhardt explained.
She said her sports give her endurance to push through when she is tired. She said she needs that endurance for track practice.
Burkhardt competes in the long jump and relays. At the Royal Valley meet on April 21, she was part of the 4x2 team who took second with a time of 2:04.70. Her relay teammates were Grace Hubbard, Ashley Martinek, and Lyndsey Vande Velde.
“Mr. Schooler really knows how to push you, and he teaches you to reach your goals even though it’s hard,” she said.
Not only does she gain endurance, but also strength.
“(These sports) have helped me get stronger for long jump and running because they push me to my limits when I’m tired and push me to reach my goals,” Burkhardt said.
Schooler has been the track coach at the junior high for seven years. He said he finds preparing kids for track season is pretty easy at Silver Lake.
“Most of the kids are involved in other sports, so as track season starts, most kids are in pretty good physical shape. So I don’t have to work too hard to get them ready for track meets,” Schooler explained.
He said sometimes it is difficult for him to coach the events that he, as an athlete, has not done.
“Coaching triple jump is tricky for me because I can’t necessarily demonstrate it that well, so those are times where I just use models and use athletes who can do it well. I do a little more research to figure out the best way to coach those people without my own experience,” Schooler said.
He said he has great success coaching because of his assistant coaches: Bill Miller, Kevin Brokaw, and Dian Workman.
“We have been very successful with our athletes in the throws, and then a lot of athletes with our sprints. I have a lot of great help. Mr. Miller works with high jumpers, and he is very knowledgeable so we have good success in the high jump.
“We have good success with Mrs. Workman and the throws and the experience she brings as a coach. We have a lot of success with those field events, and I attribute those to the coaches who help me,” Schooler explained.
Along with Burkhardt, another multi-sport athlete is TenEyck. Thanks to the help of his mom, TenEyck was inspired to try track his seventh-grade year.
“My seventh grade year everyone was going out for (track), and I just wanted to give it a try. Really my mom kept telling me it was a fun sport, and you got to meet a lot of new people,” TenEyck explained.
With TenEyck being involved in four other sports, he is used to all the conditioning.
“There is a lot of conditioning involved when you run a lot in practice then you get used to sweating and pushing yourself. It helps you in track practice,” TenEyck said.
Though TenEyck would like to try baseball in high school, he said he has connected more with track. Next year in high school, he said he would like to try the 4x8 even though people say it is hard.
TenEyck said his inspiration for working hard was his cousin, who was killed in a car accident this year.
“...Timmy (Nesbitt III) because he’s pushed me to do better and try to compete and win for him,” he said.
TenEyck’s hard work has been the reason for his success this track season. TenEyck earned points for the team at every meet in the 800 or the 3200. At Royal Valley, he medaled second in both the 800 (2:39.61) and the 3200 (12:19.71).
Lamprecht is another one of the talented athletes at Silver Lake. Her record-breaking throws have led her to many first-place finishes. At the first meet of the year at home, she broke the school record in shot put, throwing 40-03.00. She also took first in the discus.
After that meet, she captured first-place honors in shot put at five meets, and first place in discus at four, including league champion in the shot put and second place in the discus.
Lamprecht is a very competitive athlete, and she explained the advantages of playing many sports.
“I’d say (other sports) prepared me because it’s given me a lot of strength like literally jumping every practice for volleyball and stuff like that and batting has given me more core strength. It’s just kind of all...given me strength and endurance,” she said.
Lamprecht explained that she could not have been as successful without her best friend.
“...Lexi (Cobb has helped me) because she’s kinda been with me through all my sports. She just kinda knows how to make me push myself and do better in what I compete in,” she said.
Lamprecht would love to continue track in high school because she said she feels she could contribute to the team. If she were to continue, she would like to try throwing the javelin. Since track conflicts with softball, Lamprecht will have to make a tough decision.
“...I will probably choose softball because track was just kind of this thing that I tried out because I didn’t have softball. Then I will have softball and will probably play that,” she said.
Daryn Lamprecht, eighth-grade track participant, throws the shot put for 30' and 9", earning her another first-place medal. (Photo by Cooper Davis)
Eighth-Grader Taylor Burkhardt jumps 11-05.25 in the long jump at league at Rock Creek. (Photo by Jayme Lindstrom)
Eighth-Grader Gabe TenEyck competes in the 3200-meter where he took fifth with a time of 12:12.37. (Photo by Jayme Lindstrom)