With this year’s track practice already in progress, the key to a successful season lies within one’s self, according to Matt Genrich, the assistant and long-distance track coach. He explains how student-athletes need to find it in themselves to try and improve every day.
This season is expected to be a productive one for the Harrisburg team, as they have many experienced upper-classmen ready to succeed. Among these student-athletes are junior Ryan Ptak, a distance runner, and senior Jordan Wurth, a sprinter, who both look forward to individual and team improvements.
Jordan Wurth is an accomplished sprinter for the Harrisburg Tigers. She began track in the beginning of middle school. Her early running career began in cross country, where she ran long distance races; as she began to try new events, she realized her love for shorter races. Jordan explains, “When I got more into the season, I realized I loved the shorter distance running much more. Now I mostly run the 200 and 400 races.” The senior details her reasons for liking track: “My three favorite aspects of track would be the atmosphere, meeting new people, and the internal drive and motivation you get from it.”
Junior Ryan Ptak’s reasons for enjoying track are not too far from Jordan’s. He says, “I enjoy the team atmosphere of track, with everyone cheering for one another. Also, I like being able to compete with a variety of schools at a high level. Third, I love to run, and this is a way for me to get better at something that I love to do.” Ryan comments on why he would recommend track: “Track is a way to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself to become better. It is a fun way to make new friends.”
Both of these athletes stated how they loved to run; however, some athletes do not show up to track practice with a love of running. Coach Matt Genrich explains his approach to coach these individuals: “With so many events and so many specific abilities of athletes, one of the biggest challenges is finding where an athlete will be most successful. Along with that, convincing that athlete to trust you and compete with their whole heart in those events is a challenge. Their best events may not always be where they envision themselves or what is the easiest.”
Track is an impactful sport, where any given individual can succeed. Jordan says, “I would definitely recommend track to anyone. It is a great way to meet new people and there are lots of other opportunities even if you don’t like to run.” Come cheer on the Tigers at their home track meets, taking place on Tuesday, April 2nd, and Friday, April 26th.