Track Preview


Sophie Engle

Gamble running the 4×800 meter relay at the Lake Washington Girls Invitational where she placed second, and set the school record.

The end of Mid Winter Break signals the start of spring sports, and students all over Shorecrest have been prepping for their seasons. Sophia Gamble, a senior distance runner on the track team says that “[track] allows me to work on my speed, and connect more with my teammates through relays. It also helps me to prepare for the fall cross country season.”  Track is one of the largest sports at Shorecrest, with over one hundred athletes. Because of the variety of events, track is the largest sport at Shorecrest. From sprints, distance, and hurdles, to discus, shotput, and javelin, there is something for everyone on the team to excel in, if you put in the work.

Gamble stresses the importance of putting in the hours, saying that “for track there are a lot of things you cannot control. You won’t be able to control the weather, or your competition, or the condition of the track. But, you are able to control what you do to prep for your event and your season to make sure you’re successful.” To prepare for track season, Gamble runs, lifts weights, crosstrains, attends winter running club, and makes sure she eats well. “What you’re eating before a race is extremely important. The fuel you’re giving yourself should be healthy in order to perform at your best, junk food will do nothing but slow you down.” For Gamble, track allows her to keep up her exercise routine, make friends, and work on her time goals.

Although Gamble’s favorite sport is cross country, track allows her to work on her times and keep running. Her favorite part about track season is that “at invitationals we have a chance to run distance relays, which is really fun because in distance running things tend to be pretty individualized, and relays give us a chance to work with our teammates.” She also enjoys running the 3200 meter race, which “allows [her] to incorporate cross country techniques into the track season.” However, Gamble’s least favorite part of track is the monotony of the sport. As a cross country runner, Gamble is used to changing scenery as she runs, saying that “the track can get in your head, especially in long races. You’re going around and around, and sometimes the people who are supposed to call out the lap number and time don’t do it, so you don’t know how far you are or how fast you’re going. That is definitely a worst case scenario, but the track can get boring pretty fast.” However, Gamble asserts that the benefits of track far outweigh the downsides.

As a senior, Gamble has been running for a long time and knows talent when she sees it. “I’m really excited to see how [junior] Delaney McCormack does this year. She has been injured for most of her career, so we’re excited to see her run at her full potential.” Gamble knows distance running inside and out, but enjoys other events. “I really enjoy watching the 200 meter dash, because it’s short, but not short enough to go full out like you can in the 100. That’s a really hard event. I also like watching pole vault, because it’s so skill based and different from what I do. I could never do that!” Gamble enjoys watching events that are different than her own, because they clearly show the variety of skills that track celebrates.

Any school sport can put a strain on your school work. Gamble says that “athletics take away the amount of time I have to work on homework, because practice can run until after 5, meets until 8 or 9, and we’re often gone on trips on the weekend. There are times I have to rush my work or stay up late to finish. I also miss class because we have to leave early for meets. However, the school work sacrifices I have made are nothing compared to the lessons I have learned as an athlete and the close relationships I have formed through my sports.” Gamble insists that sports are worth the extra effort, and could not imagine her high school career without sports.

In the fall, Gamble will continue her running career at Western Washington University on the cross country and track team. Gamble says, “running is a way to cope, to enjoy myself, and to be with the world. There are often situations that can put you down, and for me, running is the way I deal with that. It clears my head. I think everyone should lace up their sneakers and get out there, even if it’s short, just hit the pavement.” Gamble looks forward to seeing how far she can get her times down and meeting new people at Western.