Lucy Yoder values the friendships formed through track


Junior Lucy Yoder stands in the rain with an umbrella.

Junior Lucy Yoder fills her days with track practice and off-season training. Weirdly enough, she doesn’t actually like running.

“[I] definitely don’t [like] running itself,” Lucy said. “I like the team that I run with and my friends. I’ve made some good friends through the sport.”

For Lucy, the teammates that she has connected with are a vital characteristic of the sport, even more so than the actual running. The most memorable times spent on the team have occurred away from the track, separate from the sport itself.

“A lot of memories didn’t happen at practice,” Lucy said. “[They happened] after, like hanging out with my friends or going out to eat as a team. Those are all special memories.”

Although the best moments associated with track may stem from the team aspect of the sport, some highlights still arise from the athletic events.

For example, Lucy’s first track meet as a high school athlete was an overall positive initial experience.

“My first high school race was when I was a freshman,” Lucy said. “It was all new to me. I didn’t know what a high school track meet was like, but I soon learned how they work and that there’s a very specific process to it, which became familiar.”

Lucy began her high school track career as a freshman, but she’s been running since elementary school. However, for a large part of her life, gymnastics was also vying for Lucy’s time.

Once she quit gymnastics, track became her main sport because she preferred the bonds formed with the people she runs with.

Lately, school is the obstacle competing with track in Lucy’s life. Being a junior is no easy feat, especially not as a student-athlete.

“With junior year,” Lucy said, “there’s a lot of classes, AP classes, homework, and exams. It’s hard. I found it difficult to balance [schoolwork and track] and make sure I get enough sleep.”

Even when track season isn’t in full swing, Lucy still devotes three to four days a week to practice in order to stay prepared for the spring.

“I train in the off-season so that during the spring season, which is kind of my main season, I can last as long as possible,” Lucy said. “The better and faster I am, the longer I’m able to commit myself to the sport.”

Regardless of the difficulties balancing school and track, Lucy has never wanted to quit. However tough it gets, it’s worth it to go to practice and get to have fun with her friends while doing the sport she loves.

Even so, frustrating moments will transpire. But, when unfortunate events bring the team down, the team is still brought down together.

“Last year, we were milliseconds away from making it to the state meet at regionals,” Lucy said. “That was a tough moment I’d say, but we all went down as a team so that still felt special.”

You have to learn how to work with a team and learn how to motivate each other because it’s not just you who has to be successful, it’s the team as well

— Lucy Yoder

Between the despair of just missing the goal and the joy of many memories bonding Lucy and her teammates together, track has the individual and team factors needed to develop well-rounded athletes.

“When you’re in a relay,” Lucy said, “it becomes a very team-oriented sport. So, you have to learn how to work with a team and learn how to motivate each other, because it’s not just you who has to be successful, it’s the team as well.”

The success of the whole team matters in track, which adds to the team angle of the sport. Lucy prefers the group events such as relays over individual events and appreciates the connections she’s established by running even if she still doesn’t love running in its entirety.

“When I’m running, it’s absolutely awful,” Lucy said. “But when I’m done, if I get a good place or my team does good, it’s always very rewarding knowing that I put in the work to be at the place that I am.”