The last race, FHC track qualifies two individuals for States

Ali Czarnecki, Sports Reporter

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Two members of the FHC track team are planning to make an appearance at the individual Track State Championship. Senior, Eryn Ho, and Sophomore, Ryan Talbot made the cut, qualifying them for the state meet. The state finals will be taking place this Saturday at 9:30 am at East Kentwood High School.

Ryan, a pole vaulter, has been training several years to make it to this point, and with the help of his team and coach, Bob Levering. Ryan will be participating in the pole vaulting finals with around twenty other athletes in the state.

“I chose to pole vault because I liked how it was different from the other events in track,” said Ryan, who has been training with Levering for three years. “He has been my motivation to make it to this point in my track career. This year I am aiming for a new record, to be in the top eight in the state. Last year I made it to the regional finals, so this year I’m really excited to have made it this far.”

While Ryan is planning to go home in the top eight in the State, there is more to it. Ryan says although it will be competitive, the main goal is to have fun and enjoy being there.

Eryn Ho, a 6-year runner has been endlessly waiting for this opportunity. Every practice and every race has gotten Eryn to this pinnacle. After qualifying for states at the regional finals, Eryn had an amazing feeling. This is something not many people get to qualify for, let alone participate in.

“The feeling was amazing,” Eryn said. “The adrenaline in my body took away all tiredness. As soon as I crossed the finish a group of parents cheered for me in the upper corner of the bleachers, and when I turned to the field my coach was looking at me with a smile on his face and arms up. When they released the lanes I ran over and gave him a big hug. It was amazing to have my coach and teammates around me just as excited as I was.”

Eryn will be running the 300m hurdles, along with several other finalists across the state. Being her final year running for FHC, Eyrn looks to make the most of her opportunity and to improve her personal best.

“I started my training for this track season in February,” Eryn said. “I did a lot of cross-training such as swimming, lifting, biking, and boxing. My motivation was to have the most successful season I could possibly have, this being my last high school sport. My goal for the past four years has been to go to states in either XC or track and this was my last chance. My goal entering states will be to run a personal record and move up from my ranking. I’ve got the start of a stress fracture in my right foot so it’s been difficult preparing and training, but my coaches listen to me on how I’m feeling throughout the workouts. They’ve pushed me hard all season and they know what’s best for me as I prepare for the meet.”

Although for both these young individuals there is stress and anxiety that comes with a big race. Practicing all this week, as they did the whole season will hopefully relieve some of the nervous tension prior to the race.

“I’m hoping to have a strong race and a great time at the meet. My parents have dealt with maneuvering their plans around my running and workout schedule when it came to vacations, so I owe a lot of thanks to them. My coaches from day one have been some of the most influential people in my life,” Eryn said. “I wouldn’t have the confidence or found the discipline in myself without them pushing for my best. And of course, my team has been a huge help. As runners, everyone knows how painful running can be, so having so many spirited, supportive friends pushing the pace in workouts at practice and cheering for me in the backstretch of my races helped me more than they know.”

 

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