By Dario Jimenez ’21
It’s 2:45 pm and the track is buzzing with life. Some are putting on shoes, stretching, greeting their friends; others dread the hour and a half they are about to experience, but not the distance team. They enjoy their seemingly endless laps, talking and laughing along the way.
Colin Peattie ’20 described their reason to be happy. “[The distance team] has been running great this year. We’ve had a huge amount of PR’s (personal records) thus far and are looking to continue that trend at WCAL, CCS, and beyond.”
“This year has been going pretty well for me this year. I’ve improved in every event, and with the postseason coming up, I think that I can improve upon those numbers even more,” he said.
The distance team has been exceptionally successful which Colin connected back to him and his teammates’ offseason preparations.
“Throughout the offseason, we mostly run easy mileage. We want to build up an aerobic base so that once we start to do hard workouts, our bodies can handle it and we can improve. Also, we do some core and weight room work to get us ready.”
He also credits their success to their increased work in the weight room.
“The team has spent much more time in the weight room this year relative to last year. We believe that keeping a strong upper body and core are just as important to running fast as putting the miles in. Also, we’ve upped the mileage compared to last year, which definitely contributes to everyone running personal records this season.”
In track, especially among distance runners, team comradery is valued. Many of them are great friends who all support each other; Colin’s favorite moment in the season was when this comradery and brotherhood shined.
“I was running in the 3200m, the heat right after Clem Welsh and Galen Topper, so during their race, I was in the tent getting ready to go. Every time the two of them passed by, I yelled at the top of my lungs, cheering them on. On the second lap of their race, they were in the lead, and Clem, not so subtly, gave Galen a fist bump. They went on to go 1-2 in the race. This was super cool and afterwards, Coach McCrystle made such to let Clem know that everyone had seen his fist bump.”
The seniors were a large part of this comradery and set the tone for the team early in the year.
“The seniors have had a huge impact on the team this year. They really set the standard for doing the little things like weight room and we wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had without them,” Colin said.
Colin was lucky enough to compete at Arcadia, a selective, competitive track meet held in the Los Angeles area. Many elite track programs come to compete, including Bellarmine.
“Arcadia was super cool. We ran the 4×1600, where we took 10th but bounced back in the Distance Medley Relay, where Nolan Topper brought us back from 14th to 8th during the 1600-meter leg. Nolan and I also ran in the Rising Stars Mile, where I took 4th and he took 10th. The atmosphere down at Arcadia is unlike any other meet I’ve gone to thus far. There’s so much talent from all across the nation and it’s something that we all look forward to each year,” he said.
Colin looks forward to the upcoming WCAL and CCS meets, as does Keanu Lee ‘19 who leads Bellarmine’s varsity shotput team. They have also been successful this year.
“We did really well as a team, and I’m proud of the work that everyone put in. I’m 1st in WCAL shot put, Michael Hatcher is 1st in WCAL discus, JJ Lewinski has the second-best shot put in WCAL and 6th in CCS (the best Junior in CCS), Marcus Mifsud is also very good. Not only did we do well this year, but I think next year has the potential to be even better for the throws team,” Keanu said.
Distance and throws both know success, but obtain that success differently,
“Sometimes we go up to the weight room during practice, and Coach Toy has us work on explosiveness and powerlifting. If not, we do a lot of reps in the ring. There’s no real cardio involved. This includes footwork and form, so we throw more consistently and further,” Keanu added on.
Keanu was in similar awe with Colin after recapping the team’s experience at Arcadia.
“The whole event is sponsored by Nike, so there were Nike tents everywhere. The whole team got Nike Backpacks and hoodies. But it was great because it was a hub for people who were passionate about track and wanted to help and encourage to further grow the sport.”
To say that the 2019 track season was successful is an understatement, but there is still unfinished business. WCAL trials and CCS are coming up, and the distance team and throwing team are excited and ready to go.