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The Blink of an Eye: The World of Track

How does the history of track and field translate to St. Pete High’s team?
St. Pete track team holding 1st place in a meet.
Karina Paskaleva
St. Pete track team holding 1st place in a meet.

When you hear the word track, all that comes to mind is running, which doesn’t always seem like a wave of excitement. However, there are so many events to choose from and so many different experiences to have. If running long distance sounds miserable to you, maybe short distance is your thing. Not a runner? There is still a place for you, after all it is called track and field. There are so many different events you can pick from, and you can try them all until you find your passion. 

Whether you run sprints, or distance, the start of a race always starts off with a gun. Don’t worry, they don’t use real guns, they use starting pistols, or a toy gun that has an electronic sound system that sounds like a loud boom. They do not fire ammunition, but fire blank shells, to prevent injury. Since the 1984 Olympics, these guns have been used. These were originally used because when the gun goes off, smoke would show, which indicated the timers to start. This gave the people who started the timers an exact time to start. Z’riah Bailey, a sophomore on the track team says, “it doesn’t sound like a real gun, so it’s not scary,” she has raced in many meets throughout the seasons. 

Typically, when you look at any runner, you see they aren’t wearing sneakers. Runners wear spikes, a type of running shoe. They help runners grip the ground and enable them to go faster. These are essential for sprinters and distance runners, because any advantage can help when it comes down to the last few seconds of a race. Migle Koveraite, a sophomore on the track team says, “spikes are definitely superior, I like the feeling like I’m gripping the earth as I walk, it makes me feel powerful.” However, there are a different number of spikes on the shoes for distance and sprinters. Sprinters normally have 6-8 spikes, since they are running faster at a short distance, they need all the grip they can get. Distance spikes however have 4-6 spikes, since they don’t need as much of a grip over a long distance. A man named Adolf Dassler created spikes in the 20th century. They grew in popularity and in the 1936 Olympics, Jesse Owens won four gold medals wearing a pair of Dassler’s shoes. Thanks to Dassler, he completely changed the world of track, making it more competitive. 

The Olympic games in 1936 changed everything when spikes were first worn and used to win gold medals by Jesse Owens. This summer, the 2024 summer Olympics will be held in Paris. These shoes have changed throughout many years, as they have gotten lighter, and more air 

dynamic. They use lighter fabrics and are more personalized to the runner’s foot. Don’t miss the track runners, as they tackle the competition in spikes, which all started from Dassler’s shoe designs. 

Track is a unique sport that has a place for everyone. Tall, short, fast, strong, it doesn’t matter! You will always find someone who is on the same skill level as you, and someone who can push you to be better. The coaches at St. Petersburg High school are incredible and believe in each and every one of their athletes. There is an event out there for everyone, you just have to take the leap to find it.

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About the Contributors
Alexa Decker, Staff Writer
Karina Paskaleva, Photographer

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